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All About Sequel Weddings

couple holding hands getting married by the officiant at the altar surrounded by the bridal party on either sides in an outdoor wedding ceremony setup

The anatomy of engagements and weddings has changed significantly over the last one year more than it has probably changed in a decade. While the pandemic has posed a major challenge for our love-struck couples, they have found loopholes, re-routes, and short-cuts to ensure that their love is not compromised. With a global pandemic on one side and the relentless couples on the other, we came across several terms this year that proved to be revolutionary in our wedding history, and left us inspired. Options like minimonies, elopements, sequel weddings, etc. Not only provided the couples with a whole lot of flexibility and options, but it has also permanently changed the structure of the weddings and made it more personal and open-ended. Talking of the new terms which we are slowly getting to know better, one such term is a sequel wedding. If you are new to this term, sit back, because this is precisely what this blog is about! Talking of sequel weddings, it is nothing but the second half of the equation, with the first half being the minimony, micro wedding, or an elopement, which is a small and intimate wedding celebration nature followed by a larger-scale second wedding, which generally involves a grand reception party. Whether the purpose of a multi-part wedding is a global pandemic, religious ceremonies, location, or convenience, a sequel wedding allows room for customization, with the constriction of cramming all the events and ceremonies in one single day and making it memorable at the end of the day.

Why choose a sequel wedding?

Sequel weddings offer flexibility and time, something which is crucial in many different scenarios when it comes to a wedding. Some of the time-sensitive and delicate scenarios which may demand a sequel wedding are listed below:

•  A pandemic:

As this is certainly not something that crops into our mind instantly, it is something that needs to be considered in the list, especially after the year we just had. With social restrictions in the air due to a  pandemic out there, your dreams for a perfect wedding might be stored away until the coast clears.

•  Destination weddings:

Destination weddings often come with lavish travel agendas, and in most cases, couples who decide to throw a small celebration for good friends and family may not have made this guest list for the destination wedding. So, a sequel wedding permits for the larger party and celebrations to take place at home while ensuring every guest gets included in the celebrations.

•  Interfaith relationships:

When two people from different faiths or cultures fall in love, ceremonies double up and both parties want to include their celebrations, as it is an important day for both. A sequel wedding allows for each faith to be acknowledged and celebrated. Some choose to do this by having the legally-binding ceremony at a registry office and savoring a symbolic ceremony ensuring the inclusion of both faiths in the ceremony.

•  Close ones:

People in our lives matter and their inclusion in our special days means a lot when it comes to the most special day of our lives. If there is someone special in your life who is sick or an elderly relative who cannot travel to visit your larger celebrations, a sequel wedding will allow you to accommodate the needs of these special people who you really want to be present at your wedding.

•  Travel restrictions:

A sequel wedding is perfect for a couple who need legal papers sooner or if you and your partner are from different nationalities and it’s not possible for you to have everyone you love in the same place at the same time. A sequel wedding will allow you to adjust the time and the travel limitations of your guests.

•  Finances:

Perhaps you just want to be married, but now is financially not the best time you can throw the dream wedding you have always hoped for. Many couples choose to have the private, legal ceremony with just their closest relatives and friends and wait until it is more financially stable to finally throw the big party they’ve been daydreaming about.

How to go about hosting a sequel wedding?

•  Commit:

While you might have always thought you will have one grand celebration, and a sequel wedding is not your first choice, it is encouraged that you feel mentally ready and actually commit to a sequel wedding. This might be an entirely new territory you are navigating, so remind yourself to not get overwhelmed or apprehensive about how things are. You will be overcoming new and unique hurdles and it might feel frustrating, but it is important to enjoy the wedding planning process.

•  Fix your Budget:

Double the event does not necessarily have to sum up to double the financial investment. If you are going in for a smaller event followed by a bigger one, your total financial number shouldn’t look much different than what you were to spend on a complete one-day celebration. To avoid going over your budget, there are certain things the couple needs to keep in mind.

•Decide on a total budget for both events.
•Decide on your priorities for each ceremonial event. This will help you decide exactly what money should go where.
•Consider your guests’ budgets and convenience.

•  Meet your Vendors:

As soon as you’re set on a sequel wedding and have an idea of your new budget, the next step is to meet your vendors and decide on the logistics. If your sequel wedding is a result of a postponement, you might want to ask about their postponement policies and make a final call on which you want at the first ceremony and which will better serve the latter. Once you are both sure that the vendors are available for your new date too, lock them in and you are ready to move into the next step.

