Tips on Planning Your Second Wedding

Planning a second wedding can be just as stressful as planning a first wedding. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be. From cutting costs to selecting vendors to finalizing all the teeny tiny little details, you can still have a fabulous wedding without all the stress and hassles you went through the first time around. Just keep these tips on planning your second wedding in mind, and consider getting a wedding planner involved if you’d like.

Certified Wedding & Events Planner Trina Myers, of Baltimore, Maryland, has been in the planning business for quite some time. She’s also a soon-to-be second time bride herself. Myers offers the following suggestions to planning your own second wedding, and tips that would help just about any bride.

Q. – What are your thoughts on your own upcoming wedding and how you’d imagine it?

A. Trina Myers – “I have been a planner for so long, that I don’t know how to be a bride, believe it or not. Our final plans, although very romantic and elaborate, are very different from the initial construction. After I called anyone that would listen to tells them the story of my proposal and to describe my ring, I gathered tons of magazines from my office and tons more from the store racks. I imagined and began to plan a very spiritual, romantic, tear-dropping ceremony on the Chesapeake Bay here in Maryland. With a bridal attendants in long, sleek gowns and carrying parasols down a very decorative aisle. Follow by a trendy cocktail reception in a draped tent, with lots of friends, family, food and fun.

Taking the advice that I so often find myself giving to my clients and recommend that everyone planning an event, wedding or otherwise follow; we set a realistic budget and began to make a list of NEEDS vs. WANTS. We also examined our future goals as a couple: purchasing a new home (the same year as the wedding), expanding our family to accommodate a new little one, and most important, having our day as ‘stress-free’ as possible. We did not want the distractions of guests lists, bridal party fittings and all of those individual facets that come together to make a wedding event complete. Our honeymoon was just as important to us. Not wanting to compromise location, comfort, or the length of time that we planned to be away, we began to chip away at the wants.

In the end, it became more of a show for our guests and not the intimate setting that we desired. The planner in me would not have allowed the bride in me to enjoy this, as a BRIDE. We came to the conclusion that I only want to focus on each other, so we decide to take our nuptials to an island; collectively choosing five locations, from Aruba to the British Virgin Islands. We made our final selection based on a number of factors. Still being a planner and an event designer, I won’t give up my décor. I have designed my backdrop based on the logistics of the island and have shared them with the planner that we’ve hired. Although we have altered our location and guest count, my choice of décor is a must have.
I’m relaxed and confident that my location designer will implement my design and that leaves me free to get my hair and makeup done – not a bad deal.

Q – What types of weddings (day vs. night, destination, cocktail and appetizer vs. buffet vs. sit-down, etc.) work well for second weddings?

A. Trina Myers – “Just as retail has its holiday season, weddings have a peak season also. The months of June – September are considered ‘Peak Wedding Season’, though the months of May and October can now join the list. So the time of year that you plan to host your event has a huge overtaking of your wedding events.”

•    “Saturday is the most expensive day of the week to get married, even during off-peak wedding season. Some vendors charge even more for a Saturday evening; I suggest a Friday evening, if you desire a more romantic, adult friendly celebration. A Sunday brunch is also a good way to keep a cap on your budget and allow the younger guests to attend. If using correspondences such as Save-The-Dates or wedding newsletters, that should give guests enough notice of your wedding date. But if travel plans for out of town guests are not accommodating and a Saturday is must, then I would recommend a morning ceremony followed by an afternoon reception.”

•    “Sit down dinners and huge buffets are being replaced by cocktail receptions, with specialty food stations, such as Sushi & Pasta stations; heavy hors d’ oeuvres and colorful drinks in swanky glasses.”

•    “Destination nuptials are my favorite and not just because I’m having one. I love transforming a ballroom or tent into a wonderland through the use of fabrics and signature colors, but traveling to a place that is considered paradise, in one form or another, provides a natural backdrop that the average venue cannot provide. Reciting vows, as the ocean plays its own melody in the background; taking in the color palette that nature has provided… for no additional charge and having your guests sample authentic cuisine, will leave your guests talking for years to come.”

Q – Do you have any idea of cost (range) for second weddings vs. the first time? We would love to know how much brides should expect to spend the second time.

A. Trina Myers – Cost is pretty much up to the couple. If you are working with a budget of up to $10,000, I would not suggest having a guest count of 175, a bridal party of 20 and a buffet with open bar. Your reception costs account for about 70% of your cost. When you have an open reception, you are basically taking the amount of people present out to dinner with drinks.

Q – How can a wedding planner make a second wedding less stressful and more successful?

A. Trina Myers – A wedding professional is part of your budget, not an extra expense, as many believe. A consultant plays an essential part in your planning, helping to avoid those costly mistakes, negotiating with the vendors on the couple’s behalf to get you the best contract. As a bride and groom you should be as relaxed as possible and focused on each other, not worried about will your Aunt from London have a seat or will the flowers match the tablecloths. You’ve hired a planner, so let them worry for you.

•    No one can successfully be a bride and a coordinator on their wedding day. If, for financial reason, you’ve decided to plan your wedding yourself, hand over all the details to an experienced coordinator, so you can relax and enjoy your wedding day. In addition to ensuring that your event begins on time, a coordinator can provide directions to a lost photographer, find seats for those five relatives, who did not RSVP, repair a bridesmaid’s seam, calm a nervous flower girl, and much more.

Q – Do you see any trends in gowns / attire for second weddings?

A. Trina Myers – Colors, colors and more colors; bridal shops can’t keep colored wedding gowns in stock. Brides are forgoing the traditional white or ivory and are making bold statements as they walk the aisle.

Q – Do you think second weddings should be more intimate vs. grand scale? Why or why not?

A. Trina Myers – I think your wedding day – first or second wedding – should be a day designed with nuptials in mind. Too many couples get caught in the grand scheme of things and they forget what this day is really about. My motto that I live by is: ‘The wedding does not make the marriage’. Once the last plate is cleared and the last gift has been opened, the real work begins. If you want and afford
to have a fairy tale wedding with all the trimmings, as a bride-to be and a professional planner, I say, ‘Go For It!’. Just remember, after it’s all said and done, the road to a happy and successful marriage will not be paved by your fairy tale nuptials; you must create your own Happily Ever After.

About the Expert:

Chief Consultant Trina Myers is a bride-to-be herself, and owner of Affairs Remembered, LLC. Visit Affairs Remembered on the Web at

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