Post # 1
We have decided that we are going to have 2 weddings because our families live far apart. We cannot expect everyone to travel, so we are going to them.
We will invite 55 guests for the one wedding and 30 guests for the other. We plan to do both the ceremony and reception twice.
Are there any brides who have done this? If so, is there any advise you could give such as things to remember or look out for etc?
Any advise would be greatly appreciated!
Post # 2
this seems like a very difficult thing to do and it’s gonna cost is so much… Any chance you can meet mid-way? We have families living very far apart and friends all over the world, so we opted for a small wedding with closets ones mid-way (like 20ppls). It was really nice.
Post # 3
I personally think weddings are about bringing together two families and two sets of friends and making them one. So I kind of think the point is to bring them all together, get to know each other and create one big family and friendship group.
Also, there will only be one “Real” Wedding, which is the legal/religous one(which ever is more important to you). If you decide to do two, make sure you don’t have the other people feel left out, or less important than the group that you chose to be the people that got to see the real wedding.
Post # 4
We did this. Immediate families attended both but otherwise guests came locally. Although we are not doing the ceremony twice, so really we had the “real” wedding and then we’ll have a 2nd reception in his country.
It was very easy to plan. Everyone invited to the 2nd reception were also invited to the full wedding, but due to distance and expense none came (we expected that — hence the 2nd reception). Only immediate family on my side were invited to the 2nd reception from the “real” wedding since nobody is going to pay 3k+ to come to a second reception when they already attended the full wedding.
I am not wearing my wedding dress again since our 2nd reception is much more laid back (per husband’s wishes). I’vé purchased a short ivory dress to wear. We also won’t have a DJ at the second wedding as DH’s side of the family are not dancers, so we’ll just have ambient background music. It will be more of a relaxed food-focused atmosphere rather than a big party like the wedding was.
I’m glad that they are completely different since I can enjoy them as two distinct events rather than feeling like we’re simply recreating our wedding all over again.
Post # 5
Forgive me if I’m ignorant – I’m not completely up-to-date with the law, but I thought you could only do the official ceremony once? Like where you sign the papers… I could be wrong, but if you can only do one official ceremony which wedding are you going to do it for? And could this potentially create drama as one side of the family may feel like the got the short end of the straw not being witness to the legitimate ceremony?
Edit: my bad, a PP already mentioned this.
Post # 6
Ehh.. I mean, the first one is your wedding. That’s when you get married. If you want to do a second one for show, that’s your call, but personally, I’d be less inclined to go. I like going to see a couple get married — and that’s the first ceremony. If I didn’t live near that and get invited, I’d be a little miffed.
Post # 7
We are hesitant to meet half way because then every single guest is going to have to spend money on travel, accommodation etc and I think that’s a bit unfair to ask.
Post # 8
Yes, you are right regarding the law. The second one won’t have any signing of papers etc.
Post # 9
The reality is that a large majority of the 30 people in the one location can’t afford to travel. So if we had the wedding in that location, we would be asking the 50 people from the other location to travel which isn’t fair either.
Post # 10
Yes, ours will be very different too. Our families are completely different.
Post # 11
You’ll get a fair number of comments here on the boar on guests being insulted or upset at not being invited or able to attend the “real” wedding. I was worried about this, but in reality have had zero issues with it.
Maybe I’m just lucky that I have incredibly loving and supportive people in my life, but all of our guests were just thrilled that we were hosting an event nearby to them that allowed them to share in our happiness of marrying and to show their support for our committment to one another.
Post # 12
Just an fyi, the popular opinion at the bee is “you only have one wedding”. SO and I will also be having 2 ceremonies. I don’t even wanna use the term “wedding” here because people will say something otherwise. The reason we are doing this is because the first ceremony is by a judge which is necessary for government papers (in my hometown). The second one is in a church by a priest for religious/spiritual reasons (in his hometown). In his country, it is by law you are married via the government first to have the marriage recognized. The state and church ceremonies are separated in many countries. I was not even aware before the bees that there are strong opinions against calling it 2 weddings because no one ever called me out in real life. I just differentiate our 2 ceremonies by calling it “government wedding” and “church wedding” when I talk to friends and family. No one batted an eye, at least not in front of my face. And yes, we will also be having 2 separate receptions followed by both ceremonies because we don’t expect people from both sides to travel that far one way or the other. You should do what works best in your situation. And I don’t see anything wrong with what you are planning to do. As stressful enough as planning one event can be, I think it’s thoughtful that the both of you decided to have 2 ceremonies & 2 receptions to accommodate everyone. And you are not asking the majority of your guests to travel.
Post # 13
There is nothint wrong with having two weddings, especially in your situation. You have your guests best interest at heart.
My advice is (if asked) is to genuinely explain to people that you and your fiance consider both your weddings to be equal in your hearts as you are taking vows in front of your loved ones in both cases. There is no need to hide which one is the legal one but don’t make a big deal out of it.
Post # 14
A cousin of mine did this and it was lovely. Her legal wedding was in the UK, where she and her husband and all her husband’s family live. Then they flew to the midwest and had a different, but totally lovely commitment ceremony (dress and all) and then a reception.
Sure, in theory, weddings are about bringing the two families together. But for her both sides of the family just did not have the money to fly across the world.
Post # 15
Not exactly the same thing, but a couple of my cousins got married abroad for different reasons. Both of them had a very small ceremony with the legal paperwork, with just their closest family there. Then they came home and did the big reception, wedding dress, etc. They both had some sort of ceremony at the reception. They were both very clear with the extended family that this is what they would do and why, and no one was offended.