That being said, we have decided that we are actually going to have two weddings. While he is not very religious, his family is Indian Muslim and therefore he wants to get married at the family's masjid so that it is official in their culture. His family and friends are in the Chicago area. I am from a Presbyterian family in Philadelphia, and while I don't care to be in a church I would like to be married by my step-grandmother who is a Presbyterian minister, somewhere in the Philly area.
We would like both of our families and to attend both weddings. Is it too much to ask people to give us two of their weekends? Should we think of one wedding as the "primary" wedding? Also, his family is very religious and do not drink, so the wedding in Chicago will have to be dry. We are worried that this will turn some people off and that the Chicago wedding will end up being without many friends. I'm having trouble getting excited about the details of our wedding because these big logistical things are hard for me to wrap my head around. Any advice?
How fun! (and slightly stressful...)
Honestly, I think multiple wedding events (in this case: two weddings) can help solve a host of issues. For example, if people have really controlling families, they can let their family plan a separate reception and stop interfering with the actual wedding.
However, I do think it's pushing it to expect people to attend both weddings. In addition to transportation time and costs, there's also the issue of lodging and meals not associated with the wedding (and, for some people, the cost of two new outfits).
With that said, I wouldn't necessarily consider one wedding to be the "primary" one; I would just look at them as what they are likely to be: different experiences. They are both likely to meaningful and memorable in different ways.
You might consider sending out a single invitation for both events (with additional information on an accompanying website) with a corresponding RSVP form (in paper or electronic form) that let's people indicate whether they can attend one, both, or neither of the events. I think letting guests self-select the event that works well for them (in terms of date/time/location/style) is the best way to ensure that both events are the best they can be.
2000dollarwedding kindred spirits, what are your two cents?