Sammy + Robin's Surprise Wedding
As a Colorado Wedding photographer, I get first-row seats to all kinds of weddings. My favorite weddings? The ones where a couple stays true to themselves and get married in a way that honors their relationship! And when it came to Sammy and Robin, that meant inviting all their closest friends and family to a quaint, little cocktail bar in downtown Denver on New Year's Eve, and surprising them with a wedding halfway through the night.
Sammy and Robin chose the perfect little cocktail bar for their celebrations. Room For Milly was absolutely gorgeous, and the colorful, modern interior made it so fun to photograph! The staff was so friendly and I'd highly recommend it as an event space for any fun celebrations. I can't wait to shoot there again in the future!
Are you considering planning a surprise wedding? Here are a few tips to consider:
- Don't keep it a surprise to your photographer! - Amongst themselves, photographers like to tell horror stories about how they show up for an extended family session or an event and they come to find out it's actually a wedding. Don't do this! Weddings require a lot more gear (even surprise ones!) - a lot more lenses, flashes, batteries, memory cards, and overall preparedness than a normal photo shoot. If you surprise your photographer, there is a big chance they are not going to be able to photograph your wedding at the quality that they usually do! Instead, clue them in on everything you plan to do, including who knows about the surprise and who doesn't.
- Pick a date that's easily accessible for your guests - Sammy + Robin disguised their wedding as an Engagement Party on New Year's Eve during a pandemic in the middle of a snowstorm (and only invited their guests a week ahead of time), which was a big ask for their guests. But they were accepting of the fact that not everyone they invited was going to make it. If it's super important to you that most of your guests attend, I recommend picking a Saturday during fair weather and notifying your guests months before, so they have ample time to plan ahead.
- Don't forget the logistics - Planning a surprise wedding can be so fun and spontaneous. But there are still a few things you'll need to consider ahead of time! You'll need to obtain your marriage license and an officiant (in Colorado, you can self-solemnize so you won't need a licensed officiant unless you want one!). Also, think about if you want to host your wedding at a private residence, an Airbnb, a venue, and if you plan to hire a caterer or any entertainment such as a DJ. All those vendors should also be clued in that this will be a wedding! Airbnb, for instance, has specific rules regarding spaces that you can use for weddings.