Planning Your Second Wedding

So you have decided to tie the knot for a second time. Take a deep breath and let the wedding plans begin! Planning a second wedding can oftentimes be more difficult than planning for the first. There are several factors that must be taken into consideration as you make the most important wedding planning decisions of all... what is the wedding budget, when to have the wedding, where to host the wedding, and who will be invited?

What is your wedding budget? Since this will be your second wedding, it is likely that you will be absorbing the entire expense. You are little older and wiser this time around. So determine the type of wedding you would like, then determine the type of wedding you can afford.

Do you want a traditional wedding, a non-traditional wedding, an extravagant formal wedding, a formal/semi-formal wedding with only family and your closest friends present, or a romantic wedding retreat to a chapel? There are many different options available to you that vary in expense. Whichever option you choose, plan your wedding in a manner that expresses your unique style and celebrates your love.

If you have yet to set your wedding date, it is best to allow a minimum of six to eight months to plan your wedding. If you intend to have a large formal wedding and reception, you may wish to begin your planning a year in advance. This will allow you time to save money, reserve the ceremony and reception locations, minister, DJ or band, order dresses and complete any alterations, get the men fitted for tuxedos, and the list goes on. Keep in mind that many vendors are booked up to a year in advance. So you will need to reserve your date as soon as possible.

For many couples, choosing a wedding ceremony location is the easiest decision of all. Those that are members of a local church often opt to have a traditional church wedding. Others choose all-inclusive wedding chapels.

If you prefer a different ceremony setting, you might consider hosting your wedding at a local hotel banquet room. Hotel banquet rooms vary in size and may accommodate thirty to three hundred guests. Most rooms are large enough to host your wedding ceremony on one side of the room while providing an elegant setting for your reception on the other side of the room. A flat rate is usually charged to rent the room, then you can add appetizers, lunch or dinner service to create an all-inclusive package. Most banquet rooms can provide a dance floor and accommodate a DJ. Be sure to call several different local hotels to check pricing, availability and menu options. You may be surprised at how much the prices vary.

A more scenic option is to host an outdoor wedding at a local bed and breakfast. Search the yellow pages and the internet to find them and call for information. Some properties feature flower gardens or gazebos and a bed and breakfast offers you the option of a low to moderate-cost honeymoon right on the premises.

Who should you invite to your wedding? To answer this question, you must first decide where you will host your wedding. If you will be escaping to a romantic getaway to get married in a wedding chapel, you might want to invite only your closest family members to attend your vacation wedding, or you may want to reserve the special day for just the two of you.

For medium to larger weddings, it is appropriate to include your close family members, extended family and closest friends. If your budget allows it, expand your guest list to co-workers and other friends. If you are on a tighter budget, make a list all of the people you wish to invite, then trim the list down leaving names of those with whom you maintain a close relationship(immediate family, best friends).

If you have children from a previous marriage, consider the role, if any, that you would have them take in your wedding. While romantic getaways are tempting, if you have children, it is important to include them in your wedding plans. Give them a special role in your wedding, such as a bridesmaid, best man, or flower girl. Your new marriage can be a difficult and transitional time for your children. Even for those who welcome your fiancé with open arms. Having your children share in your wedding day will send a message that they will always be special and play a leading role in your life, regardless of the changes that may come.

While most of your loved ones will offer you support and encouragement, some friends or family members may urge you to tone down your wedding because this is your second marriage. Ultimately it is up to you and your fiancé to decide what is best for your situation. Just remember that while this may be your second marriage, you have been through alot to get to this point in life. Both of you have every reason to celebrate your love, and your love has no lesser value simply because you found one another the second time around. Thank goodness for second chances!