Double Wedding Question

Hi Everyone,

I had this question regarding double weddings:

"I am unsure how we should approach this double wedding. We have a lot of ideas about sharing a cake with different flavors in each layer and our fiancées have both agreed on a donut cake, since they are police officers. We have decided on colors for the wedding, and many other items, but we have not discussed how to do the ceremony. We know that it will be two back to back ceremonies, since our dresses are completely different and we are a little selfish and want them separate, but who should go first? Or how should we decide? I don't want to upset the other bride in anyway, but I am unsure how we should do this."

This was my reply:

I think it is such a lovely idea to have a double wedding with your friend. I expect most of your guests will never have attended this type of wedding before so I understand that you are probably anxious about making the right choices for the ceremony.

When considering a double wedding, it is one of the most important questions any bride-to-be has - who goes first? No matter how generous you feel towards your friend on her wedding day, as a bride yourself you will want to shine on your special day and have the limelight directed on you as you walk down the aisle and take your vows. There is nothing selfish about feeling like that!

Although the logistics of your double wedding might seem complicated, with efficient organization prior to the wedding ceremony, everything will run just as smoothly as it would for a single-ceremony wedding.

Traditionally the elder bride enters first and does everything else first as well. If you, your friend and your partners are all agreeable though there is no reason why you can't switch it round and have whomever is the youngest of you and your friend walk down the aisle and perform her vows first. However, it might be the case that you and your friend are the same age or you might both feel that the "age" issue is not an appropriate means of deciding who will go first.

With a double wedding there is always going to have to be a certain amount of compromise between the couples organizing the event. I shouldn't imagine that reaching a fair decision about who should have their wedding ceremony first will be a huge problem between the two of you . After all, you must enjoy a special relationship with your friend already if you have come this far in your wedding planning and have decided that you want to share your wedding day with each other.

You and your friend might both feel virtuous telling each other that you don't mind who goes first but you want the decision to be fair to both parties. If the thought of tossing a coin, pulling straws or shaking a Magic 8-Ball to come to the decision does not appeal to you, then perhaps you should consider if any of the following points are appropriate to either of you - they might well help you to reach that important decision of who goes first!

♥ Are there any specific reasons why one of you would prefer to have their ceremony first? For example, do either of you suffer from stage-fright or nerves and prefer to get the ceremony finished with early on in the day so that you can relax and enjoy the rest of your wedding day?

♥ Would one of you prefer to have more time available to get ready on the morning of the wedding? If so, then perhaps you would be glad to have the later slot for the ceremony.

♥ Do you or your friend have young attendants (flower girls or page boys) who are likely to perform better earlier on in the day?

♥ Does the officiant have a preference as to which of the ceremonies takes place first? You have not said if you are getting married in a Church, but if you are you will inevitably find that the minister has the final word in deciding the ceremonial arrangements. It is worth checking with him when making your decision of who goes first.

Whilst sharing your wedding day jointly with your friend can add an especially meaningful aspect to your friendship, it can also cause problems in a friendship if either of you feel aggrieved about the decision of who should go first. You need to come to a decision which both couples are happy and comfortable with. Do make sure if you have any conflicting feelings over the decision which has been made that you resolve them as soon as possible. Both you and your friend should have a relaxing and unforgettable wedding day, not one that leaves you seething with resentment and ruins a friendship!

Whatever decision you come to, don't feel that either one of you will be taking second place to the other. Whether you walk up that aisle first or second, you can be sure that you will be the star of the show for your family and friends!

For more information about planning a double wedding including wording for invitations, reception arrangements, and top tips for organizing the logistics of it all, take a look here.

I hope that you have found this useful. Thank you for your question.

Good luck with your double wedding planning!

Posted by Emily on June 21, 2006 08:12 PM to