The 12ish Style's Katie Sturino on Overcoming the Anxiety Around Planning a Second Wedding
The blogger opened up about preparing for a wedding post-divorce—and how to manage the fears that come with it.
Here's the thing about second weddings: So many couples have them, but they rarely open up about what it's like to plan one-they're even less likely to vocalize the (completely natural!) anxieties and intense emotions that repeating this process can churn up. Katie Sturino, the blogger behind The 12ish Style and the founder of Megababe Beauty, is different. On the eve of her own second wedding, the newlywed opened up to Martha Stewart Weddings about both-and shared her best advice for brides currently preparing for their own nuptials post-divorce. Ahead, she touches on shifting perspectives and big-day priorities and the importance of disconnecting wedding one from wedding two.
Treat your second wedding like your birthday party.
When asked how planning her second wedding differed from her first, Sturino noted that, originally, she was extremely hands-off-she felt like "it didn't matter, because I've already had a wedding." A close friend picked up on the distance she was putting between herself and the upcoming celebration: "She told me to take this as seriously or non-seriously as I wanted, but to stop treating it like a non-thing. It was real talk." Following this conversation, she went to her therapist. "I wasn't having problems with the idea of the marriage, but I was having problems with the idea of another wedding," she shares, which she expressed during a session. "Her advice to me was, 'Treat this like a birthday party just for you. What are your favorite things? Dream big-and do that.'"
Ask yourself, "What do I really want?"
This question flipped a switch in her mind, says Sturino. "Well, I always wanted to get married at the Cooper Hewitt-I used to live uptown and walk by it all the time, and always thought it was beautiful-so I was like, 'Why don't I look into that?'" She took the same approach to making several other big-picture decisions: She asked former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to officiate ("He's like my personal Batman," laughs Sturino), tapped designer Sachin & Babi (the label has always made her feel beautiful) to create her custom wedding dress, and booked the Polo Bar, her favorite restaurant, for the reception. "Basically, I stopped having it be this burden of something I had to plan and turned it into a collection of things I love," she explains.
Know that budget is still incredibly important the second time around.
"You're usually older and wiser and you can't justify spending what you could spend on a house on a wedding," says Sturino of her decision to scale down both the guest list and budget. "Drawing the line" and keeping your nuptials small is a personal choice, she says, as is keeping your guest list close friends and family only.
Prepare for some uncomfortable conversations with relatives.
"There were a lot of questions like, 'Why would you want to get married a second time?'" Sturino says. "I actually swore that I never wanted to get married again either, when I was going through my divorce-and then, I don't know. I guess I just didn't want to be that person." Brushing off these questions isn't always easy (when asked how she responded to pushback, Sturino said, "Probably not well!"), she admits. "I think we just have to breathe and keep going. There isn't much else to do-just know you've found a partner you love," which is "what matters."
Accept the pre-second-wedding anxiety-and take comfort in the fact that you've grown from past mistakes and experiences.
Feeling nervous-especially about the fear of a partnership not lasting-is a normal part of any wedding, first or second. But a second wedding in particular, says Sturino, can drudge up past trauma. "The fear is real-and it's picked up more," she admits. "The fear, of course, is that you pick wrong again."
Her advice for combatting these understandable nerves? First, identify these anxieties-and know they're perfectly valid. "It's normal-if you've burned your hand on a stove before, it's easy to feel like you could again, right? But this time, you are wearing hot pads. Hopefully, you've gotten smarter about some things, and better, and more involved. I mean I am certainly not the same person I was when I got married in 2014. You can't really live [in fear] like that." Another tip: Focus on and cherish what's new about this specific relationship. "I've never merged last names with a partner-that's new," she says of her husband's choice to take her last name. "I am so excited to do that."