Second weddings can be a whole new kettle of fish to first ones, not least because there are often kids involved.
When it comes to planning your big day, it is important to think about how your or your partner’s children are likely to feel. In some cases, they may find the occasion difficult, because it’s an official sign that there’s no chance you’ll get back together with their other parent.
They may also feel trepidation about the future, especially if their family is moving in with your new spouse’s for the first time after the wedding.
Some kids can find the event itself hard to deal with, because it’s all about Mum or Dad and they feel excluded.
If you are planning a second wedding and you’ve got children from a first marriage to consider, here are some points to bear in mind:
• Tell your kids you are getting married before you tell anyone else. This is going to have a big impact on their future, so they deserve to know as soon as possible and to hear it from you, not someone else.
• Ask them how they feel about it and how much they want to be involved. Some will be happy to help out behind the scenes, but don’t want to be in the spotlight on the big day.
• Welcome their suggestions on everything from invitations, music, outfits and venues. Of course, you don’t have to agree to them all – break it gently to your seven-year-old that arriving in a glass carriage just isn’t an option – but there may be ideas you can incorporate in the day.
• Let them help with things like invites, the order of service, place cards, seating plans, etc.
• If it is appropriate, ask older kids to walk you down the aisle.
• If your children don’t mind public speaking, get them involved by giving a reading during the service.
• If they sing or play a musical instrument, you could also feature that talent in either the service or the reception.
• Mention your young ones in the vows. After all, you are not just taking on each other, you are taking on your families. Including them will help them feel that they’re a big part of it too. You may even want the celebrant to ask if they support the marriage, and their new family, to which they can reply, “I do”.
• If you can afford it, give them a special keepsake or memento – perhaps a piece of jewellery – to mark the wedding. You could present it to them during the ceremony, after rings have been exchanged.