Expat habits: Two weddings


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There is a phenomenon amongst expats that I wasn’t aware of until I partook in it myself.

It is the double wedding. As in, get married and then get married again, usually in a different location. Usually with different guests. Sometimes there is a significant time delay. Sometimes there is a delay of just a few days or weeks. Sometimes it’s just a party.

Two weddings.

I would never have thought this was so prevalent.

The coach and I got married in the company of a few close friends before we moved to Qatar, but promised our families we would do it ‘properly’ one day. When that day was set, 2 years after we actually tied the knot, it was with some trepidation that I began explaining to my friends in Doha that we were about to go home for our wedding, even though we were already married.

I expected confusion. I expected questions.

“Oh we did that. First time in Turkey, second in Melbourne.”

“My friends just had their second wedding in Toronto which we couldn’t make. We were at the one in London, though.”

And so I learnt that we were not so unusual.

Cyprus, Mexico, France, America – these people have gotten hitched everywhere! Big weddings, small weddings, weddings on paper, weddings in churches, offices, hotels, gardens, villas down the road, the list goes on!

And I’m not talking about renewing vows here. I mean, I guess in a sense it is but this is not the intention. You see, some of us expats have to get married in a hurry, and we don’t have the time (or the desire) to buy the dress, choose the flowers and seat the guests. We’ve got flights to catch and attestations to collect. We are in love, but we are also on the move. So we have to be practical; get the business done and do the planning later.

At first I felt embarrassed, almost apologetic that our wedding route wasn’t the conventional one. Now I realise it’s all part of our expat story. And it’s kinda romantic; I like you enough to marry you twice!

So if you’re about to become an expat AND a spouse all at once and you’re worrying that your trip down the aisle might actually involve a trip, don’t fret about being weird.

Because you’re not alone and you’re certainly not weird. You are one of us.

 

Image from here.

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