We spoke to engaged couple Jon and Andi who spent time with us earlier this year. Both have been married before and both are trying again. Andi talks us through her thought process and sheds light on some second wedding issues.
Size and scope
There’s nothing wrong with making your second wedding more extravagant than the first. Just make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. If you have more money that before, your tastes have changed or you both want something lavish then all is good. If you just want to outdo your first wedding, that’s not so good.
Forget having been married before. This is a new experience with a new partner. Treat it as such. Plan the wedding you want, the way you want it. Don’t worry about anything else other than your future life together and leave the past behind.
“I originally thought my second wedding had to be bigger and better than the first. It was only when we really talked about it that I realised I only wanted that to show the world I was over my first one and am better than I was back then. Once I figured that out that I decided bigger isn’t always better unless it’s for the right reasons.”
If a large, extravagant wedding reflects your lifestyle and taste, go with it. If it’s just to stick two fingers up at your first one, forget it. Have your wedding your way and look to the future not the past.
Many brides can feel pressured into giving their family what they want and doing things the “accepted” way. If you have been there, done that, it’s time to do it your way. A second wedding is the ideal opportunity to take complete control of how things go. Your family has had their turn, now it’s yours.
“I wore my mother’s wedding dress the first time as it was a family tradition. Looking back, I gave my own parents and parents in-law too much power during my first wedding. While I wanted to please, I didn’t exactly get my dream wedding first time round. This time, we are in control of everything.”
If your first wedding was traditional, it doesn’t mean your second one has to be. If it doesn’t fit your current taste don’t do it. Many couples forego traditional wedding dresses, suits and all the formality and go with something much less formal.
We often host ceremonies in our properties for second weddings and can attest that some couples just want something subtle and meaningful rather than formal. A collection of friends and family, a celebrant, a cosy ceremony and a reception to let their hair down.
“I didn’t get married in white this time. I didn’t have a puffy dress, train or flower girls. I just had a lovely, slim-fit ivory dress and a bridesmaid and that was it. The ceremony was intimate, low-key and much more relaxed. Although we still have over 150 people there, it felt much more romantic.
“We considered eloping or having a destination wedding, but we both have big families and wanted to include them. That’s why we still had a ceremony and reception, we just kept it much more relaxed.”
Treat it as your first wedding
If one or both of you have been married before, it can be tempting to act as if you have “been there, done that.” Don’t. Treat this wedding as your first. It’s a new period of your life, with someone new, in a completely different situation. While the technicalities mean it’s a second marriage, doesn’t mean the approach has to be.
“We talked a lot about “last time….” Like “last time we did this” or “last time we did that” and it became annoying for both of us. We had to consciously let go of the past and treat our wedding as if it were our first. It took a while, but Jon and I both ended up enjoying the process much more as a result. I would definitely suggest everyone do that second time round.”
Don’t bring up what you experienced before unless you’re both comfortable doing so. Don’t remind each other of the past, concentrate on the future. By all means learn lessons from experience, but don’t let history influence or even play a part in your future!