On Saturday, I had the unique opportunity to participate in a “surprise” wedding for a happy bride and groom in Manhattan. The couple invited their friends and family members to an “engagement party” at the fancy Tribeca Rooftop. After a bit of mingling and some cocktails, they were told that this was really a surprise wedding. As you can imagine, the guests were thrilled with cheers all around! I’ve heard of a few of these ceremonies, including the recent nuptials of singer LeAnn Rimes and actor Eddie Cibrian; however, I’d never been involved in such a sneaky affair. It was wonderful!
In preparing the ceremony script and experiencing the happy occasion, I came away with several thoughts about why this was not only a fun idea, but a meaningful one, as well. Because the event was not surrounded by the typical anxieties associated with a standard wedding, guests were really “in the moment” as some would say. There were no worries about gift registries, seating arrangements, or the age old dilemma of “what to wear to a wedding,” so guests could just relish the excitement and cheer of the wedding. But, by offering this unexpected celebration, guests were—in my opinion—somehow more present for this all important rite-of-passage, carefully listening to words they were not expecting to hear on a late spring evening. The bride and groom had particular intentions for the night. The groom explained, “We want you all to enjoy the evening and know that experiencing the moment is more important than the details and planning.” The bride’s wish for the night? “Love, joy, celebration, fun, and laughter.”
Likewise, this event design underscores the value that two individuals place on their circle of loved ones. Couples who decide to get married on relatively short notice will often simply elope to an exotic location or marry at City Hall. However, reciting the all-important vows in front of a beloved community highlights the importance of family and friends. The bride and groom truly wished to share this occasion.
So on this Saturday evening, the bride was stunning and the groom beamed. It was a perfect way to spend the eve of Mother’s day. For, after I declared them man and wife, the bride followed up with another monumental announcement: the couple is expecting a baby in a few short months! It doesn’t get any better than that!