Three makes a trend, so it's official: weddings where the groom surprises the bride are now a thing.
The latest instance comes via BuzzFeed, which has picked up the wedding video of Carly and Adam. Carly had just returned from six months retracing her grandmother's journey from the U.K. to Canada as a war bride. On the morning of what she thought was their engagement party, Adam presented his fiancee with a letter explaining that, SURPRISE!, they were actually getting married.
Guys: Please do not do this. Gals: Please stop any man you know from doing this. Only you can prevent ambush weddings.
Maybe this bride didn't want a big wedding. Maybe her skin crawled at the very notion of finding a venue and tasting cakes and bossing around a florist. On her blog, she seems to appreciate the gesture:
Turns out, my fiance is the most romantic man on the planet, because him & my mom had been planning our surprise WEDDING since March. I found out at 9am THAT DAY that everything had been arranged…hair, make-up, bridesmaid dresses, photographer, videographers, ceremony, reception, flowers….EVERYTHING! It was the BEST day of our lives, surrounded by those we love. The joy, love & happiness in my heart was overwhelming in the best way possible.
She did, at least, get to buy her own wedding dress (in the English town where her grandmother bought hers, no less). And admittedly, the affair was more tasteful than last year's GMA ambush involving a sea captain. (Anything not on a morning show is automatically classy by comparison.) Plus they were already engaged, which is more than you can say for the couple who got married in a ceremony the groom planned from a Pinterest page.
All that's great. I'm glad it worked out. But surprise weddings are still a terrible idea, and the more grooms who get the idea this is a grand romantic gesture, the more likely we are to see horribly botched instances.
Plenty of people do want a big wedding, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. But even those who want nothing more complicated than a chill backyard get-together probably still have a few decisions they'd like to make. Grape arbor or shady elm? Which officiant? Which readings? Even women who've always planned on saying their vows in their grandmother's gown might like to go try on some cupcake-y tulle monstrosities. And for the woman who absolutely does not want to fuck with any of it, there's always elopement.
Regardless, the bride deserves at least a chance to make those decisions. Those decisions (much as I've bitched about my own wedding planning process) are actually fun! And even when they're not fun, they're yours.
There's an annoying thread running through the responses to this particular wedding, with commenters huffily responding to objections by saying that not every woman is "high maintenance" or interested in "material things." You know what? It's not OK to morph into a monstrous Bridezilla nightmare creature. But it is okay to want what you want.