It may describe the stuff of spy movies: sneaking into a museum and gathering around a popular painting without rousing suspicion of the guards. All in the name of celebrating a wedding in a way that’s trendy, thrilling, and totally thrifty. A flash wedding (or guerilla wedding) is a twist on the quirky flash mob performances that have been popping up in public squares, shopping malls, and YouTube channels around the world for the past few years. In a flash wedding, the bride, groom, officiate, wedding party (optional) and guests gather quietly in a public place to perform a quick wedding ceremony before dispersing to a reception or after-party.
Flash weddings are unique, fun and quick; but, most importantly, they can save the bride and groom big money! The average American wedding costs nearly $30,000, so, making a public wedding is an attractive alternative. You can say goodbye to the big costs associated with the venue, decor, and ceremony music–while still having a memorable and beautiful day in a free public space.
Another perk of a flash wedding is that location possibilities are endless. You can hold your wedding some place that’s potentially more meaningful to you and your betrothed than the average church or rented ceremony space. If you want a sweet, intimate, and quiet ceremony, you could look into a private park, garden, or other outdoor area. If you want to be the center of attention of a major crowd, plan your event at a mall, airport, business, or other major public place. Museums are another popular flash wedding location. They’re already decorated with exquisite art. Many couples choose their favorite piece of art ahead of time and let their guests know to meet there.
With a flash wedding, planning is the name of the game. You cannot plan enough. Scout out various areas of your venue. Once you’ve decided on a spot pick a non-peak time for the ceremony. Check an event calendar for other events to make sure you’ll have the space to yourself. You may be breaking some rules, but you can still pull the thing off in style if you create an unbreakable plan.
The biggest downside to a flash wedding? The law. As most couples who choose a flash wedding want their “I do’s” to be a beautiful location, sometimes those spots are, in fact, bookable wedding venues… that charge a hefty fee. Botanical gardens, museums, parks, and many other public venues usually charge a pretty penny for wedding ceremonies. So, if security guards happen to crash your wedding, be prepared to get kicked out before you have time for the kiss. There are many ways around this, of course, but you’ll have to get all your guests in on the deal.
Smart Money Magazine offers these flash wedding tips:
- Have the bride, groom, wedding party, and officiate wear long coats or cover-ups to conceal their wedding attire so security doesn’t take notice.
- Buy tickets (if you have to) in small groups so employees don’t get suspicious.
- Have guests form a circle around you.
- Make it quick and snappy; then get out of there!
- Take pictures outside or at another location.
Take pictures outside or at another location.
Of course, some public places probably won’t mind if you hold your quick wedding on their premises. Politeness could get you a long way in certain locations that aren’t monitored by security. And, in the case of lots of flash wedding brides and grooms, crowds and employees ended up applauding and enjoying the ceremony instead of breaking it up.