Carolyn Egan is a JP from South Windsor CT.
People in the wedding biz are noticing a strange movement afoot. More and more couples are choosing to have several wedding ceremonies. Indeed, a recent ABC news article confirms that this “serial wedding” formula is becoming fashionable among the younger set: “One of the hottest trends when it comes to weddings…is for ‘nearly-weds’ to plan for multiple wedding ceremonies.” Most bride-groom marriages in the U.S. are recognized in all 50 states. So why are so many couples getting married twice or thrice, or even more times?
Because they want to!
Are you considering the multiple-wedding route? Here’s a typical scenario that might motivate the bride and groom to plan a perpetual wedding!
Wedding Plan # 1 – The Justice of the Peace. You are from different religious or cultural backgrounds and choose a “secular” wedding with a Justice of the Peace officiating. You get your one and only marriage license. (The other ceremonies won’t require one.) With your JP, you are free to create a ceremony that reflects your relationship without bowing to the expectations of family or to the pressure of incorporating traditional rites. Maybe you’ll invite very few guests. Maybe it will be for just the two of you.
Wedding Plan # 2 – The Priest, the Rabbi, the Emir, the Minister. After your official JP wedding, you schedule a religious ceremony — perhaps in a church, synagogue, mosque or Hindu temple. Resourceful couples often modify traditional rites, asking members of clergy to participate by reading prayers or blessings. This second wedding honors your parents and grandparents and shares important customs across the generations. (Though your clergy may pronounce you married in this ceremony, remember that you are already legally married!)
Wedding Plan # 3 – The friends who couldn’t come to wedding # 1 or # 2. Okay so you’ve hit your stride and the year isn’t yet over. You have friends far and wide who weren’t able to travel to either of your weddings. Why not plan a big bash to celebrate with those college buddies you haven’t seen in five years? This is often the third ceremony –- on a beach-front, or a venue that can accommodate a party. In this ceremony, since you have been “pronounced” married at least once before, why not ask your eloquent poetic friend to preside at your wedding? No need to worry about legalities. You are already married. Anyone can officiate the bonus weddings.
What are the drawbacks of having multiple wedding ceremonies? The obvious answer is the cost. While you only get one marriage certificate and only the first wedding is the “official” real deal, brides who “marry” their grooms more than once don’t often wish to wear the same dress for each occasion. And in each wedding, to varying degrees, there are vendors who must be paid and venues that need to be paid for. But let’s face it, you’re madly in love and you want to get married in style, for the first and last time in your life. Why not get it out of your system by having all ofyour dream weddings?
And just think: for the next fifty or so years, you can take your pick of which anniversary to celebrate (or all three)! The only limit to how many times you wed is your imagination – and your bank account.