Now that Spring has well and truly arrived, there’s also another season on the horizon. Wedding season! While wedding trends are big news at this time of year, they’re often aimed at couples who are marrying for the first time. Celebrity wedding and event expert, Philip Carr shares how you can create the perfect second wedding in 3 steps.
As an Event Architect & Designer, the question I’m often asked by couples marrying for the second time is, “what’s appropriate for a second wedding?” While you can of course you can have fun with trends when you’re getting married for the second time, there are several special considerations to make.
We all dream of the fairy tale and happily ever after. However, today’s reality is that many people do marry for a second time. Life happens, circumstances change – the modern family is evolving and the second wedding is a unique occasion in its own right. Deciding how best to celebrate a second marriage is a real consideration for many of my clients.
Just as every couple are unique, so too is each second wedding. Sometimes it’s both parties second wedding, sometimes it’s just one partner’s second wedding. Sometimes there are adult children involved. Often times its 20 or 30 years after their first wedding. Sometimes it’s just a few years.
Whatever the situation, there are three key considerations to make when planning a second wedding to ensure a stylish, tasteful and enjoyable celebration for all concerned. The second wedding can and should be handled differently and acknowledging by that with subtle points of difference, we can ensure that the bride and groom, as well as guests have a memorable time for all the right reasons.
1. Plan the celebration with sensitivity
While your wedding day will always be about your love for each other as a couple, it’s important to consider how the event may impact others. A second wedding can symbolise bringing two families together. Often times this could include teenage or adult children and this will influence the way in which traditions are broken or observed.
I advise couples to think about traditions which can be changed to suit their unique situation. One of the most beautiful examples I’ve seen of this was the bride’s two adult sons walking her down the aisle instead of her father. It’s little things like this that can make other people feel involved and highlight a subtle yet noticeable difference to a first wedding
Don’t be afraid to do away completely with some traditions. Can you imagine any teenaged children being comfortable watching their Mum have her garter taken off by their new step-father?!
2. Think carefully about your venue and the format of the day
What is cute and fun when you are 25 might not be as tasteful or appropriate when you are 40 or 50 and it’s your second wedding. Do your guests really want to sit on cushions on the beach or would everyone be more comfortable at a waterside restaurant?
The format of the day as well as the ceremony and the reception venues are a key way to differentiate the second wedding. Much in the same way you wouldn’t celebrate a 21st Birthday in the same way as a 40th, the second wedding should be a little more refined but by no means less fun.
Think about the time of day. Would an intimate lunchtime wedding be more appropriate over a large, sit down dinner for 400 people? Perhaps you don’t need a 3-hour gap between the ceremony and the reception, the two could take place at the same location? Think of the demographic of your guests, what would be a unique and beautiful experience for them to enjoy?
The key here is to not try and replicate the standard ‘wedding’ format because this is a unique occasion and should be celebrated accordingly.
3. Styling is important
When it comes to styling a second wedding, I believe a quality over quantity approach adds an element of understated elegance. There are many ways to make a visual impact without going overboard with decorations and props. Similarly, like I mentioned in point number two, just because it’s on trend and popular with younger, first time couples, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s appropriate for the second wedding.
Less is more. Now is the time to opt for sophistication, comfort and luxury over excessive styling or theming. Think about every element of the event and how it will be experienced by your guests; the ambience, the comfort of the venue, the music as well the food and drinks on offer. How will they experience the day, will they be comfortable, will all their needs be met? By adding a touch of sophistication and maturity with your approach to styling, you’re making your guests comfortable while creating an elegant and unique atmosphere.