Should a Second Marriage Be Celebrated (and Paid for) Like the First?

Photo: linh.ngân

We recently had occasion to be in a wedding — a second wedding for the bride and groom. While I'm all about celebrating the union between two individuals, I couldn't help but question whether we really had to celebrate it with the same gusto that we did just a few years prior for this individual's first wedding. I'm not knocking re-marriages. After all, half of American marriages end up in divorce, so a second marriage is quite typical. In some cases, I've seen some couples that treat a second marriage as more of a formality, rather than a unique life experience that requires all the bells and whistles, while others treat it as if it's the first time — and then some.

Here were some questions I had for my wife, who was treating the second wedding as if it were the same as a first wedding (from our budgetary perspective):

Engagement Party/Wedding Shower

For first-time newlyweds, starting a life together often means making do on meager salaries while trying to enjoy some travel time together and celebrate being young and married. It's nice to have a party or shower where you receive gifts for the house and everyday living, and this is reciprocated for all your friends and family that end up getting married themselves.  But by a second go-around, they were already given a bunch of gifts. Is a new round of gift-giving appropriate or over the top? Perhaps a nice toned-down celebration without large gift expectations and registries? Maybe it's just me, but I felt like I just did that, and now we had to do it again. (See also: 8 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Wedding)

Bachelorette Party

We're all familiar with the rite of passage just before the wedding day where the bride and groom to-be "get it all out of their system." I get that. But if you already got it out of your system a few years ago, is an extravagant and expensive bachelorette party really necessary? Perhaps a nice local bar, drinks with the girls, and a fun night out makes sense — heck, that's good for any occasion. But going into the city, limos, new dresses, hair, and all the accouterments really add up — twice.  Not to sound one-sided, this same concept applies to the bachelor party as well. I just happened to be viewing this from someone on my wife's side.  But if you're both close the the new bride and groom, it could very well be a double-whammy from that standpoint as well.  If you saw The Hangover, you know how expensive a Bachelor party can be!

Wedding Gift

Where we live, a typical wedding gift is usually at least $100 per head and more for close friends and family. Is it unreasonable to give less for a second wedding if we already gave a generous gift the first time? I lost that one, not that I fought too hard.  I never want to look cheap, especially with family and friends, since something like a cheap wedding gift can cause bad blood and bickering for a lifetime. But if you were hosting a second wedding, would you expect a gift of the same financial value as your first wedding? I'm genuinely curious.

Money Spent to Host the Wedding

Since this one didn't impact our personal budget specifically, I didn't complain to my wife about what someone else spent. But in thinking about what's reasonable and what other people would do, I was curious what people think about money spent on a second wedding. With the high cost of traditional weddings, does it make financial sense to do another traditional wedding each time? Many of the participants have already celebrated your wedding previously, and after accounting for divorce costs, transitioning into a new financial situation and other uncertainties, perhaps spending over $20,000 again isn't the best move? After all, there are several alternative wedding ideas to save money while celebrating. And it can become costly for attendees as well. Not to be facetious, but where do you draw the line between when subsequent weddings are treated differently? I would assume after the first, but maybe that's just me.

Before you judge me too harshly as a "second marriage hater," let me say that I'm all for people being happy and celebrating their unions. I think many second marriages are much more successful and happy than first marriages. People should do what's right for them and do what makes them happy. It's just that for those on the periphery, we've been through your celebration once before — we've paid our dues! And things don't cost what they used to. It's a tough time for a lot of people financially right now, and when looking to treat a repeat event as a once-in-a-lifetime celebration, isn't it just a bit over the top?

What are your thoughts?

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Guest's picture

I think if it's a second marriage for both, it should be very toned down. If it's a second for either the bride or groom, but the first for the other half of the union, I think it might be OK to be a little more celebratory.

Guest's picture

I guess I would say that I'm not at all convinced that a *first* wedding should be celebrated with the degree of extravagance you are describing. I personally find the culture of entitlement and greed that has cropped up around weddings very disturbing. It hasn't always been that way--looking through the family photo album previous generations before the 60's/70's (in my family, anyway) got married in suits and nice dresses, but nothing resembling a royal wedding.

