Couples planning to get married do so with the intention of spending the rest of their lives together. Few couples exchange rings thinking divorce or the loss of a spouse is in their future, but some marriages do end. Happily, that reality does not prevent many people from seeking happily ever after once again.
A recent study from the Pew Research Center found that many people who were married before are deciding to take the plunge a second time. Four in 10 new marriages in the United States now include one partner who was married before. Roughly 42 million American adults have gotten married a second time — up from 22 million in 1980.
The Pew study also discovered that more men than women are likely to get remarried. Around 65 percent of previously married men have a desire to remarry, compared to 43 percent of previously married women.
Men and women about to get married for a second time can consider the following tips to help make the day one to remember forever.
• Recognize that a second wedding is in no way less important than the first. Couples should remember that this is still the first wedding for the two of them as a couple and it should be seen as just as special as any other wedding celebration. It's easy for men and women marrying for a second time to be hard on themselves, especially when thinking ahead to the gifts that were given and the money spent by guests for their first marriage. But a new relationship and love is worthy of a good party. Friends and family who are supportive of you shouldn't have reservations about helping you celebrate.
• Don't feel boxed in by old-school etiquette. Rules have relaxed with regard to weddings. Many couples put their personal imprints on their weddings and do not feel the need to conform to outdated expectations. You don't have to skip all of the frills of a first wedding the second time around or head to the local courthouse and pass on another big wedding. Do what feels comfortable to you, whether that means throwing a big party or hosting a smaller affair.
• Let past experience serve as your guide. You've been married before and can use that to your advantage. It's likely you know what worked for the wedding the first time around and which things you probably could have changed or done without. Maybe you were stressed about having everything go perfectly or feeling like you had to put on a show for guests. As a more mature person this time around, you no doubt realize that sharing this special time with the ones you love is the most important wedding component of all.
• Be open-minded with your wardrobe. Let the formality of the event and the time of day when you're getting married influence what you will be wearing instead of perceived etiquette or family notions. It's acceptable to wear white again if you so desire. Plus, more mature couples have a sense of what makes them look good, rather than opting for trendy outfits.
• Above all, have fun. Couples know what to expect the second time around, so stress usually doesn't stem from the unknown. You may feel more relaxed at a second wedding, so let that ensure you have a great night.