Image credit: Alvin Mahmudov
While you probably didn't expect to find yourself planning a wedding for the second time, you are certainly not alone. According to Pew Research, remarriage is becoming more common, especially among Americans aged 55 and older.
Walking down the aisle for the second time can be incredibly special—you are a bit older, wiser and know what is important to you. With less pressure to fit a mold, a second wedding can be a chance to curate an event that is totally unique to you without bending to the expectations of others. At Blue Nile, we believe love is always worthy of celebration!
Let's take a look at some beautiful ideas to make your second wedding just as wonderful (or even better!) than your first.
Planning a second wedding
The basics of planning a second wedding remain the same as the first. Creating your guest list, settling on a budget and finding a venue you love should be your first priorities.
Look at your first wedding as a learning opportunity for your second time around. Perhaps you splurged on flowers or went for that show-stopping gown that was a bit above your budget. Maybe those little extras were totally worth it, or could that money be better spent elsewhere? Make a personal list of your absolute necessities and things that you can live without.
Age-old advice tells you to keep your second wedding small and intimate, however, this is not a hard and fast rule! While this may be your second wedding, perhaps it's the first for your partner. Maybe you had a small wedding the first time around and want to go all-out celebrating your new love today. Have that blow-out bash if it's what your heart desires, and it fits in the budget.
Taking care of your mental health
Whether it's your first, second or even third marriage, wedding planning can be stressful and it's important to take care of your mental health. Remember that the day is about love and celebrating your new life together, rather than making things "perfect" or pleasing others.
Family roles at second weddings
Marrying your new partner often means forming a beautiful new blended family. Finding meaningful ways to include your current and new family members in your ceremony is a great way to make your wedding feel special.
Including children in your wedding
Image credit: Kyle Cut Media
No matter their age, some of the most important family members to consider in your ceremony are your children. Younger children can be given minor roles that make them feel special, like acting as the ring bearer or flower girl or boy. Adolescent children can be included as junior bridesmaids or groomsmen. Grown children may want to do a special reading or can even walk you down the aisle if your parents can't attend the wedding.
Honoring your blended family at your wedding
A great way to welcome stepchildren into your life is to say ''I Do'' with a vow of parenthood. During the ceremony, take a few moments to promise to cherish and love your future stepchildren just as would with your new spouse.
A popular ritual for second weddings is a family unity ceremony. One current favorite is the 'sand ceremony', which involves each family member pouring colored sand into a jar. The blended sand represents the new family coming together. After the wedding, you can display the jar of beautiful colored sand in your home as a keepsake.
At the reception, invite your new family out to the dance floor for a special first dance. Choreography is encouraged!
Image Credit: Charisse Kenion
With a second wedding, the sky's the limit for your fashion choices.
Women's Wedding Fashion
Historically veils have come to symbolize purity, so some brides may want to do without this accessory the second time around. Alternatively, ask your florist to create a flower crown to match your bouquet or try a beautiful jeweled hair piece.
These days, even many first-time brides choose to forgo the traditional white gown for more modern looks. Floral dresses, shorter styles and even jumpsuits are just some of the trends you can find on the racks of the top bridal designers. If you want to wear white that's ok too! The most important thing is that you feel beautiful and comfortable in what you are wearing.
Men's wedding fashion
The same goes for men's fashion. If you wore a traditional tux to your first wedding, try on a trendy colored suit or a matching suspender and bow-tie combo. You may be surprised at how dashing you look!
Wedding and engagement rings
There is no reason not to have both an engagement ring and a wedding ring for your second wedding. Chances are you may be further along in life than you were the first time around, so perhaps you can go for that dream ring you couldn't afford back then. If you have a traditional diamond from your first marriage, you can consider looking at some gorgeous updated gemstone ring styles. Sapphires and emeralds are two of the most popular gemstone choices to show off your unique taste.
Bachelor and Bachelorette parties
Even though it is your second wedding, it's certainly still OK to have a last "fling before the ring".
Your idea of a fun night out may have changed over the years, so tailor the event to your current tastes. Consider activities such as a spa day, group exercise class or a beachy weekend away with your closest friends. Close the evening out with a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant.
If you're still up for a wild night out, go to town! Don't let any perceived social expectations stop you from having fun.
Alternative Ideas for Second Weddings
Image credit: One zone Studio
Intimate Destination Wedding
If your last wedding was at a local venue, you might feel more comfortable having a destination wedding this time. This can be a great way to literally distance yourself from any reminders of the first wedding if that's what you prefer.
A destination wedding is also an excellent option for couples who want a more intimate wedding experience. As destination weddings tend to be smaller, you can invite only the closest people in your life. To avoid any planning frustrations, you can even consider a destination elopement with just the two of you.
When planning a destination wedding, find a romantic location that is meaningful to you or that you've always wanted to go as a couple. Make your destination wedding special by incorporating details local to the area such as native flowers, regional cuisine and cultural wedding traditions.
You can also plan to spend some extra time at the location after your guests have gone home for a two-in-one wedding and honeymoon.
Whether want to save money, avoid the frustration of planning a grand affair or just enjoy a good prank- inviting your friends and family to a surprise wedding is certainly a fun way to celebrate!
You can pull off a surprise wedding by inviting your guests to another large event they won't want to miss like an engagement party or milestone birthday. Make sure you stress the importance of the event and include dress code information on the invitations. You will need to have all of the regular wedding logistics covered like your photographer, officiant, entertainment and catering.
This is a great option for couples who want to sidestep any pre-wedding drama.
If bottomless mimosas and breakfast food in a beautiful outdoor setting sounds like the perfect day to you, you can start planning your brunch wedding!
Details such as a prosecco bar, barista coffee cart or a hotel-style breakfast buffet make this style of wedding extra special.
After everyone has finished eating, clear the way for a dance floor and boogie the day away.
An intimate ceremony with a large reception
If you prefer to say your vows privately, but still want to celebrate your nuptials with all your family and friends, then an intimate ceremony with a large reception might be the perfect combination for you.
You can have your ceremony privately on the day of your reception or opt to do it on a different day and location prior to hosting the big shindig.
Wedding sites such as Appy Couple can help you manage the guest list. You can create private and separate RSVP lists for each event so no one feels left out.
This type of celebration is a great excuse for an outfit change! Try something classic and elegant for the ceremony, then a fun, comfortable dance outfit for the party.
Living Happily Ever After
There is no need to tone down your shine just because you've been down the aisle before. If you are taking the plunge and have made the commitment to a strong and loving relationship, your second wedding should be every bit as beautiful and special as the first—if not more so!