The fascination with double weddings

It is very common for close friends or relatives to plan a wedding on the same day at the same venue, otherwise known as a double wedding.

One of the main reasons that most people decide to have a double wedding is because the overall cost will be cheaper, as you are really only paying for one wedding. Typically, the price is split in half between the two couples or families and certain services such as photography may offer you discounts due to the fact that there are two weddings going on at once. While the cost may be a sensible reason to have a double wedding, it is a good idea to research venues and services, which may offer lower prices if you do not really wish to have a double wedding. Many people also decide to have double weddings because it makes things a lot easier if the same people are going to be invited to two weddings, which are going to be close in time to one another.

Wedding planner Katlego Batoko believes that if you genuinely want to have a double wedding, then you should go ahead with your idea to plan one. She recently helped organise one for two young couples who schooled together at university. “It can bring both tears and smiles on the wedding day.  Friends can turn into enemies, on the other hand, friendships can grow even stronger,” she says.  According to Batoko, the first question people should ask themselves is what exactly needs to be planned for the wedding ceremony of a double wedding? This, after the agreement to marry on the same day, is a fundamental consideration.  She says you will need to figure out how exactly you want to plan the actual wedding ceremony, such as whom you will want to invite.

One of the things that you need to consider is who will be married first? Will you use the same person to marry you?  It is tricky and needs serious thinking. What if you wish to be married by a christian minister and the couple that you are sharing your wedding with wants to be married by an uncle who raised the bride? Since you are likely to have the wedding ceremony with someone who you are close to, what happens if you want to have the same people in your wedding ceremony? Will you decide to share the actual ceremony, or will you take turns with completely different bridesmaids and groomsmen?  “All of the details associated with the actual wedding ceremony need to be worked out long beforehand, to ensure that everything you want is even possible,” says Batoko.

For Maria Tauetsile, the idea of a double wedding sounds cute but burdensome. She visualises herself and her best friend Mpho seated together next to their ‘husbands’ in future.  However, she states that for it to succeed, egos should be set aside. “It is one of the most challenging decisions ever because we all want to have that special day to ourselves and ensure that we become the happiest,” she says, with a laugh.  Nevertheless, cost sharing would be an advantage, she adds.
Batoko also advises that it is important to keep in mind that there are many things that need to be planned for the wedding reception. You will need to consider whom you want to be invited to the wedding reception. But what if the couple that you are having your wedding with believes that children should be invited to the wedding reception, but you believe the exact opposite?  Lorato responds that there should be a strict and clear guest list, which had been agreed upon. 

In addition, she says you will also need to figure out where everyone is going to be seated during the reception. “If you are splitting the total cost of the wedding, you will need to decide on which price package you want to choose at the venue you are having the wedding reception at,” she says.  
A lot of questions run in the mind when it comes to double weddings, the tradition which became popular in America in the 30th centuries. Will you agree on the same meals being offered? What will you do about the cake, share one large wedding cake or have two separate smaller wedding cakes? All of these things are very important to take into consideration. The truth is that it may sound like it will be easy, though it often leads to much disagreement. Rather than making your decisions on your own with your future spouse, you will need to take the other couple’s decisions into account also.

“This cannot only be very frustrating, but you may not get the opportunity to have absolutely everything your way,” admits Batoko. She recalls how the young couples disagreed on the colours of the bridesmaids and groomsmen and ended up settling for a colour blocking style to suit both couples.
But generally, are people really prepared to share their special wedding day with someone else? Even though it is probably a close friend or family member, you may experience some disappointment due to having to share your special day - along with the attention that comes along with it.

If you are the type of person who craves attention or if the person who you plan to share your wedding with craves attention, you really may want to reconsider having a double wedding. With one attention-craving bride, there is never enough room for another bride. Kabo and Kabelo, twins, will one day marry and they would like to have a double wedding to show how much they appreciate each other.

Kabelo states that agreeing is the secret to having a successful double wedding.  “Be sure that the wedding invitation reflects both couples’ names so that guests would not be surprised at the ceremony,” he says.
But whose name is listed first?  If the grooms are brothers, Batoko advises that the older brother’s name should be stated first. How about the gift anxiety?  Many may question whether a gift should be given to both couples.  “Unless you happen to be a family member or friend of both couples, only one gift is required for the couple you know.  Since many might be embarrassed to ask, disseminate this information through friends, family, or tastefully add the information to the reception card or insert,” she states.

Working together with a spirit of compromise and understanding, according to Batoko, is probably the best advice for a successful ceremony, as each detail is discussed in an atmosphere of openness and honesty. What greater demonstration of sacrifice than to give another couple the honour of sharing your special day!

Last modified on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 21:43

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