Second wedding ceremonies

A second wedding ceremony is an ideal occasion to include family…..children, grandchildren and friends. It is here that blending of families can occur, formally or informally. It is an important milestone in the life of many couples in today’s society and should be celebrated. By celebrating in a meaningful way we help to prepare the way for the couple particularly along with thir families and friends to accept the role and responsibilities of the next phase of their lives.

The ideal venue for a 2nd wedding ceremony would be one that allows the couple to have an intimate conversation with their children, grandchildren and close friends telling them through words and symbolically in the ceremony, of their unconditional love for one another, of their commitment to one another and of their hopes and dreams for each other and for their families.

“The ritual of marriage is not simply a social event, it is a crossing of threads in the fabric of fate.Many strands bring the couple and their families together and spin their lives into a fabric that is woven on their children”. [A reading from a Portuguese - Jewish wedding ceremony]

Meaningful readings provide opportunities for family members and friends to participate in ceremonies, this particular reading is often read by one of the children or grandchildren at second marriage ceremonies.

Because the couple have each been married before, the traditional  ‘giving the bride away’ is commonly not observed in a second wedding ceremony. Instead both the bride and groom can be ‘given away’ by all in attendance. A popular way to do this is for the celebrant to ask the guests do they give their blessing and ongoing love and support to the marriage. The collective response would be a resounding “we do” from everyone present…..an emotionally charged moment and very affirming for the couple.

There are a number of sub-ceremonies or rituals, which if included, provide an opportunity for all to participate in second wedding ceremonies, for example,a Celtic Ring Warming and Blessing or a Ribbon ceremony.

Singing, playing instruments, scattering rose petals, being a ring bearer or a bubble blower in the ceremony or one of many non participatory roles can involve family or friends as well….everything from helping with flowers, taking candid photos or being MC.

When you are planning your second wedding ceremony ensure that your celebrant or officiant will collaborate with you in preparing an intimate, inclusive and sincere way to express what you both think and feel about your relationship, what getting married means to you and what your hopes and dreams are for your married life together.

For more information about second wedding ceremonies seek out Elizabeth Gray’s – www.2ndmarriageceremonies.com

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