“I Do” (again)
Or 3rd Times a Charm!
"Guest Post" by Valerie Tillery:
Second weddings (and third) are quite common in today’s society. Charles and Camilla had some new things to consider, so help your children, future children, friends and family how to accept the upcoming event.
You might not be the twenty-something, blushing bride, yet are probably more mature in taste and style. Remove those “old myths” a bit and make your wedding the way you want and with your own special flair. Some couples choose to step out of the “traditional box” and plan their wedding more freely. They know who they are and know what they want much more this time around.
Ex’s and Children
Its always a good idea to inform the former spouse of the pending nuptials. Most second marriages will involve children or possibly event grandchildren. And, don’t forget to include Godchildren.
Involving children in the ceremony can to a wonderful start depending on the child’s age. Here are a few ideas that you might offer:
• Reading scriptures
• Best man, usher, ring bearer
• Maid of honor, flower girl
• Lighting the Unity candle
• Special Toasts
• Deciding small details about the ceremony, food, flowers, colors, etc.
• Helping put together wedding decorations
• Have the children also walk down the aisle
• Guest Book attendant
.............If the child(ren) are still feeling a little pinch about the union, the parents might assign a favorite aunt or friend to shadow them on the wedding day. The parents might include the children by telling all of them that its “our wedding day” to make them feel a part of it too.
Walking Down the Aisle
The ‘again bride’ might consider having her children walk her down the aisle or she may walk alone. Her parents might walk before her as an alternative. It is not necessary for the father to “give the bride away” as she has already been given away (to the now, former husband).
The Family Medallion Ceremony or Family Vow Ceremony
"Marriage is often viewed as a union of two individuals. In reality however, Marriage is much broader than that. It is also the coming together and merging of family and friends. With children present, the wedding ceremony becomes the proclaiming of a new family." One way to incorporate the acceptance of a blended family is the insert of a small tribute during the ceremony. Special touches can be added to include children and the gesture recognizes the fact that all are becoming a new family. During the wedding ceremony, the couple's children join them at the altar.
After the exchange of wedding vows, each parent can recite a small phrase of words as a vow of acceptance. For example, "I, (name), solemnly promise that I will care for you, love you and honor you as my own."
A “new” family tree print is a special touch that adds all the new names to the family tree and can be presented during the ceremony or displayed at the reception.
This tribute can include the giving of jewelry (necklace, charm bracelet lapel pin or ring). The Family Medallion® symbol includes three equally merged circles: two circles represent the marriage union; the third symbolizes the importance of children within the family. Jewelry can be given after the exchange of rings as a pledge of their love to them and their importance within the new family.
Unity or Family Candle
The lighting of the candles where all members of the new family light the candle can be a great experience. If one (or both) former spouses died, a memorial candle can also be included by having the children light this one as well.
2nd Time in White?
Of course! There’s no problem with marrying in white as it symbolizes a new beginning. Some brides may lean toward winter white, off white, ecru or pastels. The dress may be more simple and elegant. No Southern Belle and fluffy sleeves this time, perhaps, but a design consistent with the bride’s more mature taste. Some will still want the floor length while others will choose the tea-length, cocktail dress style, or even pant suits.
The bride might not register for gifts as this is usually reserved for first marriages and those just beginning to set up a household. One would think that the mature bride already has household items, yet gifts are hoped for as a sign of new times and a new beginning. There may be one item that the new couple want such as china, for example. They might make these wishes known by word of mouth. Some set up honeymoon registrations instead. Either way, be sure to send photo thank you cards to each of your well-wishers!
There again, it would seem that the couple already have household items, so a second time around bride might not expect showers. Of course, there will be those who will insist. A unique themed, cocktail party or co-ed shower might be appropriate.
Generally, the couple split all expenses, not expecting the parents to chip in for second weddings.
Some ‘ole relations’ may still pay special homage to the former spouse of either the bride or the groom. You want to encourage the each other to only invite those who wish you well and not harbor old or mixed feelings. The guest list still follows the traditional rules, yet ex-spouses and “former others” might be something to think about.
The invitation should only include the names of the couple. Some are also including their children’s name as a symbolic gesture as uniting two families into one.
This isn’t really necessary, yet some prefer having a Dutch-treat dinner out for all family members, special friends and out of town guests.
• Place engagement wedding announcement in newspaper
• Engagement party
• Marry at same location
• Wear the same dress or rings
• Carry orange blossoms (sign of purity and virginity)
With the prospect that many guests will have children in attendance, be sure to coordinate a children’s area (or room) at the wedding reception. Books, coloring books, puzzles and games at a special table area will keep the children occupied. A special helper assigned can volunteer or be hired for this task.
Planning a home wedding for the second marriage can be a quaint experience. Most likely on a smaller scale, the ceremony and reception can be a formal sit-down dinner, garden wedding or even a barbeque. See the At Home Wedding Guide
--as elaborate and big as you want. Some keep it simple, yet the celebration afterwards should reflect your personal style and be a family event.
• Mid-afternoon cake, coffee and champagne only
• Mid-morning breakfast buffet
• Evening dessert-only reception
• Light finger food luncheon buffet
If you have been engaged for a second wedding, make the focus on the family as an entire unit. Center the planning around the couple and what they have in mind. Special family touches and ceremony additives can make it a special time for guests as well. Treat this as if it were your first wedding since it will be their 1st marriage to each other.
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