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Planning Your Perfect Second Wedding

by Christina Friedrichsen,

Did you know that out of the 2.4 million weddings that take place in the U.S. each year, 43 percent are second weddings?

Second weddings tend to be smaller than first weddings - and oftentimes, they're more personalized. Couples marrying for the second time are old enough to know exactly what they want. Many of them have done the big wedding thing, and prefer to celebrate with only close friends and family. Besides, they have different priorities. Many of them have careers, homes, kids, and they no longer feel pressured by their families - or society in general - to have a traditional wedding.

Although second weddings tend to be smaller than first weddings, that doesn't necessarily mean they are simple. Many encore brides and grooms pull out all the stops for their second I do's.

If you are planning a second wedding, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • If you want to wear a traditional white wedding gown, go for it. The 'no white' rule has been abolished.
  • Registering for gifts is perfectly acceptable. If you already have all the household items you need, consider setting up a honeymoon registry at
  • If you are divorced and want to have a church wedding, check with the cleric well before your wedding date to make sure the church permits second weddings. If you get turned away, try a nondenominational minister.
  • Consider a destination wedding. They are a popular option for second weddings.
  • If you have kids, involve them. This is a great way to prevent them from feeling alienated and to help them get excited about your nuptials.

How do you involve children? Here are just a few ideas:

  • Encourage kids to offer input on wedding-day decisions. This will make them feel part of the process. Ask for input on everything from the wedding day music to the favors.
  • If kids are artistic or into crafts, have them make favors, place cards, invitations or wedding programs. Also have kids help decorate the venue.
  • A young girl can serve as flower girl or ring bearer, while a young boy can serve as ring bearer.
  • Preteens could serve as junior bridesmaids or junior ushers. A teen or adult could serve as bridesmaid, groomsman, usher, maid of honor or best man.
  • Have a child give a reading or a speech if s/he desires If a child is musical have him or her perform during the ceremony or reception.
  • Don't force kids to take a role. Ask them if they would like to participate, and if so what they would like to do.


Article by Christina Friedrichsen
Author of "Intimate Weddings: Planning a Small Wedding that Fits Your Budget and Style"


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