I’m all about couples getting married any way they want. I welcome interesting requests. I enjoy figuring out ways to make things happen. Performing a double wedding ceremony may have its challenges but they can be a lot of fun too.
So, is a double wedding ceremony a good idea? While it might not be for everyone, a double wedding, if it presents itself under the right circumstances, can be a great idea. Obviously, you can save money, but you may also be saving friends and family members time, money and travel as well.
The double weddings ceremonies I have officiated have actually been very simple events. Two best friends were marrying two best friends. It was a simple civil ceremony just to make it legal. Another couple was having a wedding and knew that their best friends couldn’t afford a wedding so they wanted to include them in their celebration. It was a surprise. After the main couple exchanged their vows we made an announcement that their Best Man and Maid of Honor would be getting married too. It was a very sweet surprise and very kind of the couple to share the day. It was a simple backyard wedding but pretty much everyone they both knew was there so it just made the celebration better.
Don’t be afraid to break the wedding mold.
I think the wedding industry works hard to present a picture of a wedding they can sell. It’s easy to believe that your wedding should be done a certain way. You need to wear certain outfits, take certain pictures and do certain things. It’s almost like if you don’t do those things you are doing something wrong. It’s OK. You can have any kind of wedding you want. You also don’t have to spend $30K on your wedding either.
There is a common thought that a wedding is all about the bride. During the ceremony, all eyes should be on her. But practically speaking, there are two people getting married and both of them are important. Not to mention, some weddings don’t have brides at all!
Why would you consider a double wedding?
Not every couple is looking forward to a very intimate exchange of personalized, heartfelt vows. Many couples are just looking to say “I do” and get it done. There are many practical people who really have no need to be mushy or sentimental. There is a good chance that they’ve been living together for years and it’s really just time to tie the knot and make it legal. If the opportunity comes up to split expenses and plan a great party together, it’s something to consider.
Not every bride and groom wants to be the center of attention.
Dome brides and grooms don’t want any eyes on them at all. They might still want a wedding though. If not for themselves, for their families. A double wedding can be a great opportunity to alleviate stress.
A double wedding can really be fun.
Yes, your wedding is going to be different but that gives you an opportunity to be really different.
Maybe you are a Moonie and mass wedding are your thing!Who am I to judge, really! I put this here for comic relief because mass Moonie wedding is what comes to mind when you think about a double wedding. But in reality, mass weddings are common in the Philippines, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, China, Japan, Jordan, Palestine, South Korea, Yemen, and others. Marriage is a very practical thing in many cultures.
How do you perform a double wedding ceremony?
The logistics of any wedding ceremony can be changed to suit the people getting married. Take a few minutes to think outside of the box.
How does everyone walk down the aisle in a double wedding ceremony?
When two women get married do both of them walk down the aisle escorted by their fathers? No. Not every bride is escorted down the aisle by their father. It could be a mother or a brother or an uncle. My brother and his wife walked down the aisle together. In the Jewish tradition, both the bride and the groom are escorted down the aisle by both of their parents. It’s the 21st Century, you can walk down the aisle by yourself if you choose to.
The only problem I’ve found with more than one bride walking down the aisle is you lose the moment when you say “please stand for the bride.” You can only say it once. It’s not like everyone is going to sit down and stand up again. That’s awkward and possibly chaotic. But honestly? The moment is often lost anyway. Everybody is excited and standing in anticipation before I can I ask them to stand.
How do you exchange vows in a double wedding ceremony?
I’m not sure having both couples say their vows at the same time is a good idea.
You could say, “Do you Max take Sarah and Do you Mike take Michelle to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others until death do you part?” and then reverse it, “Do you Sarah take Max and Do you Michelle take Mike…”
You might want the actual exchange of vows to be a little more intimate so all the guests can concentrate on one couple at a time. You are saving time and money by having a double wedding but the actual exchanging of the vows is truly special and should be treated as such for each couple, even if it’s short, sweet and simple.
Later on you might not want to look back and thing “I didn’t even get to say I do by myself!”
Each person or couple in the wedding could take turns being first. There’s a first to process down aisle and then a first to recess in the other direction. A first to say “I do” and a first to say “With this ring I marry you.” You could just flip a coin and decide which couple is going to go first. It would actually be kind of fun to flip the coin during the ceremony (Depending on the couple) or you could just decide ahead of time.
How do you exchange rings in a double wedding ceremony?
Each couple should also have all eyes on them as they exchange rings too. You might just say “I do” when you exchange vows but you will usually say something when you exchange rings. Each person should be heard individually when they speak.
How do you pronounce two couples married in a double wedding ceremony?
To have the momentous effect you want I think you have say “I now pronounce you married!” Just once. It would be really weird to do that twice.
You will definitely need two photographers. Each couple is going to want their own picture of their first kiss and both kisses will be happening at the same time.
Introduce each couple as they recess down the aisle
Each couple can now be introduced as they walk down the aisle. Introduce the first couple and have them recess down the aisle with pictures and applauds and when they are done, introduce the second couple and allow them to have their moment walking all the way down the aisle together too.
Will a wedding officiant charge more money for a double wedding?
That’s really up to the wedding officiant. Personally, my fees are based on the time involved. It’s not like I have to drive to two weddings It only takes a few extra minutes to fill out a second marriage license. I have a less expensive, basic wedding ceremony option that includes a pre-written ceremony. I charge extra to personalize the ceremony. Unless the couple just really wanted something very basic, I would charge extra to personalize the ceremony.
How about invitations for a double wedding ceremony?
For a double wedding invitation you might need to consult a professional in order to get the type set correctly. I couldn’t find any templates online to just fill in for a double wedding. I’m sure it can be done, it will just involve asking an actual person instead of a computer for help. I suggest keeping it simple and clean, not printing anything on the invitation that doesn’t need to be there.
Victoria Meyer, founder of Marry Me In Indy! LLC has been a wedding officiant in Indiana for over 9 years and married over 3000 couples. She shares her experiences and is happy to be your "Wedding Officiant Insider"