I was a guest at a surprise wedding. I really like weddings and the build-up to them, so I felt a bit disappointed that I'd missed all that. The event was billed as a BBQ engagement party, so I really wasn't dressed for a wedding.
The party was at her parents' farm, so buses were brought in to bus all guests to the church in town, about 15 minutes away. Because the party was supposed to start at 5pm, they left the buses until 7pm to allow everyone time to be late. By the time everyone got on the buses, got us to town and started the wedding, it was after 7.30. The ceremony was a full Catholic mass, and by the time everyone got back to the party venue it was close to 9, we didn't eat until close to 10.
The couple went and had photos done after the ceremony, so no-one really saw them until the meal started, then they did speeches etc, which ended up in a much later evening than I had been planning. Being pregnant at the time, I struggled with not eating until that late, even though there had been nibblies earlier, 10pm was far too late.
I don't think you can have it both ways. You either do the whole BWW thing, scheduling it properly, or you do a quick ceremony, and on with the party. This was someone just wanting to be quirky, but wanting the whole 'wedding' regalia as well. It just didn't work.