The first time around your wedding was a smash. The marriage, though — no so much. Now you have found the "keeper groom" but have doubts as to whether or not you're entitled to a second lavish wedding.
Perhaps you didn't have the wedding you wanted — too little money or too much parental input. In any case, you are more sure of yourself than you were the first time around, more aware of what and who will make you happy. If the budget is in place, why shouldn't you go over the top if that's your desire? Still not sure? Some second-time-around brides are offering their invaluable input below.
*Paula Eule says, "My first wedding was very large. I felt uncomfortable because most of the people there were on the groom's side. He didn't care that much about my discomfort, which shows you why the marriage ultimately ended."
Happily, a few years later she found the right man, and he wanted a big wedding. But she hesitated. "I'm from a different country and in my culture it was accepted that a second wedding should be low key, as there was some shame attached to having 'failed.'" Her fiancé and friends begged Paula to change her mind — there was no stigma; she deserved to be happy. But the turning point only arrived when Paula's mother unexpectedly began lobbying for a big wedding. Paula says, "Mom had an arranged marriage so very little was up to her, though thankfully she and dad wound up falling in love. But when mom said she'd come around to believing a second marriage should be less tradition-bound than the first, I went for it." Married six months, Paula says, "We had everything but doves!"
Never Too Late
Angel Singleton-West is 16 happy years into her first marriage. Her mother, however, is a different story. Angel, a wedding planner explains, "My mother married her present husband 19 years after divorcing my father." Since the first time around was "a trip to the court house," she felt a memorable celebration was called for.
Says Angel, "At 57, my mom had her lavish, dream come true wedding. She wore a beautiful ivory suit and a birdcage veil. She looked stunning!" The final word on whether or not a second time bride deserves a lavish wedding belongs to Angel: "When it's true love why not go all out for the last time?"
Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.