You’ve experienced your own wedding once already. Perhaps it was a while ago. Perhaps you cringe when you look back. Perhaps it was everything you dreamed of, at the time. Perhaps you don’t know what to make of it now, and looking back isn’t helping you approach your second wedding.
First weddings are something we imagine for years in advance. We meticulously plan them in our heads and need to make sure they’re utterly perfect. No ifs, no buts, perfect. They are the grand statement to everlasting, undying, beating heart love—and everyone must know it. First weddings are often grand and complex occasions. Sometimes they are more about the wedding than marriage. It’s not our fault, society drums the big day into our psyche from day one. It-will-be-the-most-important-day-of-your-life type of stuff.
It’s lovely to think that every first wedding will last, but especially in the depths of youth, paths must be taken we eventually leave. Yes, divorce is part of self-discovery. It may feel negative at first, but for those who have experienced it, it’s allowing both people a second chance at happiness. This is a positive thing and should carry no stigma. We’re not in the 19th Century, 40% of Brits re-marry.
It’s a relief for us to know we’re not alone and doing something totally normal. Not that love is one for listening.
What separates second weddings from first, is not just time, but stress levels. Your friends and family are not likely to be looking over your shoulder (too much). You’re left in peace to go about your wedding business and no one expects it to move mountains. You also know yourself better than ever before—your likes, dislikes, and what you want from your future.
Is there a better position to be in when thinking of marriage?
Of course, a second wedding still won’t plan itself—so here are some top tips for you.
The first-time round it can be painstaking filtering who to invite. Not only are there distant relatives to think of, that have already hinted, but a long list of acquaintances.
As we get older, past the age of 25, our friend circles start to shrink. We’re not lonelier, we’re just no longer surrounded by the social scenes of school, college, or university. What links us together changes, and friendships need more than the odd night out to flourish. Our priorities change and we have less time to invest in socialising, and we must be able to connect with new friends on a firm, meaningful level.
You might find second time round choosing your wedding invitees is a more straightforward process. It’s likely there are fewer potentials, and you know exactly who should be there. You’re also not under pressure to make it big, so low-key and intimate is fine.
Your second wedding is complete fashion freedom. Want to wear bright red, orange, gold, day-glow pink, then go for it.
We need to face facts, white is an overused colour, and it’s often the chosen colour for first weddings. Afterall, that’s the tradition—a white wedding. Some may dream of a white wedding, and that’s fine, but others may choose white simply because it’s the done thing. Think of it this way; when asked what our favourite colour is few of us will answer “white”.
Whatever you did or did not choose for your first wedding, your second has no traditional barriers in its way. “Till death do us part” doesn’t leave room for a second wedding. This could be considered outdated, which it is, yet it’s also liberating. Second weddings are not bound by religious and social constraints. The bare minimum you’re allowed is to deviate from white.
First weddings can be stressful, and one of the reasons is how formal many of them are. Draughty churches, organ music, shuffling down the aisle, three-course meals, stuffy speeches, and so on. With second weddings, it’s a moment to throw formalities out of the window.
Rather than being walked down the aisle, you could hold a unity ceremony with your family, such as lighting a wish lantern or pouring beautiful coloured sand into a glass vase. This latter idea is a great way to involve more of your family.
Plus, to relax things further, you could play some fun music with family significance. Maybe something your dad would put on in the car when you were younger—all the better if it’s a bit cheesy. It will bring some laughs and give your wedding a light atmosphere.
You can also think about reversing traditional family roles. If you and your partner have children, perhaps they can join your ceremony and provide readings? This inclusivity helps solidify your new life with your partner, as being one where it’s not just the two of you.
Not at our own wedding, but we’ve all been at someone else’s where it’s been difficult to make an hour or two of conversation at our table. Some people dread this forced socialisation, because it doesn’t come naturally to them.
How about opting for a festival atmosphere. Get your speeches done first, then start the music early with some delicious street food. That way people can mingle, eat in their own time, and the music helps diffuse any social tension.
Because you’re free from the expectations of your first wedding, and likely a little older and wiser to yourself, your second wedding is a moment to leave your mark in a way that’s true to you and your partner. It can be unique, and all the better for it.
Here at our country hotel and restaurant in the beautiful valleys of South Wales your second wedding can be as big, intimate, colourful, unique, as whatever as you want. It’s all about you and making sure your wedding reflects your personality. Check out our wedding page and find out more about our fantastic offers and lovely location.