Second Wedding Ideas

Couple enjoying bubbles at their second wedding

Second wedding ideas do not have to vary significantly from the planning for a first wedding, but there are some important considerations that a couple must make when planning their dream day. By understanding what a second wedding truly is and how to make it special, couples can celebrate their union in creative and memorable ways.

About Second Weddings

A second wedding is defined as one where either the bride or groom has been previously married. The first marriage may have ended in divorce, annulment, or death, and it can be difficult to get away from the idea that a "second" wedding is somehow less important than the first. Before beginning to plan a wedding, the couple needs to realize that while they may have had the party and events before with other people, this is still the first wedding for the two of them. That makes this day just as grand and special, worthy of a celebration.

Considering the First Wedding

When creating a second wedding plan, couples need to consider their relationship and prior marriages carefully in order to create a meaningful, joyous day to celebrate together. The couple needs to take care not to compare this wedding to the prior one in a negative way. It may not be the second wedding for both the bride and groom, or if it is, now is the opportunity to create a distinct and loving celebration for this new relationship. Discussing what they did and did not like about prior weddings can help them define what they'd like for this wedding while making it unique and beautiful.

Creative Second Wedding Ideas

A second wedding is still the first wedding for a couple's new relationship, and it can be as traditional or as unique as the couple wants. Many brides and grooms, however, prefer to avoid the more ritualized traditions common to first weddings, and these creative ideas can help you plan a memorable second wedding.

  • Date: The wedding date should be unique and significant for the couple, and many couples opt for holiday weddings for a second wedding. This gives the holiday even more significance and helps create unique traditions the couple can share for many years. Just like setting any wedding date, the date of a second wedding may also relate to the couple's first date, when they got engaged, or simply their time of year.
Bride with her ring-bearer son
  • Location: Many couples opt for unique destination weddings for a second event, rather than a classic home town wedding. Combining a second wedding with the honeymoon or choosing to elope is a fun way to celebrate and gives the couple an opportunity to exchange vows in a truly unique and exotic destination. Getting married abroad, on a cruise ship, or on a tropical beach is also.
  • Size: The guest list for a second wedding is typically smaller than that for a first wedding. Couples who have been married previously quickly realize that having many wedding guests is not as important as being surrounded by those closest to you, and many second weddings are limited to very close family and friends for an intimate celebration.
  • Bridal Party: Just as the guest list is usually smaller for second weddings, so too is the bridal party. The bride and groom may only choose one or two attendants, and it is common to have one's children stand with you for a second wedding. Some couples prefer not to have attendants at all, particularly if it will be a destination wedding or a very small affair.
  • Attire: The attire for a second wedding is usually a bit less formal than that of a first wedding, depending on the length of the previous marriages and the couple's ages, as well as the formality of the wedding they are planning. The bride may choose an ivory or even a colored wedding dress instead of a white gown, or even a skirt or suit that can be worn again for other special occasions, and the design is usually more modest. The groom may still wear a classic tuxedo, a suit, or more casual attire depending on the style of the wedding.
  • Decorations: Second marriage wedding decorations can be elaborately themed or more naturally subtle depending on the couple's style. A second wedding is usually less over the top than a first event, though the couple may have more unique touches and special details that they didn't think of for their first weddings. Themes are always a fine option, though the classic princess or fairytale theme is usually not suitable for second weddings.
Mature bride without a veil
  • Reception: The reception of a second wedding is often more casual than for a first wedding. The couple may forgo typical traditions such as a receiving line, bouquet toss, or garter toss, and there is usually more time for mingling with the guests.

Second Wedding Don'ts

There are very few rules regarding second weddings, and couples can often choose just what they'd like to do regardless of formality or previous celebrations. There are a few "don'ts" associated with second weddings, however, that couples should be aware of.

  • Bachelor parties, bridal showers, and bachelorette parties are not usually appropriate for a second wedding. A simple couple's shower can be arranged instead.
  • Large gift registries are inappropriate, as the couple should not need to outfit a first home. A small registry can be used for convenience.
  • A second time bride will not usually wear a veil over her face, though she can wear one under her hairstyle if desired.

These second wedding ideas are just a starting point to plan the perfect celebration for your new romance. While there are few rules regarding second weddings, couples who follow proper wedding etiquette and are considerate of their relationship will be able to plan a beautiful, memorable event to share.

Second Wedding Ideas