If you’re planning your second marriage (or even third), you might want to change more than your partner. Here’s all you need to know about second weddings, from ceremony choices and how to involve the children, if there are any, to whether to invite your exes, and simply make it the happiest day of your life.
Getting Married Again
Getting married again is a second chance to get your personal life back on the right track. Whether widowed or divorced, falling in love all over again and making a lasting commitment will hopefully seal your happiness for the future. It’s also your chance to do everything you wanted to do before, but with the right person this time! If you have been married before then chances are you understand the importance of the actual marriage vows you take on a slightly different deeper level, and the significance of your new lasting relationship.
Invitations for a Second Marriage
Planning a second marriage, you are likely to find you want to do everything differently. If you had a traditional church wedding the first time then you might prefer a smaller-scale more personal occasion this time. 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 wedding invitations and stationery can be cool and contemporary rather than following convention.
Wedding Dresses for a Second Marriage
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. If you missed out on the ‘meringue’ first time around then you might want to go for the fairytale wedding dress. Conversely, if you wore white before you may prefer to wear something very different. For some brides, that means a trouser suit or something colourful, for others a variation on the tradtional ivory gown feels more fitting – for instance a formal, beautifully tailored designer dress in white with a floral pattern like these by Pronovias. It’s not your mother’s wedding this time, you really can do what you want!
Ceremony Choices for a Second Marriage
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 or celebrant ceremony in the open air with the legal ceremony held beforehand at a local register office.
Children at Second Weddings
If you have children from your first marriage(s) then it can be lovely to get them involved in the wedding in some way. Younger children often 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.
For couples who want to join their (willing) children into the big day, the symbolic sand ceremony is a visually beautiful way to show the joining of two families. Coloured sands are poured into a glass vase in layers by every member of the family to create a representation of the joining together and a lasting and meaningful keepsake of the vows and promises made.
Having a Gift List
Most second marriages don’t have a wedding gift list simply because you already have everything you need. 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, a donation to charity or woodland conservation.
Inviting the Ex
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, no doubt, come to a great many conclusions about what’s important to you, how to love and be loved. And, at the end of the day, love is all you need.
Read more about love and marriage and why your wedding is just the start of your ‘happy ever after’.