Remarriage: Ideas, Tips & Etiquette
26 Aug 2008 9:13 PM by Sachin Gupta
Second, third, even fourth marriages are relatively commonplace in this day and age. While nobody applauds the high divorce rate in this country, we nonetheless recognize remarriage as a fact of life -- and a great opportunity for a happy new start (and a cool second wedding) for thousands of couples.
Second- or third-time-around couples often find themselves at a loss as to how to go about celebrating their nuptials -- as if a marriage that is not one's first is any less cause for celebration. Because the traditional picture of the blushing first-time bride and groom is growing increasingly less representative of those getting married, we at the Knot have put together some tips, ideas, and advice for all those going through this (still heady, still giddy) period of engagement and marriage, when you've been there, done that before.
Our outlook on this situation is "This Time, Do It the Way You Want It." Take advantage of whatever experience and maturity you've gained since the first marriage(s) and apply it to making this one the best!
Brides: Be yourself. Let your personality shine through. Traditional garb is probably what you wore when you married someone else
-- this time go for what you like! This also means that if you always wanted to wear the big white dress, but for some reason didn't get to before, do it now! Grooms: Take that money you would have used on a (new) tux and buy an Armani suit (or something else that makes you feel suave
). Be as individualistic as the woman you are marrying.
Choose your attendants' attire with the same philosophy. They don't all have to wear the same thing, they don't have to wear tuxes, taffeta dresses, etc. Incorporate your personalities into the proceedings.
The very first people to be told of the upcoming wedding should be children either of you have from previous marriages. This is very important: Even if you are lucky enough to have children who adore your new husband or wife, if they are not the first to be told it can be very alienating for them. Your kids are going to have a brand-new stepparent -- no one should know that before they do, right? Right. Often, in a second marriage where there are children, the children will walk down the aisle ahead of the couple, making a strong statement that this marriage is an important step for all involved.
Although previously there was a stigma attached to announcing one's (second) engagement or wedding in the newspaper, there is no such stigma now. Check with your newspaper as to format.
Because the couple probably has most necessary household items, go for interesting theme showers:
Self-Improvement: lessons for cooking, calligraphy, sculpting, ballroom dancing; scuba diving; museum or health-club memberships; a concert, readings, ballet, or opera series; a weekend at a spa.
Wine Cellar: wine glasses; corkscrew; wine rack; membership to a wine-of-the-month club; wine newsletter; wine-tasting classes.
Great Outdoors: gardening tools; skis; hiking/camping equipment; binoculars; rock-climbing lessons; a gas grill.
Money is not a very romantic topic. We can all agree on this. However, in an area as legal and binding as a marriage (and as fraught with emotion), it must be considered and discussed, to the mutual benefit of everyone involved. When a couple is remarrying, it is often an even larger issue, because chances are they have more possessions, investments, property, etc. In her book "Money Advice for Your Successful Remarriage: Handling Delicate Financial Issues with Love and Understanding" (Betterway Books, 1996), author Patricia Schiff Estess talks about the "ABCs of Money Management: Accounts, Budgets, and Chores." She outlines several money-management strategies tailored for different situations and different personalities, for example, ways of pooling or not pooling income when there are children from previous marriages involved; the "one pot," "two pot," or "three pot" system -- which refers to how many bank accounts the couple will separately and jointly maintain, etc. It's a good book for anyone thinking of making the leap -- again.
Congratulations to all those who are lucky and romantic enough to have found love again!