Planning Two Weddings In Two Countries

by | Desperately Seeking, Inspired Plans, Weddings



Image by Sweet Hope Photography from Kelle and Chris’ Post Wedding Shoot

Hi all,

I am in need of a little advice…

My fiancé and I live in Sydney. My fiancé is Australian therefore we would like to have our main wedding here and I am originally from England, so we would ideally like some kind of ceremony there too. We only got engaged last month but already my over organised self wants to start planning!

We are looking for somewhere around Sydney to have a country style wedding, somewhere beautiful and elegant but not too harsh on the wallet! We have been looking at Sydney Polo Club as my fiancé and I previously worked in the horse industry and it would be a nice touch. Has anyone got married there or been to a wedding there before??

So basically my main question is has anyone had two weddings? One to accommodate the family in Australia and one somewhere else? How did it work out?

Would really love to hear from anyone 🙂


Pippy xx

Ms Gingham says: We’d love to hear from all of you out there who are planning two weddings or who have had two weddings! It sounds like twice the fun to me!!

Pippy says: “My fiance Ben and I live in Sydney, I’m originally from the UK and we got engaged last month. It was beautiful! We are looking for somewhere in Sydney for an elegant country wedding!”


  • Carisse says:
    June 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Try Loxley On Bellbird Hill in Kurrajong, beautiful country setting, its so quiet and stunning 🙂

    Hope this helps.


  • Kates says:
    June 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Hi Pippy, Congratulations!! If you are after country in the city, have a look at Inglis Stables at Randwick. I’m not planning 2 weddings so this is advice is not through experience but have a clear vision for both weddings (what you want to achieve for you and the guests) and I am sure both will be stunning.
    Happy planning, x

  • Carrie says:
    June 14, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Hi Pippy,

    Firstly congratulations! Ok so we have just done what you are planning but in reverse – I am an Australian living in the UK and my partner (new husband) is British Indian.

    We held two weeks within a 3 week period – the first one was a massive traditional Sikh wedding in Central London and the second a small ‘bush’ white wedding in Victoria, Australia.

    I have to say that it was very stressful for us however I am really, really glad we did two weddings.

    My main advice to you would be to make both events unique and special in their own way so there is no risk of the second wedding feeling like the same thing all over again. I would also advise making the weddings close together so that they both feel ‘real’. This clearly makes the whole thing a bit more difficult plus it can be hard to find a time of year that is good in both countries however I am really glad we did them together as this way everybody got included and felt part of the real event.

    My final tip is to get lots of help from your fiance!

    I hope you have fabulous weddings – I am plannnig to submit some of our pictures to the site so look out for them! x

    • Shari says:
      June 13, 2014 at 7:43 am

      Hi Carrie,
      I know this post is 2 years old but I am in the exact situation as you – except im Australian and my partner is British.
      My question is how did you plan your australian wedding from the UK? I don’t even know where to start! How do you pick a venue without seeing it? Organise a cake? Hairdressers etc? Ah! Scary stuff lol any advice would be so appreciated! Xx

      • Miranda says:
        September 30, 2014 at 2:57 am

        Hi Shari,

        Just came across this post when Googling for some advice on the same topic. I’m in the same situation as you and certainly happy to share tips, if I think I have any! You’re probably a lot further on by now though.

        We chose what area of Australia we wanted to get married in and then researched venues online, then sent family and friends with a long list of questions to check them out for us and take photos. It’s amazing how helpful that was, as there’s only so much you can tell from a website, so I’d definitely recommend that if possible.

        Everything else I’m still a bit bewildered by, so any advice would be very welcome!

        • Kirsty says:
          May 6, 2015 at 9:33 pm

          Hi Miranda,

          As you mentioned above, I know it’s been a while since this was last posted, however advice on this topic is hard to come by.

          I am British and live in Australia. I have a big group of friends here and my partner is Australian. I’m tossing up on how to host a wedding – in both countries? At my current home or home town? Do we elope to a destination wedding?

          There are so many options- I just want to make sure I do the right thing!

          Any advice would be much appreciated.