I am very happy to celebrate a second wedding a wish joy upon the couple--but I'm not eager to participate in showers, bachelor/ette parties or extravagant gifts for *any* wedding. Happily I am in the midwest where the pressure seems to be less than on the coasts. (And I'm not a hypocrite on this one--my husband and I did our entire wedding/reception/honeymoon for around 10K and even pulled off an open bar.)

Guest's picture

I agree.

I'll put it this way: when I see a couple celebrating with restraint, that to me is a sign of maturity. They've "gotten over themselves", they no longer need to be the center of attention, and they're able to celebrate a joyous milestone with their family and friends without all the fuss.

(None of this precludes throwing a great party, by the way. It's just a question of emphasis: paying attention to your guests, and taking the focus off of yourself as the bridal couple.)

Sometimes (rarely) a couple reaches this level of maturity for a first wedding. But if they're in their 40's or 50's and they still need to be fussed over? I wonder.

Guest's picture

Second marriage for him, first marriage for me.

A lot of the points you raised are easily addressed by taking a practical, reasonable approach to marriage. My husband and I are both frugal. We certainly wouldn't go for the etiquette breach of expecting lavish gifts for any occasion. We adamantly refused to have a registry, or even give hints about preferred gifts (to the chagrin of well-meaning friends and relatives) - registries are weird for etiquette anyway, and besides, we have or can save up for everything we need. We rejected the over-the-top messages of the wedding industrial complex (you have to have a fancy cake! you have to have a bachelorette party!) and had a simple wedding in line with our values.

For me, it was everything I wanted a wedding to be. (It helped that I hadn't spent my childhood doodling the things I wanted to have as part of a "perfect" wedding.) It doesn't matter if it was his second wedding or my first wedding. It's just as special as anyone else's celebration.

As for people who are invited to celebrations that require more time or money than they're comfortable with - it doesn't matter if it's a first wedding, a second wedding, or a tenth. Stick to your values and don't get talked into the kind of spending that would make you resentful. Sure, it might require tough discussion, but it's better for you and the relationship in the long run.

Sharing a celebration should never be about paying your dues. =)

Guest's picture

I could see good reasons for two people agreeing to a more toned-down affair if both were previously married, but what if one person was never married? Somehow it feels mean to expect them not to celebrate fully ...

Guest's picture

is there wording in the "wedding handbook" that second marriages are any less important than firsts? Should we not celebrate with as much gusto? Why don't we write a card that says "good luck this time around, hope it sticks this time."?
People are waiting until their 30s even for a first marriage, and by this time are probably well established. So, does this mean they shouldn't have all the gifts and parties because they can afford to buy their gifts themselves? Should the festivities only be allowed for very poor folks who are very young and are on their first wedding?

I understand what you're saying, but I think that if you have trouble participating financially (for whatever reason) then just make your own judgment and act accordingly. Weddings are a celebration of 2 people deciding to join their lives together, and want to share that event with others. Penalizing or otherwise deciding that it shouldn't be viewed as an amazing event of joy, isn't your call.

Guest's picture

"Weddings are a celebration of 2 people deciding to join their lives together, and want to share that event with others."

Yes but ... what does that have to do with spending extravagant sums of money?

I will NOT buy a wedding gift for any of my friends or family on their second ( or third of whatever ) marriage.

Guest's picture
For a life time

Yes a second wedding is less then a first as there should only be one wedding in your life. Now if your spouse passed on & you were to remarry that is different but it should be kept low key. A marriage is about a man & a lady showing their love by making a life time commitment to each other. Not how big of a party we can throw to show off to our friends nor on how good of gifts we will get... They are to stand in front of God & make their commitment for life & the rest is just over kill & for the ego...

Guest's picture

Actually I feel that if you wait to get married (for the first time) until you are in your 30s+ and are financially stable you should NOT be having bridal showers and expecting lavish wedding gifts. The point of that was for young couples just starting out who dont have anything. If you already have everything you need, you should not be expecting more.

