Share and Share Alike
Boston brides double up to keep white weddings in black
By Renee Nadeau | Sunday, January 11, 2009 | http://www.bostonherald.com | Hard Times
With Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway battling it out on the big
screen as friends forced to share their big day in “Bride Wars,”
cost-saving double weddings are getting the spotlight as local
brides-to-be prep for the spring marriage season.
But double-happiness nuptials are not yet popular in the wedding
industry, even though they can help cut the skyrocketing price of
“I haven’t even come across someone planning a double-wedding,”
said Linnea Tangorra, owner of Tangorra Wedding Planning in
Boston and Newburyport. “I can’t imagine two brides having the
exact same ideas who would agree to something like that.”
Tangorra estimated that couples could save about 50 percent by Ms. Witherspoon shares advice with Herald Readers
splitting the cost of everything from the reception hall to invitations
to flowers. The average cost of a wedding is $28,000 to $30,000, she said. Guests are also able to save on accommodations and travel expenses with a shared ceremony instead of two separate weddings.
When the brides are not related, guests of one couple are not obligated to buy a gift for the second couple, said Jodi R.R. Smith, an etiquette expert and president of Mannersmith in Salem.
Local planners say they are seeing brides willing to share their weekend, if not their day, and split the cost of such items as tents, furniture, lighting and even flowers that can be left at a hall the full weekend.
“It’s possible to do decoration-sharing if you have women that are planning a wedding that is very close in design,” said Ashley Daugette, an associate producer for Reading-based Art of the Event. “A two-day rental would probably run them a little more, but overall might cost less when shared.”
The trick to planning a double wedding, or even sharing decor, is making sure everyone gets what they want.
“Incorporate touches that reflect both couples,” planner Heather Minicucci of Simply Inviting Weddings in Braintree recommended. “Bring all of their personalities into the union.”
Etiquette expert Alda Witherspoon, founder of the Witherspoon Institute in Dorchester, said accommodating both couples’ traditions and expectations can be done with ground rules set ahead of time.
“Probably the biggest thing with two brides is coming up with a set of rules on how to make decisions,” Witherspoon said. “We’re dealing with two dreams that we are trying to make to come true.”
Witherspoon recommends agreeing to meet halfway, or flipping a coin whenever a conflict comes up. She said a strong wedding coordinator can help ease tension and combine the brides’ visions.
Etiquette dictates that the older bride goes first - down the aisle, saying her vows, first dance and so on. However, times have changed since double weddings were at their most popular in the late 1800s, Witherspoon said. Today, it is almost a must that the younger bride be allowed to take the lead on some, if not half, the rituals.
Tangorra said both wedding parties’ color schemes should be complementary but distinct. She recommended one set of bridesmaids don one shade of pink and the second bride’s attendants wear a different shade of pink, or use complementary colors.
“The cost savings is really great, and if you’re close enough it can be a really nice thing to share,” Tangorra said.
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