        • Miranda says:
          May 7, 2015 at 2:20 am

          Hi Kirsty,

          What I’m learning throughout this whole planning process is that you just have to do what’s right for you. We both agreed that we wanted to get married in Australia and everything else evolved from that. In the end, we’ve decided to have our full ceremony and reception in Australia in August, and a second reception or ‘wedding party’ in the UK in October. The Australian wedding will be where I grew up and the UK one will be where my fiancé grew up – not where we live now as we don’t have any particular sentimental ties to that area.

          I do have other friends who did the full ceremony and reception in both countries (NZ and UK) and that worked too! The priority for us was making sure everyone we cared about could be at a wedding of some kind – although we’re not going to do the ceremony twice, we are going to play the video of the ceremony at the UK party.

          Planning the Aussie wedding from the UK has (on the whole) been easier than expected – the Internet makes things much more accessible, so don’t feel too daunted by that if you decide to go that way!

          I’m not sure I’ve been that helpful but am very happy to keep swapping tips if that would be useful! In the end, whatever feels right to you, probably is. 🙂

        • Kirsty says:
          May 9, 2015 at 10:27 am

          Hi Miranda,

          Thanks so much for this – it really helps. It’s great that you’ve found it quite easy planning from a different country too – it really gives me some reassurance.

          I really appreciate it! Thank you 🙂

  • Friday Roundup | Polka Dot Bride says:
    June 15, 2012 at 10:02 am

    […] 2.Southern Highlands Engagement Shoot 3.Help Pippy plan her weddings in England and Australia Planning Two Weddings In Two Countries 4.Red and White Hamburg Germany Wedding 5.Desperately Seeking June edition! Can you help? […]

  • Friday Roundup | About Marriage says:
    June 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    […] 2.Southern Highlands Engagement Shoot 3.Help Pippy plan her weddings in England and Australia Planning Two Weddings In Two Countries 4.Red and White Hamburg Germany Wedding 5.Desperately Seeking June edition! Can you […]

  • Talitha says:
    June 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I am in exactly the same boat but a different design! My fiancé is Swedish and I am Australian. I have been trying to come up with a solution for months! So I am super hopeful that you get some great responses cause I too may be planning two weddings…or at the least two receptions…cause eloping is starting to sound like the only answer!

  • Pam Rolley says:
    June 17, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Hi Pippy,

    There are so many beautiful rustic spots out of Sydney and I am sure between Polka Dot advice a the magic of google you will be swamped with ideas. I’d suggest you not only watch the wallet, but remember travel time for yourself and guests and decide whether you want an overnighter. Whilst outdoor sis winderful – the weather may decide where you go.
    One really important poit – you can have two ‘weddings’ but you cannot have two marriages. You have to decide where you are having the marriage ceremony and where you are having the ‘celebration of the marriage’ ceremony. The UK requirements for getting married differ a bit to Australian. In the UK its the venue which is licensed. You of course can have a marriage blessing if you want a religious tradition, and that also applies here. But only one marriage. A lot can be handled in the ‘wording’. I assume from your letter that you will actually be married here. If that’s the case you can only have a blessing in UK (religion). There are some celebrants in the UK who will do a ceremony – check out the humanist societies – but as here it will be a celebration. I am happy to help with info and how to go about ‘orchestrating’. It can be very stressful and a lot of info gathering to pull off , but it can be easy if you know how to go about putting things in place step by step list, and a few emails, calls, and skype for overseas. I suppose its like everything if you know the answer the question is easy. An exciting time ahead!

  • Nic says:
    June 18, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Hi!! I am also planning 2 weddings: I’m Australian but my fiance is German, so we’re having a wedding in both countries, but we are having a civil wedding in Australia and the Catholic in Germany; that way both weddings are special 🙂 In Germany you have to have both a civil marriage and the church is separate, so it worked for us – perhaps you could do something similar? Or I know most religions will let you reaffirm your vows (I had asked about this) so you could do that too.

    My mum helps a lot for the Aus wedding and I have found a lot of vendors are online, plus there’s a few sites where they compile vendors – I used this one a lot: I’m also using blogs a lot for experiences, and a lot of vendors now also have facebook pages with lots of extra photos, so watch out for those too! I know the UK has some fabulous sites too.

    Also try and enlist family to help in the locations wherever you can: my cousins are driving the bridal cars, other cousins are handing out petals etc. at the ceremony and my mother is helping looking at locations. We also made trips to both places and did a marathon day looking at locations and just chose something from that!

