I’m not actively planning for it, but I’m open to the idea of walking down the aisle again. Someday. Maybe. In the event that ever happens…
1. I’ll be better prepared for a long-term partnership. Unlike the Me that I was in my 20s, I have a pretty clear idea of what I want for the future. These days, I can talk about my savings strategies, career goals and retirement fantasies. The second time around, my pre-wedding discussions would be much more direct and descriptive.
2. I’d buy a used dress. I often see wedding dresses in thrift stores, and some of them are incredibly beautiful. I think about the voyage the dress went on: from a gorgeous gown shop to the altar to the closet and then hung, unprotected, on a rack next to last years’ forgotten prom gowns. In some ways, the dress resembles a first-time bride who became a first-time divorcee. And we all deserve second chances, right? Besides, the price tags on those garments could fit in just about any budget.
3. I’d consider a small ceremony or a destination wedding. My first wedding involved a private ceremony in another state, followed by a big party upon our return home. As far as weddings go, it was a bit non-traditional. However, I felt somewhat guilty about it. The second time around, I’d feel more confident about bucking the system. Weddings are about the bride and groom, not their families or friends… and certainly not the flowers, cake and seating chart.
4. I’d involve the children. I know I just said that weddings aren’t about the couple’s families. But, if I were to marry a man with kids, I’d insist they be included in the ceremony. I like the idea of exchanging simple vows of cooperation, respect and compassion as we all learn and grow together. And perhaps I’d present them with necklaces or another type of trinket to symbolize my love and devotion to our new family.
5. I’d be very particular about the verbiage used throughout the ceremony. I’ve grown quite sensitive to the language of weddings. As a stubbornly independent woman, I reject the idea of being “given away”. I don’t want to be “pronounced” husband and wife, as if it’s really necessary for a third party to validate my commitment. And I don’t think the bride should just stand there and accept a kiss without kissing her groom in return (I know, in reality, she does participate in the kiss, but that isn’t the instruction). If I get married again, I plan to scrutinize every word the officiant will say.
6. I won’t commit for life. Some marriages last as long as two people live, and that’s wonderful. Others don’t, and that’s OK (even wonderful) too. Life has taught me that a marriage shouldn’t survive at the expense of its participants. I want to be part of a partnership in which I can learn, grow and change, and I’d want the same for my husband. Sometimes people grow in different directions, but that doesn’t mean their love wasn’t real or their marriage was a failure. It simply means the relationship, in that form, is complete.
6. New Rules: No Shower. No Gifts. Unless my fiancé and I lost all of our belongings in a disaster, I see no need for a shower and presents. I have a house full of stuff, and I don’t need any more. Perhaps the reception could double as a canned food drive for those less fortunate. Or maybe the invitations would include a request to send donations to a list of our favorite charities. I like the idea of celebrating love by spreading joy to others.
More from DivorcedMoms:
- 10 Rules For A Happy Second Marriage
- Do I Really Want To Marry Again?
- My Next Marriage Will Be Different
- My Second Time Around: What I Was Looking For, What I Got