16 Aug


The Dual-State Wedding Reception Guide

What do you do when you’re families are spread across two different states? A dual-state wedding reception! Traditionally, the choice would involve picking a convenient location and hoping most could attend, but this new trend of having two wedding receptions in two different states is so much fun! Why have one wedding when you can have TWO?!





The Bourne’s Dual-State Wedding Reception

The Bourne’s had a dual-state wedding reception and all I can say is it was AMAZING! 

Opting for two receptions isn’t just about pleasing everyone (though that’s a big plus!). It’s about celebrating your union in environments that resonate with both families. Each state, with its unique culture and vibes, offers a distinct celebration experience. Imagine having a beachfront reception in Florida and a countryside barn wedding in Ohio, or a mountainous reception in Utah and family home sentiment in California! 

The Bourne’s had a temple wedding and a beautiful mountain reception at the Sundance resort in Utah. Then we flew off to San Juan Capistrano, California where we had an equally beautiful outdoor reception at the groom’s family home.

Both wedding receptions were full of family, friends, and SO MUCH LOVE. Keep scrolling through for photos from the Bourne’s wedding receptions!


Choose locations that reflect your journey 

Choosing locations for your dual-state wedding reception can be a fantastic trip down memory lane.

  • Hometowns: If both of you hail from different states, celebrating in your hometowns can be nostalgic and special.
  • Special Memory Spots: Maybe you both met or had memorable dates in two different states. These locations can add a personal touch to your receptions.
  • Nature-Centric Locations: If one state boasts mountains and the other beaches, why not integrate these natural wonders into your celebrations?


Managing the Guest List

Having two receptions means you might be dealing with two different sets of guests. A few tips to consider:

  • Dual Invites: Some close family and friends might want to attend both receptions. Make sure they are informed well in advance.
  • State-specific Guests: Extend invites based on convenience for guests. College friends from New York? Invite them to the New York reception.


Budgeting for Dual-State Wedding Receptions

The word “budget” can be daunting, especially when multiplied by two. But fret not, with meticulous planning, you can manage your finances efficiently for the dual-state wedding receptions.

  • Prioritize Major Expenses: Maybe you can have live music in one location and a more elaborate menu in the other.
  • Reuse Décor: While the venues will differ, some decorative elements, like centerpieces or photo backdrops, can be used in both locations.
  • Opt for Package Deals: Many vendors give discounts for booking them for multiple events.


Streamlining Your Planning Process

Yes, there’s double the planning, but that doesn’t mean double the stress. Here’s how:

  • Embrace Digital Tools: Online planning tools and apps can be lifesavers. They help you track tasks for both receptions without getting overwhelmed.
  • Delegate: Enlist help. Maybe one family can take the lead in one state, and the other family in the second state.
  • Consistent Themes: If you’re worried about cohesion, choose a consistent theme or color palette for both receptions.


The Emotional Rewards of Double Celebrations

Beyond the logistical aspects, having two receptions can be emotionally gratifying:

  • Bonding Time: It gives both families ample time to bond and celebrate without feeling rushed.
  • Personalized Experiences: Different states mean different vibes, allowing for more personal and intimate interactions tailored to each set of guests.

Embracing the Beauty of Dual-State Wedding Receptions

While the idea of planning two receptions might seem daunting initially, the joy and memories they bring can be unparalleled. By splitting your celebrations, you’re honoring the roots, traditions, and people in both states. With detailed planning, a bit of delegation, and a whole lot of love, your dual-state wedding receptions can be a roaring success.





Planning a dual-state wedding and need a photographer who will do both? I’m your girl! Let’s chat some more, by clicking the image below! (If you want to see what else I share, take a look at some galleries on my IG)!