Love is all you need. If you’re planning your second (or third) wedding you might want to change more than your partner. From whether to wear white to inviting your exes, here is how to make your second wedding the happiest day of your life.
Getting married again is a second chance to get your personal life back on the right track. If it didn’t work out first time round or you lost your partner, then falling in love all over again and making a commitment will hopefully seal your happiness for the future.
Andy Langridge is currently planning his third wedding. He married for the first time in 1989 in a big traditional white church wedding, then married for a second time in 2004 in a smaller-scale civil ceremony. Now twice divorced he is devoted to his new partner, Donna and considering marrying in Las Vegas or Disney World.
He told me: “Initially when I got together with Donna, I felt that marriage was not an option, however over time I realised that I wanted to grow old disgracefully with her. After a few discussions, it became clear she would like to re-marry and I couldn’t think of any reason not to; that doesn’t sound awfully romantic, but I’m devoted to Donna, and really can’t think of being without her. I want us to end up being the old married couple that still walk hand in hand.” It’s all about love.
Planning a second wedding you’ll find you want to do everything differently, from the dress to the invitations. If you had a traditional church wedding first time then you might prefer a smaller-scale more personal theme this time. It’s completely up to you whether you wear a white wedding dress or go for something a little more informal and personal to you. It’s not your mother’s wedding this time, you really can do what you want!
When you remarry, you are more likely host your own wedding rather than have your parents’ names on the invitations so RSVP cards will have your name and address on them. Your invitations can be cool and contemporary rather than following convention.
Although most second weddings have civil ceremonies, it is possible to have a religious second wedding even if you were divorced, as long as your minister is willing to conduct the service. Many couples prefer to have a smaller-scale wedding and marry abroad while others choose to have a simple Humanist ceremony in the open air with the legal ceremony held beforehand at a local register office.
If you have children from your first marriage(s) then it’s lovely to get them involved in the wedding in some way. Younger children can love being page boys, little bridemaids or flower girls but teenagers of recently divorced parents may not want to be so involved and shouldn’t be pushed unless they want to play a role in the wedding. If you are a couple with grown up children, you could ask them to do a reading or perhaps sing during the ceremony or even give you away in place of your father.
Having a gift list
Most second marriages don’t have a gift list either because you already have everything you need or if you’re remarrying a short time after your first wedding you might feel it’s not appropriate. Your friends and family will still want to give you something so do put together a short gift list or let people you ask know what you would like even if it’s simply a contribution to your honeymoon or home.
It’s controversial but some couples do invite their exes to their second weddings, particularly if the split was amicable and there are children from the first marriage. As long as your new partner and you are happy for them to be there, it can work but if there is any concern from either side it may be best not to ask them along.
Your second marriage is a new beginning in your life. You will have learned so much about yourself from your first marriage and come to several conclusions about what’s important to you and how to love and be loved. And, at the end of the day, love is all you need. How would you feel about inviting your exes to your wedding?
Set the scene for a stylish celebration with pretty summer wedding invitations in contemporary laser-cut floral and lace or classic water colour styles. All with matching stationery for a coordinated look from the…
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.