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Saying I Do After You Already Did.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of helping people celebrate marriage a second or even third time around. Whether one or both partners have been divorced or widowed, there is just something special about finding love again. So when couples come to me stressing about wanting to do it “right” I always tell them the same thing: if you are truly in love, you can’t do it wrong. And I have no problem at all sounding like a Hallmark card.


In fact, a second or third wedding can be really liberating. A lot of couples the first time around are concerned about pleasing their parents and families and feel obligated to do things a certain way. They feel pressure to have a fairytale wedding and anything less than perfect brings earth-shattering stress. Usually second and third time brides are a little older, a little wiser and a lot more realistic about fairytales. This doesn’t mean a second or third wedding is less important, so let’s get that out of the way right now. This is your celebration. And baby, we’re going to celebrate!


Now that my little “yes, you deserve this” lecture is over, let’s get some questions out of the way. I hear the same ones over and over, which is why I decided to knock ‘em all down in one good blog post.


#1: Can I wear white?

You can wear anything you want and I mean that. I’ve seen gorgeous pure white gowns and I’ve seen sandals and sundresses and everything in between. White is not off-limits. That’s old school and dumb, so wear white if you want. Wear color if you want. Whatever makes you look good and feel happy.


#2: Can I register for gifts?

This can be a hot topic so remember that what you’re reading here is my opinion. A lot of couples already have more than they need (times two) and are fairly settled in life. So…if you don’t need anything, don’t register for anything. If this doesn’t apply to you and you are lacking in household items, register away. If you would like cash instead of gifts, just have your family and friends discreetly spread the word. Asking for it in writing is a little tacky (even for a first wedding).


#3: What about a wedding party?

Most second and third weddings have much smaller wedding parties, often just a maid of honor and a best man. But again, your day your way. If you want a line of attendants, let there be a line of attendants, especially if either the bride or groom has never been married before.


#4: How can we include the kids?

Depends on how your kids want to be included. Are they excited for you? Do they want to be part of your big day? Then by all means, PLEASE include the kids. Some couples with younger kids even have a family ceremony following the exchanging of vows, which is really pretty sweet and always makes me cry. But if the kids are not happy about this marriage, please consider this when planning their level of involvement. This goes for young kids as well as adult children.


#5: Who pays?

Usually you do, but like everything else there are exceptions, especially if one of you has never been married before. Talk it over with parents and families way in advance of any planning (now would be good) so there are no hurt feelings or false expectations.

#6: Should we have showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties?

If you want them, yes. Again, many couples already have all that they need, so instead of a shower you could consider just throwing a fun engagement party. As for the bachelor/bachelorette party? I make it a rule to stay out of that conversation.


#7: Do I need a wedding planner?

Well, not if you have the time, energy and desire to plan a wedding and reception by yourselves. Many second and third time couples are busy with kids and jobs and life, so hiring a wedding planner is a huge and wonderful gift. I am helping with several second time weddings right now and we are having a blast coming up with very personal, fun and family-centered celebrations. I would be honored to help you with your special day. You know where to find me!


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