Before my hubby Joey and I actually got married, we had a pretty kick ass test run shindig a few months early. We were engaged for about three years before we actually tied the knot, and didn't do the whole engagement party/bridal showers shebang.
So instead, we had a two part- party! We knew that for many of our family and friends, it would be most convenient to throw a party around the Holidays when many people would be back "home" in Miami, where we are both from. We also knew that some of our family and friends would find it easier to travel to California, so we ended up having two weddings. Because, hey, getting married is fun!
We weren't sure exactly how to go about having two sorta kinda weddings, and many of my clients have asked for suggestions on how or whether to attempt something similar.
Pros: We were able to accommodate more people by letting them choose where and when they could celebrate with us!
Cons: It was obviously a little more money to have two parties instead of one, but we had lots of DIY elements at both to make it work!