I am a single, very financially stable female (in my early 40s). I've never really cared much about getting married but if I ever do decide to do it, I would prefer to just elope. I have always felt that big weddings full of glitz and glamour etc were more for show and a bit immature. I would feel a little silly doing all of that at my age plus, to me, marriage is about making a commitment between two people who love each other, not about some big party.

Guest's picture

When my wife and I were discussing (24 years ago) where to hold our wedding, my mother-in-law (trying to helpful) suggested the same hall where my wife had married her first husband.

When my wife glared at her suggestion, my mother-in -law only shrugged and said,

"The food was good. The marriage may have sucked but the food was good."

Guest's picture

As someone who is facing the issue of having to go through a second marriage, I feel like I should weigh in on this...

From the perspective of a second time bride:
- While I wouldn't necessarily go "all out" with a second wedding, I have to state that I didn't go "all out" with my FIRST. I would hope that my guests wouldn't look at me having a wedding for my second marriage as being "greedy" or just to get gifts or things, but as an important life event in the same way any OTHER marriage would have been. Sure, its likely to be less showy, but that doesn't mean that the ceremony or feelings behind the ritual is any LESS important to the people involved than it was the first time.
-Most second weddings I have been to did not have the shower or bachelor parties...because they aren't necessary.
-I think that guests should not treat a second wedding as if it were not important to the couple, including with gift giving. Second marriages often bring different things into the mix -- the couples sometimes have children from previous marriages, or have lost a lot in divorces -- that aren't present at first marriages. Sure the couples already have set up homes, but that doesn't mean that they don't need the signs of support for their new "home" together from their friends and family. While I wouldn't necessarily expect ANY guest (and having had a marriage and wedding previously I can say with all honesty that 90% of my guests did NOT spend $100 a head and I was perfectly okay with that!) to spend a large amount on a gift, but I would never go to a wedding -- first, second, fourth!-- without bringing a gift to the couple.
And yeah, generally second weddings are not as elaborate, but if the bride and groom WANT elaborate and can afford it, I don't think that there is anything WRONG with them choosing to have a fancy wedding. Just because they have "been down the aisle" before doesn't mean they can't treat a wedding as a special occasion.

Guest's picture

Everyone I know who has been married a 2nd time has done it low key with at most close friends and family present. In fact I know a handful who have taken trips to Hawaii or the likes and tied the knot at the beginning and then "honeymooned".

Guest's picture

And what about the 3rd and 4th weddings? In this day and age with people getting divorced and remarried left and right, I for one feel the first wedding is the Big Hoopla one where everyone can go as crazy as they want with gifts and parties and gowns and general wedding hoop-de-do. After that the big gift, party and wedding cost fairies can appropriately take leave of the scene.

Guest's picture

It isn't called the "wedding industrial complex" for nothing. People who do these big deals are trying too hard to please other people. Use the money to pay off debts or put a down payment on a house.

What happened to the getting married in the back yard and having a picnic after?

Second marriage? Elope I say. Our country is WAY too into consuming, if all these people could do math this extravaganza called a wedding wouldn't be so out of hand. Why start off a partnership with biggest expenditure other than buying a home?

Dude where's my country? Watching TV and buying into the media driven need to make you think that what you want is a necessity. Live simply so others can simply live I say.

My wedding, seven years ago cost us $500, with the three night honeymoon. We'd been together for almost twenty years then and we entered our legal union without debt and with the same ideas about money. A half hour before the wedding I wasn't freaked out and being bride-zilla---I was taking a peaceful nap! No stress no tension. Food for thought.

Darwins Money's picture

Great points - I should probably clarify; in a case where one of the parties is having a first marriage, and a traditional (eh um...expensive) wedding is something they've always dreamed of and want to live out, then perhaps it's no different for them than anyone else first go-around. They shouldn't be "penalized" or slighted because they happen to be marrying someone on a 2nd marriage. But then again, the people on THEIR side of the wedding will not have already been through this with them once before. So, not a huge difference, but point of clarification.

