Having a large wedding with a crowd of guests and a budget that equals most couples' down payment on a house isn’t for everyone. Some couples are even ditching the idea of keeping things traditional, instead running off to get married solo or planning secret weddings that nobody but their small guest list know about.
We’ve seen this trend before with celebrities, most recently Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, who tied the knot at Christmastime without paparazzi or a crew of their celebrity friends. Nobody knew about the wedding until Miley posted a photo on Instagram a few days later.
Wondering what it’s like to have a secret wedding and who in the world would want that? Read on to hear the stories of eight real brides who share why they kept their wedding a complete secret.
1. Privacy meant a lot
"I never wanted my wedding to be a show. I never wanted my wedding to include people I hardly cared about. I wanted it to be small and private. We kept our wedding a big secret. We told people we were having a holiday party at our house and then we surprised them with a wedding. We only had 30 people there, and we asked that they keep the party a secret. We wanted it to be a moment that was shared and something private, not something that would be posted on Facebook and judged by strangers. People completely respected our wishes." —Danielle U., 34
2. We wanted it to be our moment
"I felt like weddings weren't about the couple, they were about everyone else. My husband and I went on vacation for three weeks, got engaged, and then came back and told 25 of the closest people in our lives to meet us at a restaurant a week later. It was there we surprised them with a full-on wedding. No photos were allowed to be taken or posted. Most people outside of those 25 still don't know we're married." —Tracy S., 41
3. Everything was drama
"Weddings stress people out, and when I was first engaged, the act of planning one made me and my fiancé fight all the time. We both realized if we kept planning a big celebration, with the ideas of our family members, we'd probably break up. We ditched the big wedding plans, got married in the courthouse, came home and told everyone, and then a month later, our parents threw us a surprise wedding party. It was like they turned the tables on us, but it was drama-free." —Paulette B.
4. Social media messes things up
"I'm a social media influencer and people think they know all about my life. One thing I didn't want them to be a part of was my wedding. I never announced I was even engaged, which was super hard, but it made me feel like I still owned a part of my life, and that was what I needed during a time when I had 100,000 followers on Instagram who felt they knew every move I made. I posted a picture a week after the wedding and it practically broke the Internet." —Chrissy A., 31
5. Nobody wanted us to get married
"Both our parents didn't want us to tie the knot. They tried to split us up so many times. We never told them we got engaged or married. We only invited five friends to the courthouse. We've been married for over a year now and our parents don't know. They still want us to call it quits. Oh, well!" —Erin P., 24
6. We saved close to $55,000
"Our original wedding budget was $60,000. That was too much money for me to blow on one day! We ditched the idea of doing a traditional thing and instead, during Thanksgiving, told our parents and family that later that night we were going to get officially married with them by our sides. People were shocked. We ended up planning a small party the day after for 40 people, who just thought they were coming over to celebrate Thanksgiving part two. It was magical and only cost us $5,000." —Cheryl D., 29
7. Too much friend drama
"After getting engaged, I asked nine friends to be my bridesmaids. Things got ugly between them. I felt like I was constantly dealing with their drama. I ended up telling all nine that the bridesmaid thing was over. My partner and I decided to leave most people out of our wedding. We invited 20 people total, which was close family and two friends each. It was the most drama-free day. It wouldn't have been if I kept it like I originally planned." —Raquel C., 39
See more: 34 Shocking Secret Celebrity Weddings
8. We always knew we would
"A big part of our relationship has always been the thrill of adventure. When my husband proposed, we waited two months to tell our parents. We enjoyed celebrating the moment and keeping it just between us. For six months after that, nobody else knew, and our parents would constantly ask if we picked a wedding date. We knew all along we wouldn't, and before the end of the year, we secretly got married in Vegas. We waited another two months to share that with our family and eventually our friends.
So far, that secret has been the biggest thrill of our lives." —Suzie B., 34