Two Weddings? Benefits to Waiting on the Big Ceremony

Casual bride and groom

My husband and I think weddings are so amazing, when it came time for us to get married we decided to have two of them! I know what you’re thinking—why would the same couple have two different ceremonies? It happens more than you realize, although my husband and I didn’t know it at the time. Fresh out of graduate school, we were both inundated with school loans and neither of our families had the means to pay for a large wedding, nor did we want to ask them to. Instead of taking out more loans, we opted for a smaller, much more intimate and less expensive wedding with plans for a larger ceremony later. For us, this was the perfect solution. We’ve since spoken with numerous couples who have done the exact same thing because, unsurprisingly, there are actually several benefits to waiting on the big ceremony.

Responsible Budgeting

Piggy bank with veil

Setting a budget for your wedding and sticking to it can be very difficult, but the younger you are when trying to get married, the harder it is. With so many people in their 20s and 30s sinking under student loan debt, having savings is almost unheard of, which makes it almost impossible to pay for a big wedding (especially when they’re so expensive).

As I’ve already mentioned, the main reason my husband and I decided to have two weddings was financial. We set aside a small amount to pay for our first ceremony and scheduled the second one for a year and a half later. This allowed us plenty of time to then save up for and plan the much larger wedding of our dreams. Having a larger ceremony later, after saving together, is a great way for you to limit the financial burden when you’re younger without having to wait on being married.

Sense of Accomplishment

Not only is saving up to pay for the big ceremony easier on the budget, it also creates a sense of accomplishment for you and your significant other. My husband and I made the very conscious decision not to ask for financial assistance. We were in it together and that meant paying for our wedding together. It wasn’t easy, but once we established how much we wanted to spend the second go-around, we made a savings plan that ensured we had it when we needed it. Years later, we’re still extremely happy with the decision. Even if your families can offer financial assistance, there’s something very special about knowing that the two of you made the dream happen on your own.

Variety of Experiences

Bride and groom on a carousel

There are lots of options when it comes to planning your perfect wedding and it’s sometimes hard to make the final decisions. Are you and your honey-to-be at odds about some of your details? Maybe you can’t decide between a spring and a fall ceremony? Does one of you want a big wedding while the other prefers a small, intimate gathering? Well, maybe you don’t have to choose. Another benefit of planning two ceremonies is that you can vary the experiences, especially since your first will usually be something very small. For example, my husband and I had a summer wedding followed by a winter wedding and an intimate gathering followed by a traditional celebration. You could also plan one of your ceremonies as an outdoor event and choose an indoor venue for the second one. If you plan properly, you can experience the best of all your wedding dreams!

Opportunity for More Guests to Be Involved

Wedding ceremony

Unfortunately, not all of your closest friends and family can always make it to a single event. If there are two ceremonies, however, there’s a significantly greater chance the people you want there the most can attend at least one of them. This was another contributing factor in our decision, as my uncle lives in another country and visits only once every five to ten years. We were able to have our first ceremony when he was in the country and, while we certainly missed him at the larger one later, he was still very much a part of our marriage. On a similar note, some older guests, like grandparents and great grandparents, may find it difficult to travel long distances. If your two families live in different cities or states, having one ceremony often means leaving someone important out. To ensure the involvement of all of your elderly loved ones, you can plan both your gatherings different locations that are more accessible for them.

Two Anniversaries!

Seriously, who doesn’t like the idea of celebrating each other more? Double the dates means double the fun! If, for example, you’re busy for the summer date, you can make sure to clear our calendars for the winter date. This also allows for more flexibility when planning celebratory travel. Some places simply aren’t suited to winter visits, while others are too hot in the summer. Of course, you don’t have to set two different dates; you can always choose to have your second ceremony on the same date as your first. This won’t give you two anniversaries, but it can make that wedding/anniversary date extra special.

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