Practical jokes at a wedding are risky business. Tension is high, nerves are strained and you never know what hornet's nest you might be stepping in to. On the other hand, a really great joke can help calm tensions and make for a memorable day. In honor of April Fool's Day we asked some wedding professionals to share their stories of wedding day practical jokes.

Wedding planner Stephanie Eckweiler of The Finishing Touch tells of a couple who won a wedding from a contest, the catch being that it had to be planned in eight weeks. The groom took advantage of this rushed time frame to pull a prank on the officiant. He told the officiant that he had been too rushed and he wasn't sure if they should go through with the wedding.

Pranking your officiant about cold feet is one thing, but planner Tracie Domino tells of a bride who had herself "checked in" at an airport on Facebook with the message, "I'm out of here" right before the wedding. Sandy Malone of Weddings in Vieques had a client who went one step farther. The bride did not show up at the altar, only to arrive via helicopter a few minutes later. The prank was especially effective because the groom was well known as being the more adventurous of the two.

bride in helicopter at wedding

beach wedding groom celebrates

(photo credit: Weddings in Vieques)

Domino tells of another couple who decided to shock guests by having "She's Having My Baby" as their first dance song (the bride was not pregnant).

DJ Michael Swerdloff helped a couple prank one of their groomsmen. The man apparently had a fear of public speaking and Swerdloff was instructed to hand him the mic after the Best Man and Maid of Honor toasts. Once he realized that it was a joke, he took it well.

Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer of Pure Luxe Bride remembers during the height of the "icing" craze a bride hiding a Smirnoff Ice in her garter. When the groom went to remove the garter he was "iced" forcing him to down the drink at the moment.

practical joke at wedding

Several pros mentioned a wedding trend gaining in popularity that is almost a prank itself, the surprise wedding. A couple invite guests to what they assume is a normal party only to have it turn out to be a wedding.

One of the keys to pulling of a successful wedding day prank is to have the help of a wedding planner or other professional. Not only will the professional be able to make sure things go smoothly, he or she can give you a gentle heads up if what you're suggesting is a really bad idea.

What do you think? Would you take well to a prank at a wedding? What if you were the bride or groom?