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.
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.