Second Time Around

Feb 18, 2020 at 10:47 am by AnnaAdmin

By Annie Osteen

Hollywood has done a pretty nice job of painting a cliché picture in our minds of what a wedding is supposed to look like. A girl in her twenties or thirties in a stunning white gown, walking down the aisle of a packed church on the arm of her father towards her groom at the altar. And as much as that scene is still very much a reality to many girls, there are other countless variations of weddings that take place every day. For instance, the weddings that occur that aren’t just for two people but may include an entire family such as second weddings that integrate children. Second weddings, by many different standards, are tricky. The odds are tough and let’s face it, the judgment out there can make second marriages, especially those including the blending of families, innately difficult at the start. Inevitably, despite the love and romance that comes at wedding time, behind the scenes there is a myriad of red tape, hurt feelings, (ex-spouses venting) etc. When you re-marry, addressing your children’s needs and concerns should be part of any and all planning.

Don’t let the world rain on this joyful time! Let the planning begin and if you and your fiancé have children, make sure to involve them on this important occasion for your new family. First of all, let’s preface this with that idea that not all children will be fully supportive or enthusiastic about the idea of Mom or Dad getting remarried. Nothing is ever that easy. However, depending upon their age, some kids will be excited with the idea of having step-siblings to hang out with, therefore the idea of a wedding may not be so bad. Others will be resistant and that’s okay, too. It’s perfectly normal and in due time, they’ll come around. Involving them, or at least giving them the option to be involved, it always a good idea. Put them at the front of the line with you in this.

If the idea is to have a big wedding, the ideal option would be to include the children as bridesmaids and groomsmen, or flower girls and ring bearers if they’re little. If there’s only one son, he may be asked to be the Best Man. If there’s a young artist in the family, he or she may be asked to create some artwork for the ceremony. You may have one child read a passage from the family Bible during the ceremony, while another child that likes to sing may want to sing a special song during the ceremony.

There are many children who feel as if they are being disloyal to their “other” parent if they participate in the second wedding. As a parent, there are several things that you can do for them without being too incessant. For instance, if your child is a little older, you may consider inviting their best friend to the wedding. Yes, it may cost a little more money but it will be give them a support system to have throughout the day; it will give them someone to talk to and lean on if they start to feel emotional. If you have a bashful child, there are many behind-the-scenes duties that can make them feel included such as helping to address the wedding invitations, attend a cake testing, choose some flowers, or assist with the selection of music for the reception.

Simple ceremonies on the beach are just that…simple. Mom, Dad, the kids and a minister to read the vows. Including the children in your vows is a brilliant way to express that you are committed to being a family, not just “roommates” once the wedding is over.

Second weddings are what you make of them. They can be as personal as you make the first wedding. Some couples opt for the quick civil service wedding, others want the big, church wedding that take a year or two to plan. In either case, involving children in the second marriage ceremony, if applicable, will tell them a lot about what lies ahead for their new family. Letting children come to the front of the line with you on your exciting day is going to make them feel as if they have something to be encouraged about right along with you and that the new family that they’re entering into isn’t going to be as difficult as they may have originally thought.