(Closed) Is it weird to have a 2nd ceremony?

posted 9 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 17
1326 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Tre Bella, Mesa, AZ

We did two, but only because our state wouldn’t marry us, so we went to a state that would for the legalalities 2 months prior to our wedding. If we’d had the choice, we would not have done it this way since it was an added cost and no one was there but us and a judge. We consider our second ceremony our real (and spiritual) ceremony, and we had our minister make that clear in the wording of the ceremony.

I think if you want to do both, that’s fine, but also keep in mind your costs are going to increase because you’ll be (assumingly) doing everything as if it was real: paying an officiant, doing some type of unity/binding, booking a church or ceremony site, set up, etc.

I’ve read plenty of bees posting about this and asking for feedback because their first legal Justice of the Peace ceremony would be for practical reasons (insurance, finances, etc.), but they are a bit more secretive about it. Most responses I’ve seen in reply to this question are something like “do it if you want since you have good reason.”

All that said, since you did a Destination Wedding, everyone was aware of this, you already had your honeymoon, and especially considering the time gap between the ceremonies, it does seem like you are doing more of a vow renewal than a wedding. Personally, I’d plan a reception and skip the ceremony, or call the ceremony a vow renewal ceremony and make that clear in the wording.

Post # 18
235 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

We’re having one in the States a few years after we have this one, because only one family member can make it, and two friends. We planned that from the start though, as we knew whichever country we picked to have the wedding in, someone would be lacking in guests, it’s just too expensive a flight. We’ll be legally married already, but we’ll still have the ceremony for everyone that couldn’t be there. It’s really important to me, since it’s my family & friends missing the big Irish one soon.

So no, I don’t think it’s weird πŸ™‚

Post # 19
9816 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
@lazybee: I guess not, but I still don’t really get it. But still, do what you want! If you want 2 different wedding experiences, go for it.

Post # 20
3459 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

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@lazybee: Here’s how I see it:
ceremony + party= wedding

party = reception or marriage celebration

Husband and I did not actually have a wedding yet. We just had the ceremony

I disagree with your interpretation, but we don’t actually need to get hung up on the semantics here or agree on it for me to answer your question.

My thoughts are that you already had a ceremony, with just the two of you present, presumably as you wanted.  My ex-bf’s parents had 4 ceremonies (the 4th years later to get the kids into a Catholic school).  My Future Sister-In-Law had 3.  2, 3, 4 (or more)….To me, it’s all the same: One wedding ceremony, many receptions.

1. You are already married at a destination location, so it is a vow renewal. (That’s ok, nothing wrong with it.  But some officiants get very particular about this.)

2. You say they know you are already married, but just want a party.  That’s fine!  You can have a reception, without the ceremony!  That would be great, as a guest I’d love to attend it, and still would do so even without a second ceremony.

3. It’s ultimately your decision of course.  That said, that wasn’t the question – you asked our opinions about doing a second all-out ceremony, so that why I’m giving you my two cents.  πŸ™‚  I would urge a simple brief vow-renewal ceremony to go with your reception.  “It’s going to be unofficial, but should we go all out, down the isle, father giving away, bridesmaids/groomsmen by our sides, or stay with a simple brief ceremony? . . . What are you thoughts on this?”

Post # 21
491 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@lazybee: I think you should do whatever feels right! May I ask what the reasoning was for doing the destination ceremony beforehand? Was it because you didn’t want to go the traditional route, or because you didn’t want to wait?

