If you're beginning to plan the big day of your second wedding, you may have some questions about how a second wedding is handled. While it is largely similar to a first wedding these days, there are some differences. You'll save yourself energy and frustration to know what you can expect. Here are five common questions couples have when arranging a second marriage ceremony.
Can You Wear White?
Yes! The social rules against wearing white on your second wedding day are no longer the norm. And it can be as big and bold and fun as you want it to be. However, many second-time brides do opt for a more sedate style of dress or a different color. An alternative-style dress like a '50s-inspired tea dress or a sophisticated satin gown with a crop jacket can be perfect for a mature bride. And there are some fantastic dresses now available in ivory, pale pastels or even bold colors like red and blue. The important thing is to find a dress that makes you feel beautiful no matter what your age, figure or style.
How Big Should it Be?
Do what you want for your ceremony and reception. For many couples, a second wedding is the chance to correct the mistakes of their first ones. You have experience and possibly a strong will you may not have had when you got married the first time, so feel free to use both to create a wedding and reception that you'll love. But try to avoid doing exactly what you did the first time, no matter how good it was. This is a celebration of your new life, and you don't want to spend it trying to recreate the past.
Can You Ask for Gifts?
Gifts for a second marriage can be a tricky affair because people either assume you have everything you need or they've already given gifts at the first weddings. It's best to assume that you won't get many from non-family members. This way, you won't be disappointed no matter what happens. If you feel this might lead to awkwardness for your guests or yourself, you may specify donations in lieu of a gift or state on the invitations themselves that you would prefer no gifts at all.
However, you may still register for gifts if you like. If you do indeed have a full house already, why not register for non-traditional gifts like camping equipment, ski or sports items or electronics? If you're planning a bridal shower, keep it low key and invite only close friends and family.
Most second-time couples foot their own bill for all the wedding costs. The good news is that this allows you the freedom you may not have had before to design and execute the wedding you really want. Unless you have generous parents or relatives who offer to help out, work with the money you and your partner have and plan accordingly.
Should the Kids Be Involved?
By all means, kids of either the bride or groom should be involved. If they're young, they can be flower girls or ring bearers, read a passage at the ceremony or light the unity candle. If your children are older, invite them to be a bridesmaid or groomsman, oversee a part of the reception or even give the bride away. A second marriage is often about uniting two families, so strive to involve the entire immediate family as much as is reasonable. However, don't feel obligated to involve or even invite the ex-spouses. Even exes with good relationships can find the wedding itself too awkward or emotional.
While there are fewer rules for second weddings than there were in the past, it's good to understand your comfort levels and the expectations of family and friends during this time. By keeping these tips in mind, you can design the wedding of your dreams as your new life begins.