Double weddings are rare, but there are times when they are the perfect solution. If a pair of sisters become engaged around the same time, there can be a bitter dispute about which girl gets to have her wedding first, whether the two weddings are of equal importance to the family, and so on. One way to eliminate the struggles over dates and the fairness of the weddings is to hold one joint wedding followed by a fabulous reception.
It is not always just practical concerns that make a double wedding a good idea. If a pair of sisters are particularly close, they may love the idea of sharing such a special day together. Double weddings are also sometimes done when two cousins are as close as sisters. Very rarely would you plan a double wedding where the two brides were not relatives.
One of the biggest advantages to a double wedding is the finances. To hold one big wedding will be considerably more affordable than hosting two medium sized weddings. A double wedding will not end up being twice the size, because if you think about it, you would have invited many of the same relatives to the two individual events. On top of that, you have only one venue fee, one photographer, and so forth.
The invitation should indicate that the wedding will be for two couples. That way, your guests will not be surprised to be witnesses to a pair of marriage vows. The wording for the invitation is similar to a single wedding, only with the addition of a second pair of names. By the way, the oldest sister is listed first. The invitation should read “Mr. And Mrs. James Smith / request the honour of your presence (or pleasure of your company for a non-religious ceremony) / at the marriage of their daughters / Cordelia Elizabeth / to / Mr. Alexander Talbot / and / Courtney Leigh / to / Mr. Joseph Kent…etc. The rest of the details would be the same as a standard wedding invitation.
The ceremony can be arranged either as two consecutive services, or a combined one. If the vows are done separately, each sister can be the other one's maid of honor. A dual ceremony would feature the older sister on her father's arm and the younger being escorted by another male relative, such as an uncle or a brother. The older sister and her attendants go down the aisle before the younger sister. Then the vows are exchanged in turn. This might be a more efficient arrangement, and would keep the service to a more manageable length for your guests.
Although the wedding can be of any size, it will naturally end up on the larger side because there will be twice as many attendants, not to mention the friends and family of both grooms. To make the event come together as a whole, the brides will need to have a fairly similar vision of what the wedding should look like. If two sisters have drastically different taste, it would be wise not to attempt a double wedding.
To create a harmonious look, the attire of the two bridal parties should be similar. For example, each set of bridesmaids will have their own dress, but they should be of a comparable style and formality. Because there will be photographs of the entire group, it would be nice if the bridesmaids' gowns were in colors that look attractive together. To tie the look of the wedding party together, the brides could give their attendants coordinating bridesmaid jewelry sets. You could design bridesmaid jewelry sets that combine Swarovski crystals in the colors of both dresses. It would be a really pretty effect.
The reception for a double wedding will have all the same elements as for one pair of newlyweds, only they will be done twice. If the couples can agree on a first dance song, they could choose to do it at the same time. If not, they would go one after the other (maybe the older sister could let her little sister get the first turn). Each bride will certainly want her own cake to cut, as well. To keep the reception from feeling like two separate events being held at the same time, intermingle the guests from both groups when you arrange the seating. It will make for more interesting conversation, and add to the festive spirit of the day.
Having a double wedding is a unique way that two sisters can share one of the happiest days of their lives. If you and your sister have dreamed of your weddings since childhood, this could be a way to fulfill those childhood fantasies. Planning a wedding in conjunction with another bride will definitely provide plenty of opportunity to practice a skill that you will need for a successful marriage – compromise.
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