Category: events

Surprise Wedding

Why have a surprise wedding

Surprise weddings are becoming more popular for many reasons but primarily because couples find them more fun, less stressful, and less expensive than a traditional wedding.

Pros of a surprise wedding

You won’t have to please anyone else.

A traditional wedding usually comes with loving family and friends offering advice and suggestions. Having a surprise wedding means most of your guests won’t know it’s your wedding so you can control and organise your special day just the way you want. And it’s less likely feelings will be hurt.

There’s less pressure to make it formal.

Weddings can come with an expectation for finery and formality. With a surprise wedding, people are not expecting your event to be a wedding so there won’t be any pre-conceived ideas of what it should look like.

You’ll save some money.

Weddings can be very expensive. Not having all the bells and whistles of a traditional wedding included in your surprise wedding can be a huge money saver.

It’s a unique way of having a wedding. 

Surprise weddings are not a new trend, but they’re still uncommon enough to be a novelty. So having a surprise wedding is guaranteed to give you a wedding nobody will forget. It’s a great way to stand out from the traditional wedding and make your wedding day special for even more reasons.

The atmosphere is fantastic

When you reveal to your guests that they have been invited to your wedding it will bring a whole new level of excitement amongst your family and friends.

You can keep your number lower

If you are wanting to have a smaller number of guests at your wedding then a surprise wedding is great. People’s feelings are less likely to be hurt if they didn’t know it’s a wedding they haven’t been invited to.

Cons of a surprise wedding

You might not get gifts.

If you are disguising your wedding as a party or event then you are more likely to get personal gifts rather than traditional wedding gifts.

It’s hard to have any prewedding parties.

A wedding is not just one day it is also the excitement and events that lead up to your special day. If you are having a surprise wedding then some of these pre-wedding events won’t be able to happen.

Some of your friends and relatives might not get it.

With work and daily life responsibilities sometimes it’s hard for family and friends to arrange to get to a party. So if you are having a surprise wedding disguised as a party the special people you want to attend may not be able to arrange things to make your celebration. When the people who can’t attend find out it is your wedding then there may be some hurt feelings.

You cant discuss your plans with your loved ones

One of the wonderful things about planning a wedding is sharing it with the people who are special in your life. If you have a surprise wedding you will be compromising the surprise by the more people you share your plans with.

Guest may not turn up on time 

If your guests think they are only coming to an event they may not be concerned about running late. However, if they miss the big reveal of it being your wedding they may be extremely disappointed and bring a negative vibe to your special day.

Top tips for organising a successful surprise wedding

Like the idea of a Surprise Wedding for your Guests? Here are some top tips to make it everything you are imagining.

First and most importantly you will need to contact your celebrant to complete the NOIM. (Please see NOIM Blog for more details on completing the NOIM).


Then it’s time to start planning.

  1. Decide on what event you will use as a cover for your surprise wedding.
  2. Send out the invitations to this event, making sure you include a draw-card time. This will help to get your guests to your event on time.
  3. Make sure you discuss your surprise wedding ideas with all your wedding suppliers. Having everyone on the same page will help make for a successful surprise.
  4. You will require two witnesses to sign the legal documents. It’s always a good idea to give these people a heads up before the event.
  5. Arrange how you would like to have your Big Reveal. This can be great fun so talk to your celebrant about different ideas.
  6. Just because it is a surprise doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate Traditional Elements. Discuss what you want to include with your celebrant and venue.

Music For Your Ceremony

A wedding ceremony typically requires three pieces of music. One to enter the ceremony, one when you sign the documents and one for when you exit the ceremony as a married couple.

Selecting the right music for your ceremony is a great way to give the moment a personal touch.

Selecting songs that have meaning to you and your relationship will help make each piece that much more special. It will also leave you and your guests with wonderful memories to take away from your wedding day.

Another great way of personalising your music is to have it played live. There are lots of options but some of the popular ones are String Quartets, Harpists, Pianists, Guitarists, Musicians and Ensembles, Classical / Opera Singers, Solo Singer and Acoustic groups.

We are really lucky in Central West NSW to have lots of talented local musicians, so you are sure to find a fit for what you are looking for.

Just remember it is your ceremony and should reflect you as a couple. So just select music that you like and don’t be persuaded to select a piece that is not you just because it is a “wedding” song.

Some of the talented local musicians in Central West NSW.

