What is a sequel wedding?

Rise Hall| Dine Venues | Sequel Wedding | Luxury Wedding

With all the confusion and frustration around wedding planning, we’ve had an increasing number of couples asking about sequel weddings. So what is a sequel wedding?

Essentially a sequel wedding is a wedding in two parts. This could be a small ceremony followed by a larger party either the same day or on another day. Or it might be two entirely separate events.

There are lots of reasons a couple might choose a sequel wedding:

  • Religious or cultural reasons- in some cultures a series of ceremonies is the norm, but sequel weddings also come into play where you have two different cultures marrying. Separate events means both backgrounds can be respected.
  • Second Marriages: For second or subsequent marriages lots of couples choose to keep the ceremony part quite intimate, and then hold a larger celebration for family and friends
  • Destination weddings: if you choose to travel abroad or a long distance for your wedding, you might choose to have a separate celebration locally for friends and family who can’t attend the ceremony. You might also need to have a legal ceremony in the UK due to different marriage regulations.
  • Timings: If you have a deadline to get married, for visa requirements or other reasons, it can be easier to have the legal ceremony first and then arrange a larger celebration afterwards, rather than trying to fit all your planning into a tight schedule.
  • Geographical spread: If your family and friends are spread around the globe it can be easier to have a number of celebrations in different locations than try to agree on a time and place that suits everyone!


With everything that’s happening in 2020 more and more couples are opting for a sequel wedding, whether that’s so that they can get married sooner and within restrictions, or because of travel restrictions affecting their plans.

Even if you weren’t planning on getting married in 2020, a sequel wedding might be something to consider. With so many ceremonies postponed until 2021 many venues are very busy and you may not be able to get the date and numbers you want. A smaller ceremony in 2021, possibly on a weekday, followed by a larger celebration in 2022 gives you more flexibility.

The added advantage is that with a sequel wedding you get double the celebrations! You can even have two entirely different themes for your wedding! Typically, one might be formal and one much more casual- so for example you might have an afternoon tea for your small ceremony and then a larger sit-down affair for the larger celebration. Or you might do the opposite, and have a lavish banquet for a few guests, and then an informal party for larger numbers.

Some things to think about if you are planning a sequel wedding:

  • Let guests know what is happening- unless you are planning an elopement, letting guests know your plans is best. Most guests will understand your concern for their health and your desire to get married, and appreciate you can’t invite everyone to both
  • Consider the budget- two weddings will cost more than one, especially when it comes to venue hire! You can save money by choosing mid-week or out of season dates (winter and autumn rather than summer). These can be just as special as peak summer dates, and you are likely to have more choice too.
  • Consider the guests’ expenses- it’s expensive to attend a wedding, especially if overnight stays and travel are required, so judge carefully if you are asking some people to attend both weddings. You can help by choosing an informal theme for one of them, so at least guests don’t need two outfits. Or keep your attendants at the first ceremony to family only, and have your best man and bridesmaids at the other ceremony.

If you’d like more help and advice planning your wedding, drop us a line here!


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