We all know the marriage isn’t official until it’s made known on Facebook. Sure, it’s a fun joke with friends for many Las Vegas brides. But for Mark Zuckerberg, founder of social media site Facebook.com and inspiration for The Social Network film, that relationship update mantra couldn’t have been truer!

This last Saturday on May 19, 2012, Mark Zuckerberg and college sweetheart Priscilla Chan wed in a private ceremony that no one expected until the marriage announcement was made on Zuckerberg’s Facebook Timeline. Although even guests assumed they had come to California to celebrate Chan’s graduation from medical school, this surprise wedding still included plenty of planning and many opportunities for the long-time couple to display their personalities.

Facebook timeline Mark Zuckerberg marries Priscilla Chan
Since Saturday's wedding, fans and friends have congratulated Zuckerberg through the means he created: Facebook.

So, what can a Las Vegas bride learn from this recent wedding? Aside from using the bait-and-switch party idea to surprise your guests and reduce pre-wedding press, let’s explore inspiration from the Zuckerberg wedding that any couple can incorporate for their special days.

1. Only invite your family and closest friends. According to The Washington Post, Zuckerberg and Chan chose to invite fewer than 100 people for an intimate occasion in Zuckerberg’s backyard. Likewise, you might have 300+ friends on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean everyone deserves an invitation to your wedding. Be selective with whom you’d like to share your special day.

2. Don’t publicize every detail on Facebook. Social media sites are a great way to connect with friends and family. But as Zuckerberg and Chan discovered, not all information is meant to be shared. If your Friends lists and followers include people who won’t be invited to the big day, then don’t rub it in their faces. Keep wedding planning updates and brags to personal conversations with friends.

Bride and groom smile and walk hand-in-hand
Congratulations, Priscilla and Mark!

3. Forget the trends. This season states that gray is the new black for grooms’ tuxedos. Well, Mr. Zuckerberg just prefers navy blue. Brides, rather than play by the trends, let your groom wear his favorite neutral color for his tux. Then spice up his look with accessories (or characteristic lack thereof).

4. Think beyond the typical wedding menu. Classic catered chicken dishes didn’t reflect Chan and Zuckerberg’s culinary tastes, so instead they served courses from Palo Alto’s Fuki Sushi, their favorite restaurant. Similarly, ask your caterer to customize your wedding menu to reflect your preferences too.

5. Celebrate your beginnings. When Chan and Zuckerberg met at Harvard College, they ate mice-shaped, chocolate truffles on one of their first dates. In an ode to their dating years, they presented guests with similar desserts from Burdick Chocolates. Give a similar nod to you and your fiancé’s dating years, and include a detail or two that will hearken to the moments when it all began.

Las Vegas brides, as you’re planning your own weddings, remember to keep that day in perspective. Even as Zuckerberg and Chan’s wedding approached, the couple continued moving forward in their professional endeavors, with Chan’s graduation from medical school and Zuckerberg’s meeting with Wall Street investors. Brides, take this as inspiration. During this wedding planning phase of life, know it’s okay to focus on additional dreams too. Plan what you can and enjoy the personal touch for the big day. But don’t sweat the small stuff, and get excited for a lifetime of special days you two will soon share!

Author: Allyson Siwajian

Photographs: Allyson Magda of Allyson Magda Photography

Information courtesy of The Washington Post’s “Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan: How they pulled off their surprise wedding” by Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger