With second marriages accounting in excess of 30 percent of all marriages today, many of the old traditions are changing. You have many choices that may fit your individual situation. Decisions may be determined by your age, whether there will be children involved and if this is a second marriage for both of you or just one of you. Following are some tips to help you choose the kind of ceremony and reception that will make your day a beautiful memory.
If there are children involved and you plan to announce your engagement it is best to tell them first. Chances are that they already have an idea that things are headed in this direction, but it is best that they hear it from you first. Make sure you handle this with care and love and to make the child feel a part of this experience and that they will be gaining a parent and not be threatened with the thought of losing one. It is proper to notify a former spouse also when children are involved. Then in respective order it is best to tell your parents, relatives and then your friends. Traditionally if it is a second marriage, it is not necessary to deliver a formal announcement unless it is one partners first marriage.
When it is a brides first marriage but the grooms second, generally everything in the planning remains traditional. The wedding may be as formal or religious as you wish. Plan to visit a clergyman or official who will plan to perform your ceremony to find out all, if any restriction on the remarriage of a divorced person. If it is a brides second marriage, a semi-formal or informal wedding is usually chosen rather that a large formal wedding. Usually in this case only close friends and family members are present. If a bride has never had a formal wedding or does not have children then occasionally a more formal wedding can be chosen. If the groom has never been married before, it may be the choice of the grooms family to pay for a traditional wedding themselves, but it is not right to expect a bride’s family to pay for a second wedding. A church, chapel, home, hotel or club may be the setting for a second marriage. Traditionally there should be a maid or matron-of-honor and also a best man, but there need not be bridesmaids, ushers or groomsmen. If there are children from a previous marriage it is tasteful to have the children participate in this joyous day.
A brides dress for a second marriage can be romantically feminine, lacy or tailored, mid-calf, ankle length, white or ivory or even pastel. Whatever you choose will depend on the formality of your ceremony and the time of day you have chosen. You may desire to carry either a bouquet or fresh-cut flowers.
When the ceremony is larger than just a few guests you should plan to send printed invitations. The wording will depend on your individual situation and you may want to indicate “no gifts” on the invitations if it is a second wedding for both of you. If a reception will follow the ceremony, you may want to include an invitation to attend the reception with your invitation.
The reception can be any size even if you have a smaller wedding. Neither the bride or grooms previous marriage has any reflection on your reception and its size. A reception is a nice way to share this special day with your family and friends in a formal or informal setting. You may still feel like toasting to your new life together with champagne, having the traditional cutting of the cake and a first dance is always in order.
A second wedding can be as special as you want. Remember, you are celebrating the start to a new life and you can celebrate in the fashion that you feel comfortable.
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