Second weddings are just as special as first weddings. Like any marriage, they represent a union between two people and a commitment to each other to love, cherish, support and be friends. If either partner has children from a first marriage, the new marriage is also the blending of families: a promise to not only be a good wife or husband but also a good father or mother. A second wedding should represent who the couple is and be the beginning of a family for the partners and children.
There are few, if any, hard-and-fast rules for second weddings. The couple can use their past experiences to plan the ceremony and reception exactly as they want it to be. Most likely the bride and groom will not be depending on parents to pay for the wedding and will feel freer to make choices without pressure. It is recommended that the ceremony and reception be different from the first time and that former spouses not be included (for comfort of the new spouse and guests).
The couple can decide on any venue: a restaurant or catering hall, a beachfront, a backyard, a park or the family living room. Couples may find it fun to plan a surprise wedding where an intimate group of guests are invited to a party, a backyard barbecue or other occasion and the wedding "just happens."
If they're planning a religious wedding, it's a good idea to contact the house of worship and officiate before choosing the ceremony site, because there may be some constraints depending on how and why the first wedding ended.
Brides and grooms can and should write their own wedding vows; they have the confidence, experience and maturity to know why this wedding is important to them and what their expectations are. Some key words and terms the wedding partners could use in their vows are: "a new life together"; "starting over"; "a fresh start"; "drying tears and learning to laugh"; "loving with eyes wide open"; or "a new and exciting journey." When there are children, in addition to promising to be there for each other, the couple may want to promise their children, by name, they'll be there for them as well.
Additionally, any children should be included in the wedding ceremony, and it's a nice idea to incorporate a trinket or medal for them after the couple exchanges rings. That way the kids feel like part of the union, too.
The wedding dress can be any color or style the bride chooses, including white (the use of a blusher veil, though, is discouraged). The groom is also free to choose his garment. Attendants could be given more leeway in choosing their garments, or the couple could offer to pay if the outfits are not apt to be worn again.
While immediate family members may give wedding gifts to the second-time-around couple, many other guests may opt not to, especially if they were present at the first wedding and gave a generous gift then. It is still all right if the couple chooses to sign up for a gift registry. However, the newlyweds probably don't need the normal items for setting up a first-time home; instead, choices could include couples' ski equipment, travel vouchers, game accessories (such as pool sticks) for two, theater tickets, etc. It's a thoughtful gesture if the couple chooses lower-priced items for the registry so that previous gift-givers don't feel taken advantage of.
Intimate family destination weddings and "family-moons" are ideal ways for new, blended families to begin their lives together. Enjoying special time together, as a family for the first time, will create many wonderful memories, which will be sure to set the mood for a lifetime of happiness. When planning a family-moon, choose a setting that will provide romance and together time for the newlyweds as well as family time and child-oriented activities. Many resorts, cruises, theme parks and campgrounds can provide a range of attractions and accommodations for couples and children.