Smith and Jones
Smith & Jones, made up of keyboard player and vocalist Abby Smith, with guitarist and vocalist Sophie Jones, have never been ones to follow the pack. Though classified as alt-country, their goal has never been to remain within the confines of any genre, preferring to let their sound and their songs take them where they will.
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Gabbi Bolt
Gabbi is a classically trained pianist and contemporary performer with over a decade of experience. Her long awaited first EP, Grey into Blue, bonds her solid musical background with her natural talent for pop songwriting. Grey Into Blue brings to mind the sounds of Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Sara Bareilles and Adele, whilst retaining the humour, vocal clarity, and lyrical depth that is so uniquely Gabbi.
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Andy Nelson
Andy Nelson is a highly talented singer/songwriter who is developing an ever-expanding fan base across the Central West of NSW and beyond. Having only recently taken a long-held love of playing music beyond his family and friends to public venues, his acoustic mix of covers and originals have struck a chord with audiences.
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The Safety of Life at Sea
The Safety of Life at Sea is a band with a distinctly vintage vibe inspired by blues, soul and funk as well as the classic songwriters of the 60's and 70's - with groove. The rhythm section takes a leaf out of the books of Stax and Motown, and the piano went for a weekend in New Orleans and never came back.
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Momentum is fast becoming the perfect choice for weddings from the Central West to the coast. They can provide both acoustic, relaxed style music for ceremonies, cocktails & canapes AND the kind of floor-filling hits that your guests will dance to all night long!
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Amy Viola
An acclaimed classical violist, Amy has performed internationally as both a soloist and chamber musician. Her captivating, intricate performances blend musicianship, creativity and soaring melodies. Amy is quickly establishing herself amongst festivals and house concerts as a unique artist and songwriter who isn't afraid to explore the bittersweet and raw reality of life in her lyrics.
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Both are playing different instruments and different parts, but as long as you’re playing from the same sheet music, you can create something beautiful.

Notice Of Intended Marriage

The Notice Of Intended Marriage is the first legal document you will need to complete before your wedding ceremony.

In the Marriage Act 1961, it requires that a legal marriage shall not take place unless a notice in writing of the intended marriage, is given to the authorised celebrant solemnising the marriage at least one calendar month before the proposed marriage. This document is valid for 18 months from the time of presenting it to your celebrant until the proposed marriage date.

A copy of the NOIM can be printed from the button below.

Notice of Intended Marriage Legal requirements

          PRIVACY NOTES.

  • Section 42 of the Marriage Act 1961 (the Act) requires that a marriage shall not be solemnised unless a notice in writing of the intended marriage, in the prescribed form, is given to the authorised celebrant solemnising the marriage. This Notice is the prescribed form for this purpose.
  • The authorised celebrant to whom the Notice is given sends the Notice to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages of the State or Territory in which the marriage takes place, after the marriage ceremony. The Registrar uses the information in the Notice to register the marriage.
  • The Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages then sends the Notice to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (the ABS), which requests information about these matters under the Census and Statistics Act 1905. The ABS records non- identifying information from the Notice, including each party’s sex, and uses that information to generate national statistics on marriage and the family in Australia. Personal identifying information is not retained. NOTES
  1. 1  A party to an intended marriage who is unable, after reasonable inquiry, to state any information required in the Notice, should write “unknown” in the relevant space on the form. To make the Notice effective, the party must also give the authorised celebrant a statutory declaration stating that they are unable to state the information required
    in the Notice, and the reason for that inability. However, a statutory declaration is not necessary in relation to the
    information required under item 11, 12, 13 or 14 of the Notice, or the date of a previous marriage ceremony under item 16 of the Notice.
  2. 2  The marriage cannot be solemnised until after one calendar month from the date the authorised celebrant receives the Notice unless, under subsection 42(5) of the Act, a prescribed authority has authorised the marriage to be solemnised before that time has elapsed. Also, the marriage cannot be solemnised:
    1. (a)  if the authorised celebrant receives the Notice more than 18 months before the proposed marriage (see paragraph 42(1)(a) of the Act); and
    2. (b)  unless the authorised celebrant is satisfied that the parties to the proposed marriage are the parties referred to in the notice given under section 42 of the Act in relation to the marriage (see paragraph 42(8)(a) of the Act).
  3. 3  Section 104 of the Act makes it an offence for a person to give the Notice to an authorised celebrant or to sign it if, to that person’s knowledge, the Notice contains a false statement or an error or is defective.
  4. 4  If a party to an intended marriage cannot conveniently sign the Notice at the time it is intended to give notice of the intended marriage, the other party may sign the Notice and give it to the proposed authorised celebrant. However, in that case, the party who has not signed the Notice must sign it in the presence of that celebrant or another authorised celebrant before the marriage is solemnised.
  5. 5  Section 42 of the Act requires certain documents to be produced to the authorised celebrant before the marriage is solemnised, in particular:
    1. (a)  evidence of the date and place of birth of each party; and
    2. (b)  if a party has previously been legally married, evidence of a party’s divorce, or of the death of a party’s spouse.

    If a party has been divorced in Australia, the authorised celebrant should sight court evidence of the decree upon dissolution of marriage.

  6. 6  A party to an intended marriage who has not turned 18 (unless the party has previously been married), must obtain the necessary consents or dispensations required under the Act, and the authorised celebrant must sight those consents or dispensations before proceeding with the marriage. Also, a person under 18 years is not of marriageable age, and cannot be a party to a marriage, unless the person obtains an order from the court under section 12 of the Act.