Top tips for second wedding success

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

Ideas and advice for making the celebration of your second marriage extra special

Planning a second wedding? A few handy tips and words of advice will help you make it special! If you’re planning a second (or third) wedding, there are extra considerations and etiquette ‘rules’ that perhaps don’t apply to a first wedding.

The VIPs 

Many second weddings include children ‐‐ perhaps from two previous marriages ‐‐ and this aspect is one of the most important things to consider. As well as being a commitment between two people, a second wedding can be a real family occasion where two families join together. It’s important to involve children as much as they would like ‐‐ whether they like the idea of being attendants or perhaps doing a reading during the ceremony. You might even decide to include the children on the invitation. Family discussions are crucial when planning your wedding.

Who to invite?

The guest list is another area that requires a lot of consideration. You might decide to have a more intimate wedding with just close friends and family. If this is the case, keep your numbers down, but perhaps invite others to a drinks reception a week or so after the wedding has taken place. You might also decide to get married abroad, in which case you’re likely to have a small number of guests. Discuss whether or not it is appropriate to invite family from your previous marriages and make sure you are both in agreement whatever the decision. Compromises may have to be made in certain situations, and you could have to accept the fact that some may not be happy about your forthcoming nuptials. 

Second marriage wedding style

Just because you’re getting married for the second time doesn’t mean that you have to have a ‘low key’ wedding. After all, this is a wedding and you’re a bride! If you haven’t been married before but your partner has, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t wear a traditional white gown. If you have been married before, you might feel that you don’t want to wear a traditional gown and would perhaps prefer something a little more contemporary. Choose a coloured dress, a suit, or a dress that’s perfect for the beach if you’re escaping to sunnier climes. It’s a great opportunity to wear something that really suits your personality.

It’s also wise to avoid anything similar to your first wedding ‐‐ whether it’s the cake decoration or the flowers in your bouquet. You don’t want anyone to start drawing comparisons, so make sure it’s a very different day.

Present and correct

There are some aspects of a second wedding where you have to tread carefully. If your first wedding included a gift list, it’s perhaps a little impolite to put details of a gift list in with the invitation to your second wedding. Some guests may feel that they have already bought you one wedding present, and won’t be happy that you assume they would like to purchase a second. However, the majority are likely to want to buy something, so it’s certainly wise to put a list together. Wait, however, until it’s asked for!

Are you getting married for the second time? Let us know what your views are on our message boards, and don’t forget to vote in our poll of the week.

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