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Does Your Second Wedding Need to Be Completely Different Than Your First?

This may be your second time walking down the aisle, but that doesn't make it any less special.

Contributing Writer
cristina andre wedding ceremony
Photography by: Dave Robbins Photography

Planning a wedding when you're not a first-time bride can feel a little daunting. In addition to looking for direction on what's considered appropriate, worrying about your ability to come up with fresh, new ideas, and managing your own complicated feelings, you're probably wondering how you can make this event feel different than your first wedding. Here's the thing: There aren't really many hard and fast rules about second weddings, so you should do what feels right for you and your spouse-to-be. If that means throwing a party that's entirely different than your first ceremony and reception, go for it! But if you're still drawn to a similar aesthetic, choose details you love. At the end of the day, your second wedding will feel different because it is. Here, some guidelines that will help you set your nuptials apart.

 

Related: Things You Need to Know About Planning a Second Wedding

 

You can be a little more unconventional this time around.

The second time around, you may feel like you have more freedom to plan the day you really want. "Unlike a first wedding, your second wedding often comes with less pressure to conform to tradition." says Beth Helmstetter of Beth Helmstetter Events. That could mean anything from skipping the religious ceremony to wearing a more casual gown. Just be sure you're making these decisions because you want to, not because you think that your guests will think it's inappropriate for you to stick with tradition.

 

Your wedding party doesn't have to change.

Even though this is your second time as a bride, you may still want the same people standing by your side while you do it. There is no rule saying that you have to switch up your bridal party or escorts if you don't want to. You chose these people the first time because they were important to you. If they're still important, go ahead and ask them again. If you want to change things up a little, consider promoting your original flower girl to a junior bridesmaid, or having more than one maid of honor.

 

But your venue does.

Your wedding guests might not notice that you used the same flowers in your bouquet again, but they will notice if your reception is held at the exact same place. You want to avoid reusing any of the more memorable details from your first wedding, including your venue and dress—no matter how much you love them.

 

Learn from your mistakes.

Chances are there was at least one decision you made at your first wedding that you wouldn't make again. Wedding planner Janessa White of Simply Eloped suggests thinking about the details of your first wedding and making a mental note about any of elements that you didn't care for. Maybe you regretted not extending cocktail hour, or felt that you could have done without the live band during dinner. Whatever it is, there's bound to be at least once choice you wouldn't make again.

 

Most importantly, do what you want.

Your wedding day is still your special day, no matter how many times you've done it before. You should be as happy and excited as any first-time bride. Enjoy your big day and do what you want.