Why we had two weddings to avoid family drama

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We had a secret wedding. Well, it was more of a secret commitment ceremony. We had it the year before we had our “legal” wedding (or as Offbeat Bride affectionately calls it, a year before we “got legalled”). 

If you’re like my husband and me and you want the drama-free elopement AND the big ass reception, I’m here to confirm that YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL! 

Here are 3 reasons why I think we should normalize folks who choose to have two weddings. 

Two weddings opal and jaye phoytography alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Suki and Anthony at their “legal” wedding. Photo by Opal and Jaye Photography

1. Protect your peace! 

In our case, we knew both of our families were ready to bring the drama ka flama. I think people have this idea that weddings magically make toxic family members less problematic. Spoiler: They don’t. 

And as much as we loved the idea of celebrating with family, we also equally loved the idea of having a day to ourselves with memories untainted by family drama. This is where radical acceptance comes in and tells us “Hey, we accept that this person won’t change. Now what’s within our control to make this day awesome for ourselves?” 

Don’t get me wrong, we loved our “legalled” wedding and the good memories outnumber the not-so-good. But when people were being, well, people, we were able to react calmly and thoughtfully because secretly, we knew we had already had our “perfect” day. 

two weddings photo by Casey Brodley alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
This couple had two weddings for their mental health! Photo by Casey Brodley

2. Express your full selves! 

As much as we love to say we bring our authentic selves to every situation, it’s only human to instinctually edit ourselves depending on who we’re with and where we are. It’s a form of protection. So we’re here to say YES bring your full self but you get to choose WHEN and WHERE and HOW MUCH of it you wanna bring. Multiple weddings can help with that. 

two weddings trystan photography alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
These brides had a wedding in New Mexico and in Colorado! Photo by Trystan Photography

3. The people who really “get” you will come to both! 

But will people want to come to two weddings? If they want to, yes! Chances are, if they really love and understand you (and are able to), they’ll come, no question. The only people who gave us shit for having two weddings were the folks who didn’t know us that well and didn’t understand our family dynamics. Everyone else was delighted and more than happy to keep our “little” secret and no one made us feel like one wedding was more “important” than the other. 

What other some other great reasons for having two weddings? 

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