We all know that weddings just aren’t the way mom and dad did it anymore! They are bigger, costlier, more unique, more intimate, in crazy locations, in bold colors, you name it! But why? Is it that we can’t afford the sit-down meal for 100+ guests? Is it that we want the intimacy of 10 of our closest friends on a secluded island beach? Why such a change in the last 50 years? Well, as a planner, I’ve heard it all. “We can’t afford it.” “Our parents aren’t alive so we’re doing something different.” “We can’t get a loan for a house so thought we’d blow our life savings on the wedding of the year!” The list goes on and on. But what about those stories that bring even more to the table – “we met in a public place and they won’t let us get married there.” “We really want a beach wedding but the county we’re from doesn’t allow them, even with a permit.” We have a budget for 100 people but our families each have that many on their guest lists!” For those of you who are reading this and nodding your heads because you completely understand what I’m talking about, then you need to throw caution to the wind and have yourself a Guerilla Wedding!

When that side of adventure in you screams out saying, “Oh, we should totally do that. But what if we get caught?!?!”, then read on! My husband and I love Disneyland! We got engaged there, we take our kids there and we even thought of doing our wedding there. But, the price tag on it was WAY out of our already ridiculously high budget. So, we scrapped the idea and moved on to Plan B. But, now as we approach over a decade together, a renewal of our vows seems appropriate. Let the kids share in it. But, where? Well, of course, back pops Disneyland into my head. Again, red flags. We can’t afford to even do that! But, what if they didn’t know??? I mean, it’s a pretty big park. And, if we didn’t wear a crazy white dress, or don a tux, definitely no big bouquets but something you can toss into the crowd – maybe with a little tag on it saying what just went down – have a friend say the vows, do a quick and quiet ceremony and exchange of renewal vows, kiss and hit the rides. Easy, right?? Well, don’t forget about those uniformed armed security guards, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of cameras located in every nook and cranny around the park – I mean, one drop in visit by any of those friendly faces and you can kiss your ceremony goodbye and be guaranteed you’re put on the “watch” list for the remainder of your stay at “The Happiest Place on Earth!” But wouldn’t it be worth it?! Especially if you could get away with it. And, remember, it’s FREE!!! Well, of course the tickets into the park and the marriage license for all of you thinking of doing this for the first time, but that’s it.

In a traditional Guerilla Wedding, it’s up to the happy couple to pick where and when. Usually it’s a public or private location where you would normally need a permit or would have to pay for a ceremony after hours. I’m sure you all know of The Vow, starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, where they privately exchanged vows in front of their closest of friends in a very public Chicago Art Museum. As the “I Do’s” were being spoken, the two guards on duty caught wind of the not-so-private ceremony and the chase was on. Well, although the free price tag was awesome, having to cut the kiss short and take chase in heels is not the most sought after wedding dream. So, be aware of the bottom line!

As more and more happy couples endure long engagements to save up their hard-earned dollars to afford that special day, we will definitely start to see an increase in these thrilling, daring and dollar-free ceremonies. Where will you plan on not getting caught???