Sequel weddings have been around for years but haven’t received significant attention until after the pandemic. While the term is swirling around more, not everyone’s sure what exactly it is.
In this blog, we’ll explain what a sequel wedding is and give you all the details to plan and organize one. So, if you recently eloped and are wondering if you can have a second wedding or are planning two events, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s dive right in!
- Sequel weddings are second weddings after a small or destination ceremony.
- Send formal invitations so guests feel like a priority.
- Sequel weddings have very few traditions, so feel free to be creative.
- Reuse elements from your original ceremony to help stay within your budget and make planning easier.
What Is a Sequel Wedding?
A sequel wedding is a second wedding, usually larger, following a small ceremony. Sequel weddings weren’t overly popular before COVID-19. However, many couples had to hold smaller weddings during the quarantine. Then, they threw a larger party later when restrictions eased up.
While these restrictions no longer exist today, most couples prefer smaller weddings. Later, they hold a larger celebration with all the bells, whistles, and stunning flower arrangements.
Why Have a Sequel Wedding?
Here are some common reasons for planning two weddings:
- You had an intimate wedding or an elopement and now want to celebrate with all your friends.
- You had a destination wedding that only a few could attend, so you also want a local celebration as well.
- You have family differences, like different home countries or religions, so you throw two weddings to accommodate both families.
- You want to throw a non-traditional ceremony for yourself and host a more traditional sequel wedding for friends.
Types of Sequel Weddings
There are several types of sequel weddings you can host, depending on the reason (and timing):
- Second ceremony and reception: You hold a second full wedding, complete with a renewal of the vows ceremony and reception afterward. This is common when you have two family cultures, religions, or locations.
- Wedding reception: You skip a second ceremony and only host a large reception for those who weren’t at the ceremony. This is especially common for those who eloped or had a destination wedding.
- Anniversary reception: If the sequel wedding is over a year after your ceremony, it’s considered an anniversary reception, even if it isn’t on your exact anniversary.
5 Tips to Plan a Stunning Sequel Wedding
How do you have a sequel wedding ceremony and reception?
Use these tips to plan a sequel wedding where your guests feel included and the day feels as important as your first ceremony.
1. Clarify It’s a Sequel Wedding on the Invitation
Send out formal paper invitation suites to build excitement for your sequel wedding. They set the tone for the wedding and inform your guests of what to expect if they’re not familiar with the practice.
The invitation will include many of the same pieces as a traditional wedding, including:
- Invitation card: Telling guests where and when the wedding is
- RSVP card and envelope: Allowing guests to efficiently respond with their attendance
- Large insert: For large pieces of information like accommodations and activities
- Small insert: For additional details like a wedding website or separate reception address
While the pieces are the same, you’ll slightly adjust the sequel wedding invitation wording. Instead of announcing the wedding, start by announcing your marriage with a phrase like:
Then you proceed to tell them about the upcoming sequel wedding.
You end the invitation by listing the address, time, and date.
2. Create a Separate Guest List and Budget
When planning your wedding, you want to keep your event details separate to avoid confusion and make planning easier. You’ll begin by separating your overall wedding budget into two parts, though they don’t have to be the same amount. If you are eloping first, it will cost significantly less than the sequel wedding.
You’ll also create two separate guest lists. You’ll have some overlap, like your immediate family and bridal party. Having two lists will also help you organize thank-you cards afterward.
3. Reuse Some Wedding Supplies and Décor
You can often reuse many elements from your ceremony, including the theme. Even if you had a destination wedding, you could decorate the sequel wedding reception with items that remind you of the destination and allow your guests to experience a glimpse of the ceremony.
Since you invested in stunning signage, décor, outfits, and accessories, you can reuse them for the sequel wedding to save money. That way, you can splurge more on those items in your first wedding, knowing you can reuse them.
Some vendors may even offer discounts if you book them for both events.
While you can reuse many wedding pieces, consider adding unique touches so your sequel wedding feels like its own event.
4. Recognize Your Original Ceremony
Guests at your sequel wedding are there to celebrate your marriage, even if they couldn’t be there for the first ceremony. One way to help them feel part of the special moment is to include it in the sequel wedding.
You can display images from the ceremony, share a slideshow, or say your vows again.
5. Start Your Own Traditions
Because sequel weddings are relatively new, there aren’t many set traditions on what you should and shouldn’t do. Guests often arrive with few expectations since not many have been to sequel weddings.
So, you’re starting with a blank slate when wedding planning. Feel free to mix up your sequel wedding as much as you like.
For example, you might wear a casual white cocktail dress instead of the complete wedding ensemble or have more casual dining instead of a full-course meal.
There are only a few sequel wedding etiquette elements you don’t want to compromise on:
- Try to keep the sequel wedding within a year of your first ceremony
- Send wedding invitations so sequel wedding guests feel like a priority and not an afterthought
- Have refreshments of some type since it is a longer event
- Hire a wedding photographer to capture the day and memories
- Send thank-you cards to show your appreciation for all the gifts and guest attendance
Find the Perfect Sequel Wedding Invitations
Whether you’re having a traditional wedding or a sequel wedding, Shine Wedding Invitations has the perfect invitation for your day. We offer full suites with every element you’ll need to inform your guests about the event. Our designers will also help you get your sequel wedding invitation wording right so your guests feel important and excited.
Start the process by browsing our collection of stunning wedding invitations.
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