|Up to 50% of marriages these days are second marriages for one or both partners. Not too long ago it was thought that second marriages should be down-played, intimate, and small. However, today second marriages are seen as a celebration of love found again and hopes for a long lasting relationship and bright future. Second wedding celebrations can be as jubilant and elaborate or intimate and simple as the couple desires and be socially acceptable.
There are still some special considerations when planning a second marriage. Here, we will share some rules, guidelines and suggestions we have collected from a variety of sources.
Church Weddings - If you are planning on getting married in a church you should talk with the minister, rabbi or clergy as soon as possible. Some churches still have issues with performing "second marriages". Be prepared to answer personal questions regarding your previous marriage and divorce. If you are faced with this issue but are determined to have your wedding in a church, don't give up. You will find a church that will allow you to get "remarried" and not have to attend six months of pre-marriage counseling.
Wearing White - Wearing white for a second wedding is now considered acceptable. White is now considered a color of joy and celebration and not a symbol of virginity. On the other hand, any color is acceptable. Wear whatever color looks and feels good on you!
Wearing Veils and Trains -
The bridal veil (especially the veil worn over the face) is traditionally a symbol of virginity and second-time brides should not wear a veil or have a long train on their dress. Other sources state that a long train is fine as long as it matches the style of the dress and wedding. Guess you will have to decide that one!
Tuxedos - It is appropriate for the second-time groom to wear a tux if desired.
Flowers - Orange blossoms are a symbol of virginity and should not be in the bride's bouquet. (How many people would actually know that?)
Announcing your Marriage - If you have children, they should be the first ones to know you are going to remarry. Your parents should be told next, followed by your ex, if you have joint custody of children. It is perfectly acceptable to announce your coming marriage in the newspaper, by phone, email and/or at an engagement party. If there is an engagement party, is is not considered a gift-giving event.
Ex Spouses - Not appropriate guests.
Gift Registry - It is appropriate for second marriage couples to register. There will be those who would like to buy you gifts and need some suggestions.
Invitations - Invitations are usually issued by the couple themselves.
Children - If there are children involved, it is important to have them actively participate. Here are some suggestions to include them:
1. Shop with them for special clothing and jewelry for the wedding.
2. Older children can help address invitations and stuff envelopes.
3. An older child can be the best man or maid of honor, children can escort their mother down the aisle.
4. They can help decorate and set up for the ceremony and/or reception.
5. Younger girls and boys can be flower girls and ring bearers.
6. They can tend the guestbook and/or gift table.
7. Include commitment to your new family and your new spouse's children in your wedding vows.
8. They can be escorts and greet the guests.
9. They can hand out rice, bubbles, confetti or birdseed to the guests.
10. They can take candid pictures of the family and bridal party.
11. They can be invited to do a reading at the ceremony or reception.
12. Have the children participate in a unity candle lighting or a prayer of family blessing.
Children can be lost in the shuffle of the actual wedding day. It is nice to arrange a "buddy" for them, maybe an aunt, a cousin, or a favorite friend, to share the day with.
Something that may not be mentioned very often, if ever, is the feelings of the bride and groom who have been married before and whose first marriage ended in divorce. They may feel that they are not entitled to or deserving of a big, formal, extravagant wedding celebration. This is a celebration of their love, their future, and in many cases the joining of two families. If you are planning a second marriage, please don't let your fear of what others may think interfere with your special day! Make it what you want it to be. Celebrate your new marriage to the fullest!