Wedding Shoes

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Getting Married when It's Not Your First Time

Life is just full of surprises, isn't it?

Do you remember a time when you were sure you could never feel this way again? And now, here you are ' as happy as a teenager.


Now, what are you worrying about?

Worries About Marrying Again

"I'm too old to be a bride!"

No, you're not. Once upon a time, the average age of a bride was 18 or 19. Today, it's 26 or 27 and getting older all the time.

Why? It's true that many people are getting married for the first time at a later stage in their lives. But the number of second marriages is also rising, and third and fourth marriages are no longer rarities that occur only in Hollywood. More than 30 percent of weddings today involve at least one partner who was married before.

Second weddings are hot. Second weddings are more sophisticated, cooler, funkier, more fun. They are more shamelessly romantic, in the way only two people who already know what a 3 A.M. feeding is like can be.

You, my dear, are not alone.

"Re bridal salon consultant will laugh at me!"

No, she won't. Bridal salons, ring designers, florists, caterers, and dress designers have noticed that you are one of a swiftly multiplying number of women: encore brides. They are reconfiguring their businesses to appeal to you. A 40-year-old is not an uncommon sight in a bridal salon, nor is a 50-or 60-year-old. And if you're 70, honey, bless your heart.

"What will people (my children, my ex, my family, my friends)think?"

Your children and your future stepchildren will need extra love and support from both you and your fiance. Tips, guidance, and advice from both stepparents and stepchildren are offered in the chapters to come.

Your ex-spouse could be a little irritant or a big problem, but if he was supportive of you and your choices, he wouldn't be your ex, now, would he? The next chapter is devoted to how to deal with him and how to deal with your fiance's ex, too.

If your husband died, you may be worried about what his parents and family will think. There's advice ahead for you, as well.

Your parents and siblings, I hope, have your best interests at heart and will share your joy and happiness.

Your friends are probably reminding you that you stormed around for months after your divorce, swearing you'd never walk down the aisle again. They may be a little jealous. After all, you've found love all over again. Lucky you!

"What if I fail again?"

Well, you've changed. Remember that you have a tremendous advantage now that you didn't have the last time you thought about marriage: You are older, wiser, and more experienced. You've survived the end of a major love partnership. You've lost love and regained it. You can use what you've learned to create a new, lasting relationship. Your new marriage can be anything you two make it. You have the strengths you each developed in your previous relationships, and you have the new combined strengths you've developed together.


Do You Deserve Another
Real Wedding?

Not too many etiquette manuals ago, a second wedding was barely an occasion at all. It was a subdued affair, attended only by immediate family and treated as quietly as possible.

Not anymore! Today, a second wedding is celebrated as joyfully as a first-even more so because it is a Joining of a more mature bride and groom who have a deeper understanding of their vows and who have triumphed over personal challenges.

You have to be brave to try again, and you and your fiance have not only tried, but succeeded!

A second or third commitment to marriage doesn't I mean it's less of a commitment. Marriage is a significant, lifechanging event, whenever it occurs, and deserves to be marked with importance and ceremony.

This Wedding Will Be Special
in Its Own Ways

You and your fiance have already learned that love is unique. Your new marriage will be inherently different from your first in many ways. Your wedding should be, too.

Don't create a rerun of your first wedding. Start fresh. Start over. Find new ways to celebrate.

Do not, under any circumstances, get married in the same church or temple, hotel, or park as one of you did the first time around. Do not use the same ring, choose the same celebrant, embrace the same color scheme. Do not honeymoon on the same island. And you already know better than to wear the same dress. Create your wedding out of the unique style that you and your fiance make together. Make new memories, rather than relive old ones.

Stop Being Embarrassed
and Have Fun

My husband (yes, he's my fourth) and I (I'm his third) did a silly thing at a party the night before our wedding that helped keep things lighthearted. We ordered a wedding cake from an earnest baker who had no idea what we were about to do to his carefully sculpted tiers and flourishes. We stuck a bride and groom on top, but then added little extra plastic people. Two previous brides for him, three ex-tuxedoes for me. They tumbled down the sides and layers of the cake, heads mashed into frosting, miniature dress shoes and tiny plastic hoop skirts sticking out awkwardly. We did check with the kids first to be sure they wouldn't be offended by seeing their parents in effigy in frosting. Cake therapy.

Actually, it 'Was kind of fun, and it set people at case. Everyone knew, of course, that we had been married before, but sometimes people treat it like an unfortunate flaw that shouldn't be brought up. Well, we brought it up and then some, everyone got a chuckle, and the cake wasn't bad, either...

Excerpted from

Getting Married when It's Not Your First Time: An Etiquette Guide and Wedding Planner

by Pamela Hill Nettleton
Buy this book at
Barnes & Noble

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