They might be the big-day VIPs, but they don't need to know everything.

By Jenn Sinrich
June 16, 2020
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Your bridal party might be eager to learn about every nitty gritty detail of your big day (hey, they're excited to celebrate!), but that doesn't mean you have to unveil everything before it even happens. Certain things may be worth sharing—say, the order in which they will walk out during the ceremony, or where you'll be taking your honeymoon—but other details are perhaps better kept a secret. Doing so can provide a sense of security—one that you will likely need and want over the course of your marriage. Here, experts share the secrets that are absolutely acceptable to keep from the wedding party—even up until your big day.

You got legally married before your wedding day.

Did you decide to legally tie the knot before the wedding? Whatever your reason, there's no need to share the news with the bridal party unless you want to. "This is fully appropriate to keep a secret, since in these cases the main celebration and anniversary date is still the wedding day with friends and family," says Lindsey Nickel, wedding planner and owner of Lovely Day Events in Sonoma, California, who says she works with at least one couple a year who chooses to get legally married before their big day. "Whether it's to get your spouse on your health insurance sooner or one partner's visa is ending, there's no reason it can't stay a secret between the two of you."

The price of the wedding.

Whether you saved a ton of money by choosing a low-cost venue, made most of your reception decorations, and scored a discounted wedding dress or splurged like nobody's business, no one but you and your spouse (and perhaps your parents if they're footing the bill) has to know how much you spent on your wedding. "The couple has enough stress going on with the wedding and budget without getting input from the bridal party about it," adds Nickels.

What gifts they're getting on the big day.

It's natural to want to tell your wedding party about a gift you're so excited to give them, but try your best to conceal this news until your big day. Even if the gift is part of the "getting ready" portion of the day, it still makes a very special surprise on the day of your wedding for all of the time, money, and energy your bridal party spent in preparation for it, says Sara Greenberg, wedding planner and owner of Forever Young Party & Event Planning in Massapequa, New York.

What your wedding dress looks like.

While many brides invite their wedding party to join as they search for the perfect wedding dress, other brides choose to shop solo, or perhaps with one family member such as their mother. However you choose to do this is fine—it's up to you. "There is something to be said for when only the bride and her mom knows what the dress is going to look like before the wedding," says Jodi R.R. Smith, owner of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, in Marblehead, Massachusetts. "There is a magical moment when the bride appears fully attired in her wedding finery and everyone watches in awe."

What you'll say during your vows.

You might be extra proud of the vows you've written, but your personalized big-day promises are worth saving for the ceremony. In fact, Smith says that running your vows by all of your friends may even render them trite and rote by the time you actually recite them at your wedding. Instead, she recommends choosing one fabulous friend who is a master wordsmith and running your vows by them for feedback and practice.

Which song you chose for your first dance.

Even if it's your favorite song and a seemingly obvious pick that your bridesmaids and groomsmen might be able to guess on their own, you're not required to share your first dance song pick ahead of the wedding day. "This is an intimate and personal selection," says Dawn Stafford, event expert, wedding planner and creative director of Gathering Souls. "It is not necessary to share this information with the bridal party, and most often when a couple chooses to share in advance, suggestions and critiques soon follow."

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