Guest's picture

I have to say that as a single person, I think it's high time the entire big wedding with all the gifts be questioned, whether it's first, second or third. And I don't buy the idea that these young people who aren't making much money are trying to build a home and they need help, etc. Try being young and not making much money and building a home on ONE income. Does it seem right that a single person in that situation is expected to shell out for a gift for the couple? I don't think so.

Guest's picture

As another single person, I must agree. Especially when I was in my last year or two of college and first couple of years out of college, I went to a lot of weddings. After graduation, I had to travel to the weddings (fly, beg a place to stay and a ride and/or rent a car and a hotel room). It was wonderful to be a part of my friends' celebrations. But it did get a little hard on the budget, especially if I wanted to include a gift. But there are ways around that.
Sometimes I went in with other friends on a gift. One couple was so excited that that a group of us got them a nice drill. Sometimes I go a less conventional route - A bucket "wrapped" with inexpensive hand towels and filled with things like extension cords, a picture hanging kit, a few screw drivers and similarly useful things usually bought on clearance was my standard gift for a while (and has now become a standard wedding shower gift for young brides).

Now, I've started giving a set that contains a Pyrex 9x13 pan with lid and insulated carrying case (Google Pyrex Portable. Sears generally has the best price.) and a copy of my own recipe book filled with my go-to recipes (printed sheets in sheet protectors held together with metal keychain like rings). Total cost is under $30 and I get many compliments and enthusiastic thanks from the happy couple. I also often see the pan and carrier show up at various functions and parties. So I know they're getting used.

Another gift I created for some friends was a medium sized plastic tote and some games that I knew my friends enjoyed playing along with some decks of cards, poker chips, extra dice and similar things that are useful for games nights. I didn't fill the box, as I knew my friends already had some games and would likely get more. I got some odd looks from the older women at the wedding shower (especially since I "wrapped" it by tying ribbon around the tote) but a big smile, hug and genuine thanks from the bride-to-be.

Guest's picture
Ron Ablang

I agree. The 1st time was too much already. I'd prefer not to be invited to anyone's a 2nd time.

Guest's picture

I think it totally depends on the couple and the situation. My husband and I paid for our wedding (first for both) out-of-pocket. I understand that not everyone does this, so if someone else is paying for your wedding, you will have to take their budget/needs into consideration. If it's not your wedding and you're not a party who is financially responsible for it, you really don't have a say about it at all! However, as someone invited to the wedding, the gift you give is entirely up to you. If the couple already has the basics, I recommend being a little more creative, trying to think of something that will be memorable/meaningful (and that doesn't mean you have to spend a lot if you're trying to save or cut expenses-- think outside of the $100 per person box).

Guest's picture

As a bride who is about to embark on a second marriage (his first), I would say guests are not required to attend if they felt they already celebrated enough the first go round. We are paying for almost all expenses ourselves and can only invite a smaller group of family and friends. If for financial or judgmental reasons one does not want to attend, it would be best to reply no on the RSVP and let it end with that. More room for those truly in the celebratory mood. :)

Guest's picture

Good girl, good attitude. Congrats!

Guest's picture

Second and third marriages are vastly different from that first walk down the aisle. Most people forgo that aisle the second time, editing it out along with lots of things that were dire necessities the first time.

That's why the bridal hats that I make for second and third time brides are not traditional frou-frou bridal headpieces but classics, romantic and meant to last. Just like their weddings.

Guest's picture

Aren't the majority of subsequent marriages more subdued than the first precisely because at least one half of the happy couple is well established in his/her career and won't be expecting the parents to shell out (to say nothing of expenses associated with the ex-spouses and children from the previous marriage)? Also, statistics show that second marriages are more likely to end in divorce than first ones, so there may be some logic in investing less in the marriage (in every sense of the term). I'm also thinking of Mr. Big's quote in the Sex and the City movie, "This is my third marriage. How do you think that makes me look?", especially in those cases where the couple first hooked up in an adulterous relationship; statistically, those marriages have the worst survival rates of all. Might as well limit it to a visit to the 24-hour justice of the peace and feast at a fast-food joint afterwards: "No soup for you!"

Guest's picture

"Also, statistics show that second marriages are more likely to end in divorce than first ones, so there may be some logic in investing less in the marriage (in every sense of the term)."