    We are also planning way in advance, and are mindful of having venues either that offer accommodation or are close to hotels for our travelling guests, and we’re sending “Save the Date” postcards (not too expensive, esp from Etsy) so people have lots of notice and can plan travel to the weddings if they like. I am wearing the same dress at both, but my hair will be different 🙂 and also with 2 days this way we can also have slightly smaller weddings at both, so the expense can be kept down.

    Just thought I would give you an overall look at what I’m doing for my 2 weddings and I hope this helps at least a little bit! 🙂

  • Mska says:
    January 25, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    I was so pleased to have come across this post!! We married last month and have started to think it would also be nice to have a small catholic church ‘blessing’ in the UK for my husband’s family who were unable to make it to the wedding, when we visit later this year. I am looking into this now but was wondering if anyone had thoughts on appropriate dress? I wasn’t in love with my wedding dress so would want to wear something different. I do have a veil that I’d really like to wear. The theme of our wedding was red and white so I was also hoping to wear a long strapless red dress? Does anyone have further thoughts on appropriate dress code for post wedding church ‘blessing’? Help!

    • Polka Dot Bride says:
      January 26, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      Hi Meka,

      I suppose toi depends on how strict your church is, but I shouldn’t think a red gown (perhaps with covered shoulders to make it church appropriate) would be anything but fine!

  • Homes and Weddings says:
    March 31, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Yikes! the logistics must be nuts. But oh what fun it would be to have twice the celebration!

  • Natalie says:
    July 15, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    My fiance is English and I am Australian. We moved out to Sydney at the start of this year and we are getting married in Sydney next April. We toyed briefly with the idea of getting married in the UK but I think more of his family/friends would travel out here (an ‘excuse’ to come to Oz 🙂 ) than my family/friends would travel to the UK, especially if we are living here.

    We love the bush and National Parks and so our reception venue is Cielo at Akuna Bay, in a beautiful bush setting in the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park overlooking the Akuna Bay marina. We are putting on buses from the city for our UK guests and will take them along the spectacularly scenic water route from Mona Vale to get to the venue. We will also try to give them a detour to West Head to see the beautiful view at the lookout there and chew up time whilst we are having our photos taken 🙂

    I tried to find a country setting to ‘recreate’ what we would have done if we were in the UK but then realised we should take advantage of what we have in Oz. We are having native flowers at the wedding and I think it’s going to be beautiful! Cielo at Akuna Bay has been a real find – the drive through the National Park to get there is amazing.

    We will head back to the UK maybe at the end of next year and have a party of some form, however I don’t want it to be too close to the Aussie wedding as I would rather people come out and celebrate the real thing with us if they are able to.

    Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Vanessa says:
    February 3, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    I know these posts were a while ago but I am in the same dilemma as I am Canadian living in Sydney with my Fiancé who is Australian.

    Looking at Weddings here but my dream is to have a beach wedding which costs a minimum of 20,000$ here just for the wedding. Add another 5 – 10,000 for transport, hair, photography ect and were now in debt for 2 years.

    So we have come up with the idea of having a backyard wedding at this parents house where we will get legally married and have his family and our friends there,then that week jet off to Mexico to meet my family and have a wedding and 7 day allinclusive trip for 8,000 and for my family to travel there all inclusive is less then their flight to Sydney!!

    As much as I want this to happen I think it might be weird having another beach wedding in Mexico when were already married.

    Decisions Decisions..

    • Claudia says:
      March 12, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      I think you should have that wedding in Mexico too!!!
      My friend had her civil wedding in Chile and her dream beach wedding in Mexico as well.
      You should do it! Whatever is cheaper and nice will be fine..

    • Julie says:
      August 1, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      Hey Vanessa,
      I’m in the exact same situation! Canadian marrying Australian. Family is pressuring for a wedding back home, when it’s always been my dream to have a beach destination wedding. (Fiance and I were set on Fiji!) But complaints from family about being too expensive and far away… can’t please anyone! So I’ve only recently started thinking about 2 weddings, and still having a small “destination” wedding around the Cairns/Port Douglas area (which seem quite affordable), then heading to Canada for round 2. But again, so many questions.. what one should be the legal one? Same dress? I literally wouldn’t have one family member present for the first wedding in Canada so I’m concerned how I’ll feel about on the day. So much to think about!

