Dos and Don'ts for Involving Children in Second Weddings


Second weddings are a joyous experience that can be made a bit more complicated if you or your future spouse has a child (or children). Decisions go beyond choosing a flower girl or ring bearer; it's about joining families harmoniously and with open communication. As you work with your children — and former spouses — to plan a family-oriented wedding, the following guidelines should help you maintain family happiness.

Do consult each child individually to determine if he or she would like to be in the wedding. Avoid simply expecting children to participate. Respect the wishes of a child or teen who doesn't want to take part, but also leave the door open for a change of heart.

Don't question your future spouse's children about the other parent. Your interest may be benign, but questioning children may be seen as prying and can undermine the children's trust in you.

Do answer children's questions about your previous marriage. You can be honest without being explicit.

Do speak respectfully about former spouses. If you demean an ex-spouse, your future stepchildren may conclude that you will talk the same way about their mom or dad after the wedding.

Do consult your former spouse to schedule events involving the children, especially if wedding activities may conflict with regular visits. Set the pattern now for cooperation with ex-spouses.

Don't use wedding-related activities as an excuse for missing your regular visits and special events with the children.

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