No, it's an argument for investing *more* in the marriage (and perhaps investing less in the wedding, not to save money or because it it's worth it, but because you know where to focus your priorities).

Couples who learned something the first time around, and have their priorities in place, have every reasonable expectation of having their marriage be a success.

Guest's picture

This attitude about gifts is really sad. Gifts should be given in joy and with sincerity, regardless of the occasion. If you do not feel inclined to celebrate someone else's event -- wedding, or any other -- with a gift, then don't. If you are not able or willing to participate in events that cost money, for travel or clothing or whatever -- then don't. But to say that a couples who are entering a second marriage should not celebrate their union with as much feeling as a first wedding is unkind. Let them celebrate their wedding as they choose -- and you can participate, or not, as you choose.

Guest's picture
Happy Bride

I'm getting married for the second time in 25 days. I was all for eloping, but my groom wanted a family wedding. My first wedding was in vegas with about 40 people there. No shower, simple outing the night before for bachelor/ bachelorette party.. no honeymoon either. Also sad to say, not much of a marriage.
This time around, a little older and hopefully a little wiser, I decided to honor my soon to be husbands wishes. His family is excited. My family is excited..My friends are excited..
I had a bachelorette party and it was a lot of fun. Ditto to the bachelor party.
I had a bridal shower and I must tell you that I feel loved.
No we are not going crazy with the wedding, the cake is from Sam's Club, my dress was on clearance, our rings are simple.. and we're paying cash for the whole thing. I am also doing my own flowers with silk flowers that I am buying at 50% off.

We are being frugal but not cheap. We're having the DJ, the hall, the caterer.. and it's all paid for and it really wasn't as bad as you'd think. Certainly not as bad as what I thought when I agreed to have a more traditional wedding.

Am I asking too much to have my friends and family celebrate my happiness with me? I don't think so. I don't need gifts, or money. I am creating my own wealth. But I will always need the love and support of my family and friends.
They come or not, buy gifts or not.. as they choose.
As for me, I will be dancing and I hope they will come to dance with me.

Guest's picture

It isnt about not wanting to celebrate the special union its about recognizing it is a second wedding and understanding that gifts, time, money for dresses etc were all put in the first time around. I was just asked to stand up in a 2nd wedding for the 2nd time this year and I am not even 30!! They all want the showers and parties and big receptions because this time it is the right one!! People do not throw big extravegant anniversary parties every 5 years that require friends and family to buy dresses, more household items, nights out in anticipation and then the reception gift so second weddings should be handled with the same quiet care. We do want to give a nice gift with joy because you care about your friend but where is the same care when they don't think about the burden of having you spend $600 or more to get a new dress, hair, shoes, shower present, bachelorette night out, wedding present plus time for a second wedding!! Can I just wear the dress from last time? I mean I pregnant with my 3rd child and I am not having a 3rd baby shower because some of my items need to be replaced. If someone wants to purchase a gift it then becomes out of joy and not force of having to attend another over indulgent shower!!!!!

Guest's picture

I am astonished by the level of judgement and miserly attitude of most of the people posting here. You have no way of knowing how long a marriage will last- first or second. If you are too cheap to buy a second gift, then don't attend the wedding. If the bride and groom knew what selfish jerks you were anyway, they would probably revolk your invitation anyway. I just attends a second wedding and felt the couple made it so low-key that they shouldn't have bothered. Getting married is a big deal and no one anticipates getting divorced. I didn't get a baby shower when my daughter was born because everyone though it was a second child, so I didn't need one. The problem was I had a boy, 14 years earlier, so we had to buy everything and I didn't even get so much as a diaperpail from co-workers, even though I had gone to numerous showers for them.

Guest's picture

This is a great blog topic. It is a symptom of our narcissistic, responsibility-free society that so many people, those who cannot make their first marriage work (or in your case have a child as well- 14 yrs earlier) expect us all to sing and dance when they try to do it all over again. Keep your problems to yourself, they have little bearing on the opinion that the vast majority of the people here agree upon. The second marriage should be low key and humble as the track record of failure is nothing to be proud of. Death of a spouse is another story altogether as mentioned.

