Taking a chance on love and marriage for the second (or third) time is certainly worthy of celebration. The Pew Research Center reports that at least four in 10 new marriages now include at least one partner who has been married before, a trend that is on the rise.
Planning a second wedding can be challenging, as individuals may be worried about proper etiquette, superstitions or meeting the expectations of others. But there are no hard rules governing second weddings. Now that couples are older and a bit more experienced, wedding planning may be met with greater enthusiasm and patience. These tips can help the process along.
• Dress it up. Brides need not eschew white if they prefer to wear it for their second weddings. White, cream, ivory, or other shades are perfectly acceptable. Also, brides can make their gowns as lavish or as simplistic as they desire. The length and style of the dress should reflect the formality and scope of the event.
• Make it unique. Couples who have been married before may want to set this new occasion apart from their previous weddings. Brides magazine experts suggest discussing previous celebrations and what can be done differently this time around. Couples can use this opportunity to get to know each other more intimately by personalizing their festivities.
• Don’t feel beholden to intimate affairs. Second weddings tend to be more intimate, as guest lists tend to be smaller and couples tying the knot again may prefer more intimacy and less hustle and bustle. But couples should not avoid inviting people simply because second weddings are typically small affairs. Invite as many friends and family as you want and as your budget allows.
• Set up a registry. Established couples may have the household basics already in place, but registries can include fun or entertaining gifts that speak to couples’ interests. These may include home theater systems, fancy cookware, athletic equipment, or even funds for travel.
• Involve the children. Couples who have children can make them a special part of their second wedding celebrations. Kids can play any role in the ceremony, depending on their age. If the second marriage comes after an amicable divorce, couples can invite their former spouses to provide support to their children so they can feel comfortable in the wedding.
• Be prepared. The marriage application process is similar the second time around, but additional documents, such as a divorce decree or death certificate, may be necessary. These legal documents also will be needed for men and women who intend to change their last names after getting married.
A second marriage deserves as much celebration as the first and gives couples an opportunity to express their love for each other and their appreciation to their friends and families.