You don’t often associate the word “surprise” with the word “wedding.”  In fact, I imagine most people try to minimize the number of surprises that come their way on their wedding day.  But for two of the couples that I had the pleasure of marrying this past October, “surprise” was the theme and, in both cases, the surprises were a big hit. 

Christine & Cathy
Little did Christine and Cathy’s siblings know that when they were invited to Razzie’s Restaurant in Sunnyside, Queens to celebrate the couple’s tenth anniversary, they were also being invited to attend their sisters’ wedding!  But that’s exactly what was in store.  A few minutes before their guests arrived, Cathy and Christine walked in wearing identical off-white satin cocktail dresses and pearls.  And, as their family members arrived to attend what they thought would be a lovely seated dinner to toast the couple’s ten years together, Cathy and Christine let everyone in on the surprise:  they were getting married!  THAT NIGHT!

That’s right -- Cathy and Christine threw their own surprise wedding (very Julia Roberts and Danny Moder for you celebrity followers out there).  The wedding was a beautifully intimate affair.  The room was dimly lit with candles and the alter was decorated with pictures of Cathy and Christine’s parents on their wedding days.  Guests were inspired by Christine’s sister, a courageous breast cancer survivor, who read Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians during the wedding, and, after the ceremony, the couple and their guests joined one another at the same, large table for celebratory cocktails and dinner.  

Tommy & Jeff
After 13 years together, Tommy and Jeff were looking forward to getting married in New York City on 10/11/12.  Hailing from Mississippi, the couple originally planned to marry at City Hall with three of their friends in attendance.  Little did Tommy and Jeff know that their friends were putting together something a little more special for their wedding day and planned to surprise Tommy and Jeff with their very own Central Park wedding! 

Realizing that many of their friends and family would be unable to attend their wedding in New York City, Tommy and Jeff planned a pre-wedding reception in late September back in Mississippi to celebrate their upcoming nuptials.  And it was at this party that their friends surprised Tommy and Jeff with an invitation to their own wedding on October 11, 2012 at Central Park’s Wagner Cove.  I could hardly wait to reach out to the grooms directly and get started on their ceremony – in fact, I put an alert in my calendar that reminded me the day after the party that it was “Okay to contact Jeff & Tommy, NOW!” 

In Conclusion...
Cathy and Christine surprised their siblings with their wedding and in doing so, found a creative and exciting way to share their ceremony with those closest to them.  Jeff and Tommy’s friends wanted to give Jeff and Tommy something more than a City Hall ceremony, and in doing so, gave them a memorable New York City wedding in one of the most romantic spots this city has to offer.   Though perhaps a bit unconventional, the surprises behind these two weddings only added to the specialness of Cathy and Christine’s, and Tommy and Jeff’s wedding days!