•  Separate Guest Lists:

The next step is equally important and it is best to keep things simple. Keep your original guest list for the second wedding and invite only immediate family to the first. Sure there will be some overlapping as you will want your immediate family and closest of friends to be attending both the events. This is also a time to take into consideration the convenience of your guess. Are they available, healthy, and comfortable with attending? Also, you are not obligated to invite anyone for your first ceremony and make it as intimate as you like!

•  Inform The Guests:

Once the vendors and guest lists are both finalized, you can start announcing and inviting. It is best to start the invitations as early as possible so that your guests can plan their arrival accordingly. You can also use your wedding website for blasting a mass invite to your general guests, as it is easier to keep things on track through it.

What does the small wedding look like?

•  Elopement:

An elopement is the most private wedding of them all, traditionally consisting of just the couple, officiants, and 2 witnesses. However, an elopement can extend to being a handful of witnesses. The witnesses can just be your best man and the maid of honor and you can also extend it to your parents if you want. Anybody who can’t make it can join the celebrations via a livestream.

•  Minimony:

Minimony, a term coined during COVID-19, is something that has become incredibly prevalent. A small ceremony which can either be legal or symbolic, with just a select few witnesses, with a bigger celebration held on the date of your postponed wedding. Many will identify a minimony as being a celebration with a legal limit of people who can tend a wedding in their country under prevailing restrictions and those who couldn’t be there in person will be present via a livestream.

•  Micro-wedding:

A micro-wedding is a wedding with less than 20 guests, which is a good enough number for a ceremony as well as a small reception. A microwedding leaves things open-ended, enabling you to take a call on whether you want to host a bigger reception later or not. You can either be okay with having those few close people on your special day, or you can go ahead and have a grander celebration at a later day.

What happens after the smaller celebration?

•If having a small wedding was never a first choice in the first place, it might be disappointing to find that you can’t celebrate immediately. So you will need to go that extra mile to ensure that the first 24 hours as a newlywed is special and perfect. This can give you something to look forward to which is at a closer date.

A virtual celebration with your guests can be a good idea too, as it keeps them informed that they are in your thoughts and you are choosing to share this special milestone with them, even if it is virtually and not in person. There are several different ways you can include guests who are unable to attend, including bespoke food services, virtual lunches, and more.

•Having a definite date to look forward to helps. So make sure that you don’t have a smaller wedding without having a date in mind for the bigger celebration. Having clarity of thought, along with a sense of expectancy lets you and your guests know that the celebrations are not yet over and there is more excitement on the way. This way you have something to look forward to.

•Generally one of the weddings is more formal than the other., so you need to decide which one is going to be. You can either choose for a formal church wedding with an informal backyard reception on a later date. On the other hand, you can have a more informal small wedding with a formal reception, whichever works for you.

•Make sure are constantly in touch with your guests until the bigger celebration arrives, whether it is through virtual meetups, group chats, and more so that everybody is equally pumped up and looking forward to part 2 of your wedding day! Send in reminders, and separate invites for both the events, so that the second event is equally prominent in their minds and doesn’t slip away.

•Don’t get caught up in the rules. relax. This is new and everyone is figuring stuff out, with no reference from the past. The point is to have fun, and not stress every step of the way. No matter what are the hurdles, you will find a way to work around them, and when the day ends, it is sure to be absolutely beautiful, just like you imagined.

•The focus is to double the celebration. Don’t go into it with the perspective of compromise. You are not losing your dream wedding, you will be in fact getting two special days, both equally perfect. And with the change in perspective, even the most intimate of celebrations will be special.

Why stop at one celebration, when we can have two (or three?)! With the sequel weddings, the intricate wedding ceremonies can be spread out over the days, making sure it is more convenient for the couple, along with ensuring that the party continues, allowing the couple to extend the wedding celebration further. More is more when it comes to the millennial generation celebrations and a sequel wedding is surely about going big or going home! While sequel weddings have been around for long, especially in inter-cultural weddings, where the couple hosts two wedding ceremonies in two different cultural aspects, or even in two different locations, it has taken a new avatar during the recent year and has made a fresh new appearance. While Covid-19 has forced restrictions on our to-be-wed couples, the couples are warming up to flexible resorts like sequel weddings, where they can have an intimate ceremony first and can celebrate with the extensive guest list in a more extensive reception later on! Sounding like a perfect plan for a pandemic wedding, a sequel wedding sure made it easier for couples to plan and execute their weddings, and make it just as memorable.

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