Second Marriages, Tasteful Weddings

It doesn’t matter if this is your first, second marriage—or even your fifth. It’s still a special event. A second marriage should be an opportunity for family and friends to get together and share in your love. If you’ve both been married before, then this is the perfect chance for the two of you to work as a team at planning that second wedding celebration.

The main difference? You’ve already experienced a more traditional walk down the aisle. Perhaps, this time you are looking for a more adventurous celebration.


Here are some ideas to make that special second wedding memorable yet tasteful.


  • Make it a family affair.

First-time wedding plans usually fall to the bride and her mother. This time, you may both have children. Give them a pivotal role in planning and participating. They may be part of the wedding party. They may throw a rehearsal party or even the reception. Make sure they are key figures in your plans.


  • Dare to be different.

Many first weddings are very traditional: church wedding; big white dress; huge wedding cake, long limo; formal reception. Second marriages can be creative. Talk about your first weddings. Decide what you wish you’d done differently. Read, Research. You can be creative about the venue, the attire, the food, even the invitations!


  • Choose a size that fits.

Your first wedding may have been a lavish affair involving parents’ social and business guests. This wedding is about the two of you. Consequently, it may be smaller and more intimate—or bigger! Maybe you have a bigger group of friends. Perhaps your family now includes kids and grandchildren.

  • What’s the vibe?

First marriages often start off with big, stiff, formal weddings. What atmosphere do you want for your second marriage? Venue often determines mood. For example: will this be a small, intimate, at-home wedding? Will you be married at the cottage or the beach with a small group? Will you choose a big wedding at a country club or a destination wedding? Will you opt for a cocktail party or creative appetizers or a western-style BBQ or an Hawaiian luau or even a potluck in your backyard, instead of a formal sit-down dinner?


  • Who’s hosting?

Remember: This is the electronic era. Can those formal costly invitations. Who is hosting? Is this your celebration or are your children hosting it? What’s the theme? These questions should guide the tone of the invitation.


  • What about gifts?

No. It is not tacky to leave gifts to the guests. It’s also perfectly understandable to put something in your invitation like: “No gifts please. Your presence is our present!”

Another way to go is to ask for funding for a special project that is dear to the two of you. You can also register at a store(s) you love. The trick is to be as helpful as you can to guests who will want to know what to buy.

In conclusion

The most important thing to remember about a second marriage is that this is your wedding. You want it to be personal and meaningful for bride and groom. You also want it to be comfortable for friends and family who have gathered to share in this moment. Because you’re older and more mature, second weddings are often more considerate of the guests—some of whom may have memories of your first relationships. Making them feel happy to be included as you begin the next phased of your life is key to a tasteful second marriage. 

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