So you’ve been there done that, got the t-shirt and now that you’re about to take the plunge for the second time, you are determined that not only will the marriage be different but so will the wedding. And you are not alone in getting re-married as almost half of all marriages in England and Wales are ceremonies where one or both partners have been married before, according to the Office of National Statistics.
Second weddings are generally much more intimate, low-key affairs and while you may have spent a substantial amount on you first wedding your second is much more likely to be a more budget affair - after all the priorities for a second time bride are different. So just how can you have that perfect second wedding on a budget?
Grown-up and glamorous dressing
Your first wedding dress will be long gone by now and you don’t want to spend a huge amount of money on yet another dress that will never again see the light of day. So instead why not be a savvy bride and shop around on the high street for a bargain dress that you can wear again?
These days the rules of only first time brides wearing white are well and truly out of the window, with many second brides opting for timeless, classier dresses that can be in any colour – including white!
White dresses are hugely popular in the summer months and you can always accessorise yours with ribbons and lace to make it unique to you. Plus after the wedding you then have a lovely summer dress that you can wear on your second honeymoon and to special occasions! High street prices compare very favourably to wedding dress prices or why not trawl the internet for a second hand wedding dress? Oxfam have a dedicated wedding dress section and eBay always remains a popular choice.
Small is beautiful
When you got married the first time around you probably invited a huge crowd of friends, family, extended family and mere acquaintances to help you celebrate the big day, but weddings the second time around tend to be much more low-key - especially if you are both marrying for the second time.
Supportive friends and close family members are all you need to invite which cuts costs considerably.
Church or Registry Office?
Currently if either one of you is divorced then you cannot get married in a catholic church, however within the Church of England it’s very much up to the discretion of the vicar, so make an appointment as soon as you can and sit down with the vicar to talk it through.
The average church fee including administration, calling your banns, the certificate and so on is around £400 whereas the cost of marrying in a registry office is usually much lower, from £150 to £200 depending on the area.
Marrying in approved premises can cost up to £400 on top of the charges the premises might issue you with. So choosing a registry office would be the cheapest option and perfect for that intimate gathering. You can always choose a local picturesque church to act as the backdrop for your wedding pictures for just a small donation.
Dispensing with traditions
Luckily a second wedding can mean that the usual traditions and customs can be dispensed with. A wedding breakfast is still a lovely idea but you can choose to be thoroughly modern and serve up fish and chips or bangers and mash as Kate Winslet did for her wedding!
Speeches don’t have to be made but everyone still loves a toast, so buy your own cheap fizz which will be much more economical than choosing the venue’s sparkling wine. Most venues will charge a corkage fee but you’ll still save pounds and there really is no obligation to provide the wine for the meal, you can let guests know in advance by including a wine list for the venue in with your wedding invitations.
As for the wedding reception, again there is no hard and fast rule. You may want to invite other friends to join you for a knees-up at the local village hall or you might want the wedding party to join you for a few drinks in the local pub. Remember, keep it simple and keep it informal and this way you’ll save pounds too!
Gift wish list?
So do you choose a gift list? How about traditional gifts for the best man and bridesmaids? Again, it’s your wedding so anything goes really! Keep wedding gifts simple and within budget, there’s no need to spend a fortune on gifts for your second wedding, certainly no-one would expect it.
This is exactly the same when it comes to wedding favours, instead of traditional favours such as almonds, you could opt for something modern like sparklers! Little personalised wedding gifts are lovely inexpensive touches for your guests too.
As for a gift list for the bride and groom, many couples getting married again choose not to create a gift list as some of the guests may have already bought gifts for the first wedding. However you can create a small list for close friends and family who may wish to contribute something towards your second wedding. In this instance, donations to a nominated charity or even cash gifts towards the cost of a honeymoon are all appropriate requests.
The great thing about second weddings is that no-one expects the whole expensive package of your first wedding, so you can be much more informal and relaxed! Instead of trying to please everyone else as you might have done with your first wedding, just take this opportunity to please yourselves instead.
A small, intimate and informal wedding is often a much more enjoyable way to share your new found happiness with those who really matter to you whilst being completely affordable too!