Published: Wednesday, Jun. 23rd, 2021
Sequel weddings are trending, and you’re all invited!
If you’re not familiar with the term, ‘sequel weddings’ are larger second ceremonies that take place after a smaller first ceremony (such as an elopement, minimony, or micro wedding). And you’ll probably be hearing about them a lot in the coming months...
That’s because couples who chose to wed in a minimony or elopement ceremony during the pandemic are finally able to celebrate their marriage the way they’d originally dreamed, surrounded by all of their friends and family in joyful second ceremonies.
Of course, couples have chosen to hold multiple wedding ceremonies for years, for various reasons: to celebrate locally following a destination wedding, to accommodate family members living internationally, to postpone the expense of a wedding without postponing marriage, and more.
But now that more Americans are vaccinated against COVID-19 and venues around the country return to full capacity, with fewer restrictions on dancing, dinners, and crowd size, multiple ceremonies and sequel weddings are becoming more popular than ever.
This has left many wedding officiants (and newlyweds) scratching their heads in confusion:
To help you get started, we’ve written a script that’s structured like a traditional wedding, but honors the fact that a couple has already legally wed in an earlier ceremony.
The couple enters together, holding hands as they walk down the aisle. As an alternative, the couple can be standing or seated at the front of the room at the start of the ceremony.
“Welcome friends and family! We’re here today to celebrate this very special occasion with _____________ and _____________. Today, we honor their love and marriage publicly.
(A year ago), these two sweethearts joined in marriage in a beautiful private ceremony. And although most of us weren’t able to be with them that day, we held them in our hearts and rejoiced at the news.
Marriage is about commitment. It’s about loving someone every day, even when they’re driving you crazy, and about being loved, even when you don’t show up perfectly. It’s about wanting what’s best for your partner, learning from each other, finding humor and joy in everyday moments, and supporting each other through good days and bad.
_____________ and _____________, the two of you embody this spirit of love, acceptance, and adventure completely.
Of course, marriage is bigger than just two individuals. It’s also a blending of two communities and families into one big family. And so we are absolutely overjoyed to be here today, supporting this incredible, beautiful thing you’ve done!
_____________ and _____________, over the past year, you’ve continued to grow together, learn new things about each other, and have made each other laugh constantly. You’ve learned more about what it means to love and be loved, and the promises you made to each other on that special day have deepened each day since.
Today, we honor your commitment, and share in this tremendous joy with you.”
(Note: If the couple didn’t write personalized vows for their first ceremony, this section can be modified with new vows, or substituted with another type of special reading by each partner.)
“To start, _____________ and _____________ have asked to share those first promises, those first wedding vows.
_____________, when you’re ready you may begin.”
Partner One reads their vows.
“_____________, when you’re ready you may begin.”
Partner Two reads their vows.
“And now, you’ve both asked to share a few words with your friends and family today, on what it means to both of you to be able to have them here, joining in this special ceremony. Please, share when you’re ready.”
The Partners speak directly to their guests, briefly thanking their friends and family for joining them on this meaningful day and describing what community means to them.
“This is the part of the ceremony when we’d usually do a ring exchange, but _____________ and _____________ beat us to it…”
The Partners hold up their hands to show the guests their wedding bands.
“So instead, we’ll move on to the really wonderful part… Friends and family, let me officially introduce you to this beautiful couple, _____________ and _____________, Partners in Love!”
The Partners kiss as the guests cheer.
Now, I think we all have a party to get to. Let’s celebrate!
The Partners head up the aisle and out of the room, heading towards the reception.
Because this is a second ceremony, there’s no marriage license to sign and the party can begin right away.
(Note: A popular alternative to hosting a second ceremony is a reception-only style celebration. These parties don't include a ceremony -- they’re just an “I do, We do, We did!” style get-together. They sound like fun! But we love the community aspect of a second ceremony: they give friends and family the important opportunity to witness a couple’s vows of commitment, and to openly demonstrate to the couple their love and support. This is so powerful!)
You’ll find a variety of templates to use, including secular, humanist, and non religious wedding scripts, handfasting scripts, religious and interfaith scripts, seasonal scripts, and many others.
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