DEAR ABBY: I am thinking about planning a "surprise" wedding for me and my fiance. We have been together for eight years and have lived together for seven. We put off the wedding for many reasons, chiefly the cost because those things are expensive. We do not want to just elope.
The idea of having a theme party and inviting all our friends and family occurred to me the other day. Then, in the middle of it, we could bring in a priest and tie the knot! I have figured out the cost, and it shouldn't be more than a grand. We could swing that.
But my question is, do we tell anyone about it beforehand? I told one of my girlfriends and my fiance, and they think it's a great idea. It would take a lot of stress off. Should I tell my parents? They sometimes blab (Dad is worse than Mom) when they're excited about something. -- STEALTH BRIDE-TO-BE
DEAR STEALTH BRIDE-TO-BE: One person you should definitely discuss this with would be the priest. Ask if he would be willing to marry a couple who has been living together because some aren't, and also if he'd prefer the solemn vows be taken in a house of worship rather than a theme-party atmosphere. If that's the case, you may have to settle for an officiant of another faith or a justice of the peace to perform the ceremony.
Also, I suggest you rethink your idea of keeping this happy news from your folks, who may have been praying for this for seven years. They might feel very hurt to find they were kept in the dark.