Did you know that remarriage is more common in Southern and Western states than other regions of the United States? Or that those who make under $100,000 are more likely to remarry than those who make more than that? The Census shared all sorts of interesting facts about remarriage in one report. Overall, stigmas about getting married more than once have slowly decreased over the decades. Meanwhile, stigmas surrounding being a single woman in one’s thirties still exist. If we know that type of pressure to tie the knot before 30 still exists, then we know there are probably a lot of people who marry the wrong person, just to meet some sort of deadline. And that could be why divorce rates are still somewhat high. If you rush to marry the wrong dude today, just to make babies/appease your family by a certain age, at least you can divorce and find the right person later…right? Well, maybe that shouldn’t be a conscious backup plan, but you do know that dating past your 30s means possibly encountering men who are already divorced.
If you do fall in love with someone who has been married before, and is willing to do it again, you’ll encounter this interesting dilemma: your wedding planning views may be a bit different. Just think of all the hopes and dreams you have for your first wedding. Then think of the fact that he already had that, and that marriage didn’t work out. You might find you approach the process with conflicting ideas. Here are fights you may have when planning a wedding, if it’s your first but his second.
You may be ready to register for a piano, chandelier, crystal set, and the whole nine yards. However, your partner might be a little trigger shy when it comes to running that registry scanner over pricey items. You have to remember that he already had his loved ones buy him expensive gifts for his first wedding, so he can feel rude asking that they throw down for him a second time. His friends already funded the decoration of his complete first home with his first wife, and he might feel that it isn’t right to ask them to do that again. But this can leave you feeling like you don’t get to ask for the wedding gifts you really want.
A tighter budget
If you and your partner will be funding this wedding, and don’t have much (or any) help from family, you may find that your beloved doesn’t want to spend a whole lot on this. You’re somewhat aware of what his first wedding was like, and it was much more elaborate than he’s willing to make this one. It probably isn’t personal: it can just be financially painful for a man to spend a lot of money on two weddings. Furthermore, he may just not see the ceremony and reception as that important anymore. He had a huge one for his first marriage, and look how that turned out. You may feel that, financially, you’re getting the scraps leftover from his first nuptials.
Destination? How about right here?
If your partner isn’t comfortable asking his friends and family to buy him a $200 serving dish as a gift, he certainly won’t be comfortable asking them to book a $700 plane ticket for his second wedding – especially if his first wedding was a destination wedding. Understandably, he may struggle to ask people, for the second time, to spend their entire vacation budget for the year on him. Again: for the second time. While you may be dreaming of a wedding in Hawaii or Bali, he may be thinking more along the lines of the local Ramada ballroom. He knows his friends resented him enough the first time he asked them to travel for his nuptials. He already burned that favor.
Your partner’s ex-wife may still very much be in his life – either her specifically, or her circle. He may want her there, because they’ve remained friends, and she was a big part of his life at one point. Or he may want her parents there, or common friends they had. These are people who are important to him, but to you, represent his old life – the one without you. So things can get a little testy. Part of marrying a man who has already been married can be embracing that he did already have this full life before you came around, and even though it dissolved, there are some pieces he’s held onto.
The nice thing is that your partner has planned a wedding before, so he has some ideas. The annoying thing is that your partner has planned a wedding before, so he’s recycling ideas. He may already know who the best florist, and caterer, and even wedding planner is because…he used them on his first wedding. But now you feel those are forever tainted. You don’t want to essentially have the same wedding he had the first time. So you’re stuck between wanting to rely on his expertise, since he’s done this before, and wanting to ignore everything he knows, because it’s tied to his first wedding.
Some guest list trepidation
There is a good chance that he’ll want a smaller guest list than you do. Second weddings tend to be more intimate than first ones. Third weddings can be tiny. With his first wedding, there was an understanding of, I am entitled to inviting hundreds of people to witness this moment because this moment will never happen again in my life and is the most important moment to me. Now, for him, there’s been a bit of a whoopsies. He’s the man who cried wolf. He can feel uncomfortable saying, “Okay that was a false alarm. Now I ask, again, that hundreds gather to witness my wedding…even though they already did that.”
He may be out on the bachelor party
There are some extra traditions your partner may not be as excited about as you are. Remember that every invitation sent for every part of this wedding is essentially a bill he’s sending his friends. So if his friends already spent hundreds on his bachelor party for his first wedding – between the limousine, the bottle service, the hotel, the strippers, etc. – they may not be excited to do it all again. And he may know that. So while you might be excited to have a full-on traditional bachelorette party, he may just want to have a drink at home with his best friends for his. Don’t read that as his lacking enthusiasm. It’s just out of respect for his friends.
Easy on the social media posting
This will already begin with the proposal. You may want to post on every single social media platform, showing off that ring, and capturing that moment. On his end, he’s already been down that road. He did that with the last wife, and he raked in those hundreds if not thousands of likes and comments from Facebook friends and followers. He may have a little insecurity thinking people are saying, “Really. Again? You did this whole show eight years ago.” It may also be important to him that you personally call close friends and family to tell them, before posting, and that you generally don’t flaunt this on social media. And you may feel robbed of that experience.
Religious ceremonies may be off-limits
While you may have had hopes of getting married in the place of worship associated with your religion, it’s possible that they don’t do second marriages. You might feel cheated since this isn’t your second marriage – it’s your first! But the other individual involved in this union has walked down the aisle before, so some institutions may be off-limits for you. And while we’re on the topic of religion and second marriages, some of your more conservative family members may frown upon you marrying a divorced man, which can welcome some additional strife.
Is he downplaying this?
Throughout this experience, it will be hard but important to remember that your partner’s wedding preferences aren’t about you. You can feel that he’s downplaying this wedding, and because of that, you can feel that he isn’t excited about this marriage. On the contrary, he’s probably even more excited about his second marriage because now he really knows what he wants in a partner, and knows he’s found it. But his experiences in the past may have caused him to deemphasize the importance of the actual wedding – for him, it’s about the life that comes after the wedding. Weddings are, often, for other people, more than the bride and groom. And he already did the big reception with all the gifts and guests and showmanship. He may feel he can only ask that of his community one time.