Guest's picture

I can understand about 2nd weddings, as a 2nd bride myself. My coworkers are giving me a shower. I told them it wasn't necessary as I had those the first time around. My coworker informed me that they weren't there for the first and wanted to do one. My fiancee said it would be fine, they are being gracious and to accept it. As for our "vow exchange", my daughters have requested to be present. We are going to have them and hopefully his son with us, we are going to have a bigger to do than just the two of us with a JP. We are having flowers for the girls to carry and have the exchangeat a venue. As for a "reception" we are having it at the same place as our "vow exchange" (Note it is not a ceremony, none of the fluff). Sure there is some minimal cost, but it is so VERY small compared to both of our first WEDDINGS. I have reflected back on that mega event and wonder where and why that much money was spent; even though it was still less than the average wedding at the time. We are spending over $500, but it is for a special event.

Guest's picture

I'm 28 and never married. I am nowhere near being finically "well-established". My life is a bummer.

Guest's picture

I'm getting married for the second time (in two weeks!) and I'm glad to say I've toned down things quite a bit. Both sides of the family are pitching in to pay for the festivities. Nothing too fancy, no registries (even though my first marriage left me penniless for the most part). My groom's family is covering the reception in their town and my parents are covering the announcements and invites as well as an open house at their home. I'm spending FAR less this time around and have made sure that the importance of the day and what it's all about shines as the priority of the day. For my fiance it's his first marriage and so we are making it special for him, for me it's a celebration that I finally found someone who wants the same things in life that I want and that we will be together. I don't think there are rules, as each situation is different. Just be true to yourself.

Guest's picture

Jim-would you please get over yourself? I don't know if you are married or not, but plenty of people get divorced who "never thought it would happen to them". If you are married, perhaps you can experience the "joy" of serial infedelity from your partner, complete with an STD she passes on to you (the gift that keeps on giving!), or you can defend yourself from years of physical and emotional abuse, or sit by and watch while your children are abused. Then, on your deathbed, you can self-righteously proclaim how you "made your marriage work".

Guest's picture

Thank you for your comment. There are many of us who were abused, cheated on, left or otherwise were not party to the choice to get divorced. It takes courage for someone who has experinced something like this to trust and love again, and this alone is a reason to celebrate. Don't count the marriages, look at the couple individually.

Guest's picture

I am on my second marriage for 3.5 years now and couldn't be happier. My first "wedding" was in the mayor's office, and then a small reception months later. The reception was nice. The marriage was bad, as was the divorce 12 years later. The second time around, we did a destination wedding. It was the greatest week of my life. No one came. No one even acknowledged that we got married when we returned. I have to say, even a card with best wishes would've been better than what we got -- which was nothing. Frankly, it left me bitter. I'm shocked at the way we were treated by our family. The whole family's behavior really spoke volumes to me.

Guest's picture

Well, I had a second wedding 18 months ago. It was my second, his third. We tried to keep it low key, but wanted to celebrate with friends and family. We tried to save money by keeping the number low, but ended up having more guests (82) than we wanted because so many people wanted to share in our joy that some actually invited themselves to the wedding, or said they looked forward to getting their invitation when they actually weren't on the guest list to begin with. Most of these people were colleagues of my husband's and he had worked with them at different companies for years, and they had become life long friends. My husband is a wonderful man who didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, so we did invite some extra people, but to others we had to tell them we were trying for a small celebration. We did do a ceremony with me in a cream colored long dress and he in a suit he already owned. We had the reception in a restaurant with fabulous food, and the cake and a toast were included. We didn't have bridesmaids or groomsman but each of us had our grown ( or almost grown) children participate by giving readings or walking parents down the aisle. We didn't do some of the traditional things, like throwing a garter or bouquet, or the parent dances. Or feeding each other cake. It was a lower key, lower cost version of a first wedding. The bottom line was after both of us having marriages that made us miserable, and in my case all but abandoned physically and emotionally, we were just so happy we wanted to share our happiness with all those we love. Most people did give gifts...some ranged from more extravagant than necessary ( long term friends) to just small tokens, and it was all fine. We both agree it was the best day of our lives. With the possible exception of the days my 3 children were born, exception because although I was happy, there was some pain involved. On the day we got married, no pain, only sheer joy! In this marriage,I'm still so happy I started a blog about it!

