Planning a Second Wedding - Published in the Knot Magazine
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Wednesday, December 27, 2017
By Kelly L. Sherlock
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Second marriages: To have a big wedding, or not to have a big wedding? That is the question. I am engaged to be married for the second time, so I am currently planning my second wedding. Many people have asked ₋ and even assumed - that we are heading out of town for a destination wedding, or that we are just eloping. Because my groom to be has also been married previously, I think the assumption is that we’ve already “been there, done that.” But honestly, that is not the case at all.

I have never understood downplaying a second marriage. I was married 11 years ago when I was in my twenties. I had no money and no idea what I was doing. My parents paid for everything and picked out almost everything, including who would be invited to the big event. I had a relatively large wedding made up of 400 guests but only maybe 50 of them were my friends. Although at the time, I was fine with whatever I was given and I will always be grateful, who I am now and what I want is completely different. I feel blessed to have a second chance at love, most importantly, but as a wedding planner, to have a second chance to plan my wedding; this is priceless!

For the most part, I am doing away with many of the traditions, but not because it is my second wedding. Maybe it is because I have been in the industry for a while and seen so many different things, so I want to figure out ways to make this wedding more personal. We are definitely writing our own vows and my brother will be officiating. I think our age came into play when we decided not to have a bridal party. I have many close friends and family members that have been dress shopping with me, that will be with me on the morning of the wedding, that will be with me the night before the wedding, etc. But making them spend money on a dress that I pick out, is not even on my radar for this wedding. The ceremony will revolve only around my fiancé and I and we will only have two witnesses standing up with us and those two people are his sons.

I am also refusing showers as well! This decision is based a little bit off of the fact that this is a second marriage. I feel that people already spent money on showers for me, so that portion is not necessary. I also do not believe in baby showers for a second or third baby, so that is just an etiquette rule for me. The other reason for a lot of these decisions is because I do not want my friends and family to go out of their way for this wedding. We want this to be a celebration so we want everyone to show up, drink and celebrate!

One of the main reasons for us deciding to get married in New Orleans is because of the people closest to us. Taking a trip with our favorite people in the world to celebrate our marriage sounded great, in theory. But when we started looking at pricing for Pensacola and New York (which were our two main choices) it seemed impossible to expect everyone that we are closest with to be able to make the trip. When we thought of even one of our closest friends not being able to make it, we knew we would not be happy so we stuck with the best place to get married – New Orleans.  

We knew that some of our out of town friends would need to travel to us, so we picked the best time to come to New Orleans; Mardi Gras. Actually, because we are both in the wedding industry, the Friday after Mardi Gras was our only available weekend to avoid wedding season! It is just an added plus that those few friends are willing to stay for an entire week so they can catch Mardi Gras and our wedding!

The one tradition that I am keeping up with is the bachelorette party! That is something that I will always believe in. No matter how old we get, any excuse to celebrate with my girls will be welcomed. This time around, everyone has children, full time jobs, husbands, etc., so we do not see each other enough. We have all agreed to use my wedding as an excuse for a girls’ trip. So I hope New York is ready for us!

All in all, I do not feel that I am planning a second wedding. I feel that I am planning something that I’ve never had the joy of planning before and that is a celebration for my friends and family. It took a lot of support for us to get past our pasts and start move towards a future together, so I hope that we are creating something that our guests will enjoy. I am planning a party to celebrate Kevin and I, but also to thank those closest to us for sticking with us. Every person on our guest list was discussed in detail and picked for a reason. We have very few obligatory invitees and I would not have it any other way. It is very important to us that we start off our married life together with positive people who want to see us succeed and want to share our wedding day with us.

I would have never seen marriage this way in my twenties and I would have never planned a wedding like this marrying someone else. It had to be now and it had to be him and I am grateful that I have been where I’ve been and know what I know. Now I can get just show up, drink and celebrate!

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