Not that long ago, popular thought dictated that second weddings should not be elaborate, formal or extravagant; rather, one should aim for smaller, quieter and more intimate. Today, however, more than 30 percent of today’s weddings are encore weddings and decidedly more commonplace. The focus is on celebrating two people who have found each other, discovering love again and embarking on a new beginning. In truth, celebrations can be as elaborate or as intimate as we desire, without fearing social stigma.
Ceremonies and Vows
Civil ceremonies tend to be the most popular with encore brides, but a religious ceremony is entirely appropriate. If you choose a religious ceremony, meet with your officiant, clergy member, etc. about any “hoops” through which you might need need to jump.
There are endless possibilities for making your second wedding even more special. Writing personalized vows is very popular for encore couples, and entire books are devoted to the subject. Including your children in the ceremony is a wonderful way to symbolize the joining of your two families and to help them feel as though they are an essential part of your celebration. They can escort you down the aisle, read a poem or scripture, serve as attendants or as a part of my favorite ritual: the lighting of a unity candle.
Who will walk you down that aisle? Happily for us, these days it can be anyone: your mother, child, two children or best friend—or you can choose not to have anyone do so. In fact, traditional Jewish processions include both sets of grandparents and parents. The parents stand with the bridal party under the chuppah (wedding canopy) during the ceremony. You can create your own tradition, with all of your children walking beside you and your groom and standing with you at the altar. You’re bound only by your imagination.