      • Jessie says:
        April 11, 2015 at 2:55 pm

        Hey There,

        Did you end up getting married in both country’s ? I’m Canadian (Saskatoon) And my Fiance in Australian ( Noosa Heads, Queensland) and we’ve been struggling to figure out what we want to do. We were going to do Thailand but none of my family will come. Let me know how you wedding went. Any help would be amazing.

      • Shelly says:
        March 31, 2016 at 4:10 pm

        Hi, I’m in a similar situation. I’m Canadian and my fiance is Australian. We have both decided that we would like to get married in Canada and have an awesome party in Oz. We just recently got engaged and are planning on getting married in 6 months time. My family are so happy! However, our Australian friends on both sides are not! They are upset we couldn’t make it a year later because they would like to come to Canada. We keep saying that we are having a celebration here too and they don’t seem to care. Their response is not the same…This is really bursting my excitement about our wedding. Any advice?

  • Beverley says:
    March 12, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Hi everyone

    Same dilemma for me too. My fiancé and I are both South African but I’ve been in London for 9 yrs and him almost 6 yrs so our life his here and we have friends a a few family members here.
    We would like to get married in the summer here in uk and then SA in Feb (summer).
    I have in idea where to start, there are so many questions I have.
    What should the invites say on the 2 different wedding invitations. Should I invite my family from uk (that I hardly ever see) to the one in uk or SA? Should I marry at the magistrates and then a bigger wedding in a beautiful garden in SA (so they are different)? Do I have something really small with about 30 ppl here and not invite those that I’m inviting to SA. A lot of my friends in London are South African anyway so it would fit in nicely for them to go to SA and double it up as a holiday with their family. I would like some friends at both – can I do that? I don’t want friends thinking that they’ve been to the first so they aren’t going to the second and I certainly don’t want them bringing 2 gifts (obviously) so don’t want them thinking that.
    Also what about kids? Should I invite kids?
    I don’t think I want bridesmaids because it will be a small one here and in SA it will be hard to help arrange being in 2 different countries.
    And do I wear a proper wedding dress for both?
    Please help ladies…..

    Thank you

    • juanita says:
      March 18, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      Beverley, what did you end up doing ?

  • Deb says:
    August 16, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    My Aussie son is now engaged to a lovely girl from the states. She will be coming over to Aussie to live at the end of the year. They have decided to have 2 weddings, the first one being in Seattle and the smaller second one a week later in Aussie. His grandparents are devastated that he will be getting married OS without the family being there. I am expecting to attend with his stepfather and little brother. It is starting to become stressful for my son trying to do the right thing. Does anyone have pros, cons or suggestions? My sons 3 year old daughter can’t attend the OS wedding with us…..a old fashioned spring wedding in Seattle and a small Aussie coastal celebration.

  • Katie says:
    September 30, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Same problem Iam the UK and my partners from Melbourne we want two weddings but how does the legal sides of things work like name changing name on the passports and visa’s ect any ideas????

  • Mel says:
    April 17, 2016 at 2:11 am

    My fiancé and I both live in Shanghai but I’m American and he’s Cameroonian. We recentl find out we are pregnant and want to move home to America to be with my family for the baby. Because of visa issues and the baby, we decided that it would be best to marry here in China. Neither of our families will be present but our friends we have made over the years will be.

    Originally we were just going to do a courthouse wedding with a celebration amongst friends while planning on a traditional wedding back in the states once things have settled down and money had been saved. But after the generous prompting of his mentor we are now going to hold a small traditional wedding here. So looks like we’re going to do two weddings.

    It’s been great to see all the variety of situations. I only wish we could do ours closer in time but will be impossible due to miss ey and getting his family members visas sorted out. Not to mention, the starting of our own family.

  • Cate says:
    October 8, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Hi everyone, I know this is an old post but I’m also in the same situation. We’ve planned 1 wedding wales and our second 1 week later in Australia. My question is for those who have pulled this off – how did you keep the second wedding still feel special for the guests? The more I think about it the more awkward it becomes. We have a friend to officiate but do we do rings again? Vows? First dance? Cake?



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