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Couples Turn To 'Surprise Weddings' To Cut Stress, Costs

BOSTON (CBS) --- Every year weddings seem to get bigger and more expensive. But, now some couples are going to the other extreme: planning low-key affairs without telling friends and family before they arrive.

Dwight Erickson of New Hampshire took it one step further and even surprised the bride, Sandy. "I said 'oh by the way you wanted a short engagement we're getting married tonight.' "

Just a few short hours after the proposal in front of friends and family on Franconia Notch Dwight and Sandy got married. Sandy recalls the moment she realized the proposal wasn't the only surprise of the day, "We start walking and then I see a sign that says 'Wedding' and I said "Right now? Right here?' "

Dwight spent three months planning his secret wedding. He even picked out nine dresses for Sandy.

"I don't think he missed a single detail," says Sandy.

"I would highly recommend it," says Dwight, "if you want to give your wife a stress-free wedding and you know she's up for something like that."

Dwight and Sandy know this type of surprise might not be right for every couple but wedding expert Darcy Miller says the trend is catching on, "they decide that they don't want to go through all the months of all planning and all the details and the colors of the tablecloths and they just want to get it done."

While celebrities like Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen may have kept their wedding plans under wraps to avoid attention other couples see it as a way to put a one-of-a-kind twist on their big day.

"The idea of that sounded more romantic and more enchanting to me than anything," says Brad Bowles who is planning to surprise his partner with a secret wedding.

For Dwight and Sandy getting hitched after a hike in the mountains was even better than eloping.

"There was no stress for Sandy and I wanted her to relax and just be able to enjoy the day and not have to worry about it," says Dwight. For Sandy the day was perfect, "It was out of a fairy tale. It was one the best days of our lives so far."

And who knows how Dwight might surprise Sandy next.



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