Second Weddings

By Chelle Cordero

December 9, 2013 4 min read

It's nerve-wracking, but you've decided to make the commitment. Maybe you're concerned about the reasons your first marriage ended or maybe you're determined that this time, the plans you're making are for the long haul.

Getting married for the second time is different from first-time nuptials -- maybe children are involved and your ex isn't agreeable to your remarriage. You've probably been on your own for a bit and run your own household without anyone questioning your decisions. Now you are older and wiser and have a better idea of what you want, which is a good thing, considering you and your partner will probably be financing the entire affair yourselves.

When the bride or groom was previously married, wedding planning is at the bottom of the to-do list. First, you must tell your ex about your plan to be remarried. And if you had children, be sure to let them know as well, even if they're not living with you and are far away. Though it's probably not smart to tell them at the same time you're telling your ex. Depending on their ages and relationship with you and your former partner, be prepared for any reaction, and don't get angry if it's one you don't like. Your children may need to get used to the news. Be patient with them.

After you've given your children time to accept your new relationship, you may decide to involve them in your plans, perhaps even in the ceremony. Your children can participate in many ways, maybe in the bridal party or with preparations, like addressing invitations. Let them know that even though you're getting remarried, you are still their parent and love them. Peacefully resolve child-custody issues with your ex and be sure your children know where they stand. Once the logistics are out of the way, you can finally start planning the wedding.

The good news is that many of the "old" rules regarding second marriage ceremonies no longer apply. Make your wedding about yourselves. The bride can wear white or any color she wants; she can have a male relative or friend walk her down the aisle, or she can walk herself if she prefers. While the bride and groom should be prepared to pay for the affair themselves, it is perfectly acceptable to accept help if it is offered and available. The day is still about the couple, just like in a first marriage, and the bride and groom should celebrate how they see fit.

Guests will want to give a gift to the couple to express their happiness for them. A wedding registry is appropriate, even if two households are to be combined, and will help the new couple with their new start.

"Familymoons" are replacing the traditional honeymoon when children are part of the equation. When planning a family getaway for after the wedding, don't forget about romance, as well as activities for the little ones. Be sure to plan family togetherness time, but respect people's need for space.

All-inclusive resorts provide something for everyone. If enough family is going on this trip, consider having the wedding ceremony at a resort where a package deal might prove to be very cost-effective, and the hassles of a post-wedding trip are eliminated.

There are no dos or don'ts when it comes to planning a second wedding. The ceremony belongs to the couple and can be as intimate as a destination wedding or as big as you can afford. Experts, however, recommend not repeating the style or location of your first wedding.

If a child is old enough and willing to be ordained online, it might be special to have him or her perform the ceremony. Another idea is to have your close friends form a circle of love around you and your partner as you take your vows. Or you could be sneaky, inviting your guests to a "party," making the wedding a surprise.

It's your day, so enjoy it.

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