One Couple, Two Weddings: Multiple Celebrations Accommodate Everyone
Call it split, non-traditional or destination— one wedding can be celebrated numerous times. And why not? PLUS: Wedding photos from Sarah and Javier Acuna’s celebrations.
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Some couples may just want to get married sooner rather than later. They may want to reap the benefits of better health insurance coverage. Or, a couple may choose to wed before one of them leaves for military duty. It’s Aunt Ethel who has ideas about the bridesmaid dress color, but it’s Uncle Sam who often determines when a military wedding takes place. Parties, these couples know, can always come later.
Regret can sometimes lead to more than one wedding. A brilliant idea to visit that Elvis impersonator in Vegas years earlier can leave a couple (and their families) wanting a church ceremony, traditional reception and a leather-bound wedding album. While the altar of love served its purpose years earlier, the altar at the couple’s church is pulling them to do it all over again. Miles says: “They eloped and now they feel gypped.”
Regardless of the reason, split weddings make up a growing portion of U.S. weddings held annually. According to TheWeddingReport.com, that number totals more than two million every year. While they may not be as huge a trend as reception lounges or panoramic wedding portraits, split weddings are “definitely something we are seeing,” Miles says. But, be forewarned, if you choose to have two events, a game of 20 questions will begin the moment you announce your plans.
Lazos remembers frequently being asked which wedding she would deem more important. And, people wanted to know when she and Pete would celebrate their anniversary. “We put value on both weddings and we chose our Greek wedding as our anniversary.” No, their friends and family don’t have to shop for two anniversary cards.
Furthermore, expect questions as to which one is the “real” wedding, Miles says. “Find out what people mean by the question and go from there. Or, you can evade the question altogether by reminding everyone how excited you are about both events and restating your reason for having two.” Be clear about why you are doing it and what your expectations are. If you are having one wedding in India, for example, make it clear that you don’t expect people to trek across the world to get there.
Being open and honest will ensure others that you’re planning two weddings for the right reason. Most likely, to accommodate others and to have everyone you love with you for the most important days of your life. You’re not “milking it,” expecting two gifts or selfishly seeking more glory. Instead, you’re making an unselfish choice.