Images: Inlighten Photography
If you’ve recently watched a celebrity marry for the second, third or fourth time (I’m looking at you, Kim Kardashian), you might think it’s normal to just increase the size and scale of your celebration with each wedding.
In the real world, however, a second marriage is trickier to navigate. If you’re a second-time bride, you might feel uncomfortable with all the bells and whistles of a wedding because, well, that whole “til death do us part” thing didn’t quite work out as planned the first time around. But while I Do, Take Two will almost always feel different, there’s no reason why you can’t celebrate love more than once.
So exactly what is acceptable for a second wedding? In-demand bridal coach and director of Inlighten Photography Rachael Bentick has consulted on more than 1000 weddings and it’s safe to say she’s seen it all. Here are some of Rachael’s tips on how to plan your second walk down the aisle:
Feel free to choose a less traditional gown
You may not feel comfortable wearing the tiered tulle extravaganza and tiara that you loved in your 20s, and that’s OK. Many second-time brides opt for a more demure look that says “wedding” without screaming “Bridal Barbie”. Some of the best second wedding styles I’ve seen include classic pantsuits, simple floor-length dresses and effortless silk gowns in blush or off-white. But if you still want the princess gown, that's OK too. Anything goes!
It’s OK to break the rules
Chances are seeing the groom before your first wedding ceremony was considered taboo. But things can be a bit different the second time around and some traditional elements can be thrown out the window (hurrah!). Seeing each other before the wedding ceremony not only means spending more time with your other half on your big day, it also means that you can have your photo shoot before the ceremony. That way you can have a shorter break between your ceremony and reception and get straight to celebrating with your guests.
Make your kids part of the celebration
If you have children from a previous relationship, this wedding isn’t just about you: you’re bringing together a whole family. It’s a great idea to get your kids involved by making them junior bridesmaids and groomsmen. Make sure you take advantage of everyone looking their best and get some gorgeous family photos as well.
Footing the bill
A long-standing wedding tradition often sees the bride’s (and sometimes groom’s) parents contribute a large sum to the cost of the wedding. However, this is rarely the case at a second wedding so be prepared to cover the bill yourself. Since you’re probably not furnishing a whole new house, it’s totally acceptable to request a monetary gift from guests rather than setting up a gift registry.
If you’ve acquired a taste for gourmet food and wine, then the cost per head is likely to increase and you might want to make the reception a more intimate affair. Rather than hiring out a reception hall, I suggest opting for a lunchtime reception and selecting a restaurant that serves the food you love.