Guest's picture

This was nice to read. I am 11 days away from my second marriage and we are doing exactly this trying to keep it lowkey my daughter is going to be bridesmaid, bestman, ring bearer all rolled into one. Having it at our apartment with a few friends and family. We are having cake and punch with sandwiches for dinner. We are not going into a bunch of decorating. so far the only money I have spent is for rings, license and the preacher. A friend did my flowers the precher is handling the music and my mom is handling the sandwiches. so all in all I think it will be a great day a little more than he had planned on as this is his 3rd marriage but I only had a courthouse marriage the first time so I wanted a little wedding but not spend all the money on the hoopla wedding. I am wearing an after 5 dress from Avon, my shoes came from payless. Not expecting extravegent gifts but coworkers wanted me to do the bridal registary

Guest's picture

Please keep in mind that celebrating does not equal money, and that each marriage should be celebrated. There are people whose first marriages didn't work because of a betrayal, should the fact that they had courage to get back out there and find someone new not be celebrated. A gift is never required, but enthusiasm in celebrating another's happiness is. Please don't look at it as "I already did this for you", because for that person, that second marriage may be the person they spend the rest of their lives with, and wouldn't you want to be a part of celebrating that?

Guest's picture

I think it's just plain rude to try and say a second union for someone should not be honored in ceremony or in guest's behavior as a first. Two people commiting to each other is two people commiting to eachother. Period. Your budget for their gift should be less because they've been married before? Silly and disrespectful to the new couple.

I am SHOCKED someone has the nerve to disrespect their friends by saying a 2nd wedding shouldn't hold the same 'value' as a first. I am all for toned down for ALL weddings, btw, but if my friend remarries and wants to go all out for it, it's her choice. I won't look down my nose at her for it. I am remarried myself, and have been to a few 'next time around' marriages. It is not uncommon these days. My 2nd wedding was a bigger 'to do' than my first, and not ONCE did I ever hear any whispers people were less happy for me than at my first.

The author needs a serious attitude adjustment and needs to take a good look at what kind of 'friend' they're acting like towards their re-marrying friends.

Guest's picture

As I am fixing to have my second marriage I must comment. I was married the first time at the courthouse. He was married the first time with the big church hoopla wedding. This time around we are having a small ceremony and reception with about 20 people at our apartment. We did not have all the parties ahead of time, no rehersal dinner. However we did registar so my friends from work can bring gifts only because we are actually starting out new, as I have been living with my mom after my divorce and he just didn't have anything after his divorce. I have been told that even this is too much for a second marriage. Any thoughts

Guest's picture

I do believe second marriages should be celebrated, but I do not think it is fair to expect family and friends to do the whole gift thing a second tme. It is just plain wrong.

Guest's picture

If it's thier "first time marrying each other", it should be celebrated. Why should the past be permitted to cast a shadow on a new beginning? That's not moving forward, that's looking in the rear view mirror. Celebrate your new love the way you want. I think eliminating celebratory rituals because of the past is cheating your new partner and making a statement that the first was more important than the NOW.

Guest's picture

I am commenting from the perspective of a ex wife who was married for 25 years and
my husband was leading a double life going to escorts on his business trips with his boss. I divorced him and a few months later he was engaged to a much younger woman
who had a young child and was also divorced. He bought her a big house and heard they
got married by justice of the peace but then a few months later filed for Catholic annulment against me, lied to a priest and annulment was granted. He is getting married in a large cathedral and inviting over 200 people. Also having multiple showers,
and wife is registered for gifts all very expensive including fine china and crystal. His boss is in the wedding and my daughter is a bridesmaid ( She's 21). The wedding is very
similar to our first marriage. Flower girls , large wedding party. It's absolutely humiliating for me since they have been married legally for over a year. I'm 52 and my
ex is 51. I just find it tacky and heartless.