People often ask what’s appropriate for a second or even third wedding. The short answer is: anything you want. At least 40% of today’s weddings involve at least one partner who has been married before.* The stigma of divorce is, thankfully, long past. And the hope of what is to come is always cause for celebration. So, while anything goes, there are a few things you might want to keep in mind.
One of the best parts about remarriage is you get to do it your way. With young couples and first weddings compromises are often made, with couples giving over decision-making to parents, especially when they are paying for the whole affair. Now you have control and that means creative control as well – the chance to have the ceremony and celebration in a style and with meaning that reflects where you are in your lives.
Consider a theme wedding, such as a beach or a bar-b-q. Destination weddings are great for remarriages – but please be considerate of the expense involved for those invited. Ideas that may not have gone over the first time around now cam be a reality. You may want to have the lavish affair you can now afford. Or conversely – just keep it extremely simple. You’re older now – remember, to provide some childcare for your guests, if appropriate. And most importantly, if you or your partner have children, you have the opportunity to include them in your ceremony and celebration.
Some couples tying the knot for the second or third time choose elopement. And in Pennsylvania elopement is especially easy as no witnesses are required for the legal part. I love a romantic elopement and perform them often. After the turmoil life can bring, sometimes all you need is love and one another.
If a friend or family member wants to throw you a shower – you may gracefully decline. Showers come from the tradition of helping a new family set up house. You probably already have all the toasters you need. However, maybe you never had a shower, or just want to have one for the fun of it. If you do have a shower, make it non-traditional, such as have a wine tasting, cook-off, or garden plant exchange. Or collect items for your local shelter (check first to see what the really need.)
There is no real reason to forgo an engagement party – but remember that many of your family and friends already attended your other engagement party and wedding. So it’s probably a good idea, like a shower, to make it a ‘no gifts’ affair. If you know there are people who simply will not abide by that – again, suggest a charity donation, and guide everyone to your favorites.
Whether you are approaching marriage after a divorce, or you are a widow or widower, taking that new chance at love and remarrying is always a ‘leap of faith.’ It is also an opportunity to bring families together and celebrate once more! Congratulations. Whatever our circumstances, we all deserve happiness. Give yourself permission for that and all will be well.
* U.S. Census Bureau
Photos: Garth Woods