Saying ‘I Do’ – Part Deux
Sequels often get a bad reputation for never living up to the original. While that might be true for books and movies, the same cannot be said for weddings.
Not to be confused with a second marriage, the sequel wedding is “when a couple chooses to host a second wedding ceremony after they’ve been legally married. The second celebration can be a full-blown wedding ceremony, or it might be more of a blessing of the marriage, followed by a reception or party,” explains Amy Nichols, lead planner for Intimate I Dos by Amy Nichols Special Events in San Francisco.
While the idea is certainly not new, the sequel wedding has increased dramatically in popularity this year as many couples have changed their wedding plans due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Many couples have various reasons for wanting or needing to get married now -- whether it’s because of a military deployment, wanting to get married before living together, before starting a family, etc. – some people simply don’t want to wait until 2021 to get married. That said, these couples still want to have a proper celebration, with the solemnity of a wedding ceremony, as part of that celebration,” says Nichols.
If you and your partner are part of the “marry now, party later” mentality, here’s what you need to know about planning a sequel wedding.
1. You get the best of both worlds
Can’t choose between a small, intimate ceremony with your nearest and dearest and a big bash with all your friends? With a sequel wedding, you can have both!
“Having a sequel wedding enables you to include all of your extended friends & family who may not have been able to attend your first wedding or micro wedding. This enables them to feel like they’re part of your big moment, even though you’re legally already married,” says Nichols.
2. You can take your time.
Planning a wedding is stressful. Planning two weddings sounds like it would be even more stressful, but that’s not necessarily the case.
“One of the things about doing a sequel wedding is that you’ve already done the legal stuff. You’ve already done the act of actually getting married – the paperwork, the financial aspect, the technical reasons people get married. That’s all out of the way. You don’t have to be burdened with that,” says Danielle Rothweiler, lead planner for Rothweiler Event Design in New Jersey.
So, with the actual “marriage” part of the equation already, you have the freedom to plan the sequel wedding you want without the extra pressure or rush.
3. You won’t save any money
Of course, hosting two weddings means you’re paying for two weddings.
“It’s still going to be expensive. It’s still going to be X per person. So, don’t expect to walk out of a micro-wedding for $500 just because you’re going to throw a $60,000 down on a sequel wedding. The prices aren’t going to change,” says Rothweiler.
In other words, be prepared to budget accordingly or take the extra time between weddings to save up.
4. You should make the weddings distinct
It defeats the purpose of a sequel wedding to hold the same event twice. So, be sure to think about what your priorities are for each wedding.
Maybe you want to elope in an adventurous location and then do a larger, more traditional ceremony later. Or perhaps, like a wedding attended by Nichols, your first wedding is tiny and religious while the second is a blessing ceremony outdoors.
Either way, you want both weddings to be special and memorable.
5. You don’t have to go big
“Just because you can suddenly have 500 people at your wedding – do you know 500 people that you actually want to spend the day with? Probably not,” says Rothweiler. “Couples shouldn’t feel any sort of pressure to do this big, crazy, blowout, like ‘yay, COVID is over.’ Because then it becomes about the pandemic being over and not about the wedding. It can’t be about that. It still needs to be about the couple.”