My husband and I didn’t want to wait, so we eloped and got married at the courthouse! Not gonna go into all the details, but our parents thought we were too young, we are military and wanted to make it official before I moved across the country, blah blah blah. Now, a year later, I am planning the wedding every girl dreams of. Yes, we are already married, but I never got to wear an amazing dress, have my dad walk me down the aisle, have bridesmaids and photographers and/or a reception. Only our parents know, which makes our situation a little easier because we don’t have to worry about people thinking it’s “odd..”   But either way, do what’s right for you! If your parents aren’t into being traditional and aren’t worried about the traditional ceremony, giving you away, etc., but are more concerned about having a public celebration and acknowledgment of your marriage, then a reception will work. If you want to have your traditional day and it means a lot to your parents to have a ceremony, then do the ceremony! In the end you will be married either way and can make whatever you do special. =]

Post # 24
6112 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I think reenacting the whole wedding with a bridal party and all would be a bit weird.  How about just a celebration party?  People like the party part most anyway!  Well, I do.  You could still do a receveing line or entrance announcing your married names.  That’s about as far as I’d go.


Best wishes!

Post # 25
122 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

We had 2 ceremonies and 2 receptions.  My husband is dutch and his mum can’t fly so we had a wedding here in New Zealand which his Dad flew out for and then 8 days later we had another wedding in The Netherlands for all his family and my friends from Europe.

It worked great for us and they were 2 totally different weddings.  Our NZ wedding was in a courtyard at the restaurant and in NL we had a church ceremony.

I wouldn’t change the way we did any of it πŸ™‚

Post # 26
191 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

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@lazybee: The whole things is at my dad & stepmom’s house in the backyard. He & I will walk together, with my sister following…we’ll walk to where my man and his best friend (who is doing the ceremony) will be standing already. Then his friend will do his prepared stuff…again…no exchanging of vows, more a declaration of our marriage w/ some funny annectdotes or something like that (or so I’ve been told by his friend – I’m actually kinda excited to see what he says as he is super creative and quite a jokester himself!). The whole thing will take 5-10 minutes at most. Then we’ll kiss and take a few pics with the families and then have the party! And guess what…anyone who doesn’t get it or thinks it’s weird doesn’t have to come, they can just come for the party later! We mainly want to make sure our parents feel like they are part of our celebration πŸ™‚

Good luck and can’t wait to see pics if you decide to do the second ceremony!

Post # 29
1040 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Not at all. My aunt did this, since a lot of our family is scattered between two cities. We all appreciated it a whole bunch!

Post # 30
28 posts
  • Wedding: November 2012

My fiance and I are moving to Florida next week and having a beach wedding a few days after we get there, with just the 2 of us, the officiant and photographer. We would love to have one big official wedding but timing and moving 12 hours away put a wrench in things you might say. So we are having our wedding on 11-3-11 and on 11-3-12 our one year anniversary we will have the “formal wedding.” So technically it will be a vow renewal, but most everything else will be traditional, my dad walking me down the isle, traditional wedding dress (I have a 2nd dress for the beach wedding), cake, reception, first dance, ect.. We talked about it with some of our closest friends and family and they all were favorable twords the idea. It almost works out better because the ceremony will be more of our vows to each other and words about love and partnership and not so formal and won’t have to be as long, which most of the guys attending are all for. 


But for you, it’s your day, your friends and family will be there to support you and the love and commitment between you guys. My friends are so happy for us and want to be able to celebrate that. Ive had friends that went to the courthouse and said they would have a party later and never did. It made me sad because I felt like I didn’t get a chance to really celebrate with them and share that experience. 


So what if you are already married.. seeing a couple happy and expressing that love is refreshing in these days of breakups and divorce. I say don’t feel silly… like you said if someone just wants to be there for the party then they can come whenever it feels right for them. YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO MAKE EVERYSINGLE PERSON HAPPY. So do what feels right in your heart…

Post # 31
127 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

My situation is similar but different. I have been married for 6 years. I got married in a courthouse and now I am going to get the wedding of my dreams. I am going all out and having my dad walk me down the aisle. I am going to write my vows about the amazing years in the past and the amazing years to come. We are reaffirming our love in front of all our family and friends. My mother says, “well you are already married. why go to all this trouble.” I say kiss my a** because you want what you want. People want different things. Besides if you wanted to experience your first few days of married life with just eachother then leave that to your opinion. I think it is a nice idea to have a ceremony where your dad will walk you down the aisle. Don’t listen to nay sayers. Go with your gut!

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