Planning a surprise wedding in Italy: How to get married without anyone knowing

The first time I heard from Signe and Kasper I thought that it was going to be a very short acquaintance. The bride wrote a short wmail telling me that she needed advice on who to contact in the town hall of Alassio in Liguria in order to be able to get married. This was two months before the ceremony had to take place.

I was intrigued – it isn’t often that a bride take that much initiative, so I wrote back to her asking for further details and wondering if she spoke any Italian.

She didn’t. Actually she was in trouble as no one seemed anxious to answer her emails and phone calls…

That is normal. To put it very simply, Italians are used to people speaking Italian, not to foreigners wanting to communicate in other languages 😉 And this was a problem. And a huge clash of cultures.


So Signe soon realized that she couldn’t make it on her own, she was getting stressed about the wedding and she was relieved that I would take over and continue the planning for them. Because this wasn’t just any kind of wedding. It was a surprise wedding where no one, except the two witnesses, should know what was going on. Especially not the father of the groom, who is a police officer and therefore used to discovering facts far ahead of others. It had to be a huge secret, and the wedding would take place while the whole family was in Alassio for their usual September holidays. What a fun thing!

Signe wasn’t the usual bride. She bought her gown on the internet without even trying it on, she didn’t want a bouquet and she surely wasn’t fond of any lush flower arrangements or decors. She wanted to focus on the ceremony, on getting married to Kasper that is, and on having a venue on the beach where they could sit out having their hors d’oeuvres and dinner afterwards. A business woman to her bones…


So the fun started. I found the most beautiful venue situated right on the beach, with a wonderful outdoor lounge area featuring white sofas and candles, and where we were able to create a private area for bride, groom and their guests. The food and wines were excellent – another focal point for the bride, and the atmosphere so beach chic that everyone was wow’ed by the set-up.

The tablescape was simple: A splash of turquoise tea light holders, some square vases with sand and sea shells, a little bling to the napkin rings and a small welcome gift, made with Italian sugar almonds. Guest favors were small turquoise candles formed as ships, just a little reminder of this special day that I’m sure that no one will ever forget.

Because to the guests it was a huge surprise as Kasper got onto his feet during lunch and told them that three hours later we would all be attended by the mayor at the town hall. It was such a big surprise for this father that he began to cry and had to go for a walk to calm down his nerves. I had to whisk away a tear as well, it was a stunning moment.

As regarding Signe, in the end she got her bouquet. A very small one made from pure white carnations. And she was happy with it, she said afterwards. At least you didn’t have to guess who was the bride, she admitted.

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All photo credits: Sabrina de Polo

Even though it was a “simple” wedding, there was a beauty that you often do not find in bigger arrangements. How I loved planning this wedding, it was awesome…!

Warmhearted ♥ Elegant ♥ Dedicated ♥ Dreamy ♥ ITALIA!


2 Responses to “Planning a surprise wedding in Italy: How to get married without anyone knowing”
  1. tgbears says:

    I love it. Our family and friends also only got 1 week’s notice and we had a wonderful day 🙂

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