The Dos and Don’ts of Throwing a Sequel Wedding

Over the last year, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the landscape of weddings. But it’s also brought with it new ideas – and even new vocabulary! For example, ‘minimonies’, ‘micro weddings’, and of course, the ‘sequel wedding’. Now, as events slowly start to open up again, couples are turning their thoughts to planning these events. But what IS a sequel wedding? And how do you plan one?

A sequel wedding is essentially a term for a second wedding celebration where the couple has decided to go ahead with a smaller ceremony earlier on, in order to comply with COVID-19 regulations. It has many advantages. For example, a couple don’t have to wait to be legally married but can still enjoy the big celebration with family and friends they have always dreamed of. And it’s not just about the pandemic. For example, international couples have often planned a small legal ceremony with one or more celebrations in their home countries.

Of course, planning a sequel wedding isn’t exactly like a traditional one. There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. Here are some key sequel wedding planning dos and don’ts to get you started!

DO use the same suppliers when possible. Unless your first and sequel weddings will take place in different places, it’s a good idea to work with the same team if possible. It will allow for a sense of continuity between the two events. Even if the details are different, you’ll want them to be cohesive. Using the same photographer and videographer is especially important, as you may wish to create a single video or album. Booking vendors for both events will also make it easier to negotiate transfers of any deposits you have already paid. Plus, you aren’t starting from zero with a team you’re comfortable with.

DON’T work from a single guest list. While there will be some overlap between the guests at both events, it’s important to create each list separately. There are always family dynamics to take into account and decisions over who to keep and who to cut. It doesn’t matter which list you start with, but do work on them separately. As a matter of etiquette, everyone invited to a minimony should also receive a sequel wedding invite. However, you can make it clear that they are not obliged to attend both, if they prefer not to.

DO allow enough budget for two events. Two weddings will cost more than one. Of course, there are many ways you can cut or stretch the budget for both events. However, it’s important to have a realistic budget up-front. The good news is that there’s no real-time limit on a sequel wedding, so you can give yourselves a few more months to save.

DON’T be afraid to make your own rules. To some degree, we’re all making it up as we go along right now. And the good news about that is that you can craft a sequel wedding that suits you. Don’t like a tradition? Ditch it. Have an idea for a unique order of events? It’s up to you. Think about your ideal wedding experience and then create it!

DO pick your priorities. It’s always a good idea to focus on two or three priorities for any wedding. So make sure you discuss these for both events. For example, food may be top priority at a micro wedding, while music may be more important at a sequel wedding. Knowing what matters most will help you allocate your budget more effectively.

DON’T assume guests are familiar with the concept of a sequel wedding. While they’re becoming commonplace for 2021 and 2022, many of your guests won’t have attended a sequel wedding before. It can all be a little confusing! Be sure to provide details on your invitations or wedding website, such as dresscode. It’s also important to choose your wording carefully.

DO make your sequel wedding different from your first wedding. It can be a good idea to distinguish your sequel wedding visually, as well as in level of formality. Not only does this give you more creative freedom, it gives you something fresh and exciting to look forward to. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have some cohesive elements. For example, you could infuse a color or motif across both events. But it’s also fun to add completely unique touches! Also, consider aspects like wearing a different wedding dress.

DON’T forget the ceremony. It’s important to decide early on if you will have any sort of ceremony at your sequel wedding. Some couples prefer to focus on the dance party, while others will want some kind of symbolic exchange of vows for all their guests to witness. The good thing is that, since you’re already legally wed, you have the freedom to make this aspect of the day anything you want it to be!

I can’t wait to see big celebrations of love again, especially after so many months of social distancing. Here’s to the sequel wedding!


Image by Amy and Stuart Photography