Your Second Marriage

Your Second Marriage

There’s always talk about the high divorce rate, but that doesn’t seem to put people off from contemplating a second marriage. Whether their first marriage had broken down irrevocably or had ended through death,  a new life begins with a second marriage.

The Whole ‘Shebang’

For your second marriage, there is nothing to stop you from organising a large-scale affair (assuming you have the funds and will to do so). But you may feel that you’ve ‘done it all before’ and would like a more modest ‘do’, and that’s absolutely fine.

Depending on your circumstances and also choices, a full religious service may not be a practical option, so remember that a civil celebrant will be able to create a wonderful and moving ceremony for you (and it can be as religious, or not, as you want it to be).

Likewise, the venue and reception can – and should – reflect your wishes, as well as your budget.

Little problems

Many remarriages will bring children from the first marriage in tow. This may seem a tricky complication, but, although the age of the children is a factor to be considered, there are ways to turn this to your advantage.

It’s absolutely fine if the children remain on the periphery or keep a low profile. Whatever you choose has to be right.

However, if kids can be involved (positively!), this can enhance the ceremony for all concerned (including the guests).

Possible Solutions: before the big day

Children can be invited to a play a part in the planning and at the event itself. Beforehand, they might be asked for a few choices of music (maybe for the service, but, more likely, for the reception). They might be able to help prepare the table decorations for the reception.

Possible Solutions: the big day

An obvious way to involve children is by employing them as bridesmaids or ushers. They can also take part in the ceremony, either by giving their mum away or even (if trusted sufficiently!) by keeping the rings until the ring blessing.

They can also take part in various rituals. There could be brief mutual vows between themselves and the new step-parents; they could participate in ceremonies like sand-blending or Unity candle-lighting, which beautifully symbolise the coming together of two families.

Possible Solutions: the reception

There are various ways that the children can be made to feel special. They can usher people through to the reception. Older ones might propose a toast at the meal or even, in certain circumstances, deliver a very short speech (but this is fraught with potential dangers, and needs to be entered into with eyes wide open!). I advise looking at my blog about groom’s speeches, which contains some important counsel about speech-making in general.

They could have their own table (and possibly, own menu) and entertainment (glo-sticks, fancy dress, magician etc.)

They might even be invited to dance with their new step-parents, although this should not be insisted upon too much!

It certainly makes sense at every level to include the children. You can get your new life off to a great start by keeping them sweet.

Whether or not there are children to consider, whether or not you have already had a big wedding the first time around, make no mistake: your second marriage is a significant step and deserves to be commemorated in the way that meets your beliefs and wishes.


Your Second Wedding

Your Second Wedding

Divorce is not necessarily the only cause of a marriage break-up. One other I could name is death. But whatever the reason for the break-up, it can be difficult to gee oneself up for a second wedding.

Certainly, many people who remarry choose to go for a smaller affair than the first.

One big ‘plus’

A huge advantage about a second wedding is that it can be fun!

There is no reason now why there should be the stress of family pressure. Your second marriage is exclusively about you. You are mature, consenting adults – maybe with your own children and homes. This ceremony is all about your commitment to each other (although sharing the celebrations with others is very much a part of it too).

The good news is, then, that you don’t have to follow other people’s rules. You can do what you want.

That means that clothing, guests, venue, celebrant, reception are all up to you.


There is no obligation to wear – or avoid – any particular clothing. If a second-time bride wants to wear white, why shouldn’t she? (Even if she wore it the first time around.) A full-length gown is lovely, but why not a shorter dress in a different colour or colours? Formal or informal? It’s down to you.


It is almost unthinkable, but you can actually invite only the people you want. You can have a huge affair or fly off somewhere with just a couple of friends. You might have a small reception for closest family and friends. There is no need to break the bank, if you do not want to.

vow renewal


If you want a creative, personalised ceremony, then have a chat to a Civil Celebrant. You will get good ideas and will be able to put together a ceremony that reflects your personality and will be really special.

There’s plenty of information at


Depending on your religion’s take on remarriage, the religious option may be for you; you may want only a quiet (if uninspiring) register office wedding.

Many people these days choose a hotel or restaurant, but there’s nothing to stop you using a back garden, museum, hot-air balloon or wherever your imagination takes you. (Do get permission first!)

It can be a casual affair or as formal as you choose. But remember: whatever you go for, the wedding will need to be legally recognised, of course.


Again, the scale and budget of the affair will dictate what sort of reception you will choose. You might like to read my comments on receptions in a recent blog: .

Wedding gifts

You can come up with a wedding list, but you may – especially if you are combining two homes – already have virtually everything you need. You can, however, invite guests to contribute money to a charity of your choice.

I hope these suggestions will be useful to you – whichever number marriage you are embarking on! You will learn from any past mistakes and enjoy precisely the wedding that you want. Good luck with it!