Planning a second wedding

Whether you’re widowed, divorced or just looking to reaffirm your vows, a second wedding gives you the opportunity to plan a special celebration for the one you love. How you do it is up to you.

Sometimes, it can feel like tricky territory in terms of what is deemed appropriate and what isn’t. Different people may think different things, but at the end of the day, it’s your big day. You make the rules.

Long gone are the days of old-fashioned traditional rules dictating what is and isn’t allowed for those planning a second wedding – and thank goodness for that. So, less of the formalities and traditions (unless that’s your vibe!) and more of what you know will make your day even more special with your family and friends.

Here are the main things to think about when planning a second wedding:

Different ceremony choices

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For a second wedding, you have a choice of ceremony options to choose from. Most couples opt for a civil ceremony, but it is possible to have a religious second wedding even if you are divorced these days.

In general, second weddings tend to be smaller scale than many first weddings. This is in terms of the guest list, the wedding venue, and the budget. But that’s not to say you have to stick to that! A smaller scale wedding just makes for a more intimate and personal affair, which is ideal for those that want to keep it as a more casual and informal occasion.

With a smaller guest list and budget, it’s no surprise that lots of couples go abroad for their second marriage. It’s a popular option for brides and grooms, whether it be their first, second or third marriage. Why? Because it’s an easy way to get the most perfect and beautiful day for less (and not forgetting the greater chance of sunshine).

Perfect venues for a second wedding

peckham springs second wedding

If you’re planning on staying in the country for your big day, (in the realms of London for a city wedding, perhaps?), there are plenty of wedding venue ideas out there.

With couples that are going quite traditional with their second wedding, don’t let anything get in the way of your wedding venue search. But for those that are looking for something a little smaller and more low-key, have you considered a pub wedding?

Pub weddings are on the rise – more and more couples are choosing pubs for their wedding venue. We all know that pubs come in all different shapes, sizes and styles. It really depends on what you want. You might have a particularly nice local that you and your friends love, or maybe you want to branch out to somewhere a little different.

Choosing a pub as a wedding venue is popular choice for second weddings (and first weddings too) for a reason… well, many reasons. Pubs have a warm and laidback atmosphere that not all venues can match. Choose wisely and you’ve got a venue that is super cosy for you and your guests, and serves up yummy, hearty food. What’s not to love?

Wedding stationery and wedding invitations

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The wording on your wedding stationery or wedding invitations might seem like a sticky subject to some, but it actually doesn’t need to be. In fact, it doesn’t really have to be any different to the first wedding.

Whilst there is a tradition that the bride’s parents host the wedding and invite guests on behalf of the couple, this isn’t a necessity by any means. You can name whoever you wish to host the wedding, but with a second wedding, it is more common for it to be hosted by the couple themselves.

Then all you need is the request, the location, the dates and times, any other reception information, plus the RSVP details. Simple.

Including you and your partners’ children

unity ceremony

If you or your partner have children from a previous marriage or relationship, there are so many ways you can get the kids involved with the big day. Younger children make fabulous flower girls, bridesmaids and page boys. If you’ve got older children, they can participate in the ceremony or reception by doing readings or speeches to celebrate the occasion.

There is also a variety of ceremonies you can add to the day, to commemorate the joining of families. Some examples include the unity candle ceremony, symbolic sand ceremony, and family vows and unity ritual.

Wedding dresses and attire

tanner and co warehouse venue

The old rule about not wearing white for a second wedding is out the window, and we’re happy for that. Whether you choose to or not, we’re not a fan of old traditions restricting your special day. It’s totally up to you or your partner whether you go for a traditional white wedding dress, or perhaps you’ll go with something less formal and more personal to you.

A lot of second time brides feel that their big princess gown moment has gone, so go for something more mature and simpler. Many opt for a shorter dress, or a tailored dress, trouser suit or two-piece. Some keep it dressy but include spots of colour in it. It’s your chance to show off your personality and your style, so play around with it a bit!

Don’t let any old-fashioned ‘rules and regulations’ get in the way. One thing we would avoid though? Wearing the same dress again. The less comparisons to your first wedding, the better in most cases!

Your wedding gift list

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Your cupboards are probably already brimming with fancy kitchenware, appliances, crystal and other homeware, so what to put on the wedding gift list? Well, really it is completely up to you. Some more standard wedding gift list ideas for a second wedding are experiences (you know, that little spa break that you had your eye on, or something for the honeymoon, perhaps?) or donations to a chosen charity.

If you are still on the hunt for some home improvement items, then there is no problem in creating a gift list with a specific store. Giving suggestions makes your guests’ lives easier, but of course, their presence is enough for you!