Almost every woman dreams of her wedding day with an excited expectation of making everything perfect. Weddings are meant to be beautiful, magical and starting a wonderful new life together. It's a time to shop for stunning cakes, special venues, fabulous food and finding the perfect wedding dress which will make the bride feel and look like a princess.
I am planning my wedding. But I'm not dizzy with all the shopping and trying on wedding dresses, creating clever invitations, or even going on a crash diet. I'm not worrying over picking the right venue, the music list, or what food to serve, or even what kind of tuxedo the groom and groomsmen will wear. I'm not stressing about any of the typical anxiety and fears many first time brides feel.
My fiancé and I are in our mid-50s. This is the second marriage for both of us, and god willing, our last. My expectations are very different this time around. My focus isn't on how things will look in the pursuit of perfection but rather on the meaning of the celebration.
We met online after our divorces and we both had long-term marriages behind us. Our journey has been on our own timeline, in our own way. For the few years we've been together, we helped each other heal from broken marriages and move forward with happiness. We successfully navigated introducing each other to our respective children and meeting the extended families.
While planning my wedding, I remember how much I learned through my separation, divorce and building a new life. I learned what's important in a relationship -- love, laughter, forgiveness and understanding. And with those lessons, I also learned to have more fun this time around and plan a wedding day to be exactly what my fiancé and I want.
Here is some great advice I took from very wise friends who were brave enough to leap into marriage again. I hope you'll find it as helpful as I did.
Don't let the past get in the way: Don't let the sad memories of your previous relationships get in the way of future happiness. Negative memories can mire you down in the past if you let them. Acknowledge the memories, then cut them loose and push forward with joy!
Do what's right for you: If you want a full scale church wedding with a gorgeous white wedding dress, all the flowers, bridesmaids, bells and whistles, then do it. If you want a red wedding dress, then wear it. If you want an outdoor wedding barbeque with everyone wearing comfortable clothes, then do that. Don't let people try to talk you into or out of anything. This is your chance for a do-over, so take what you learned from your previous wedding and do what feels good and right.
Relax and let go: I started to get very anxious planning the wedding logistics and finally just let it go and relaxed. By remembering nothing is perfect, I let the universe handle what needed to handled and through letting go everything fell seamlessly into place.
Invite only those you want at your wedding: Invite who you want and don't invite those you don't want. Do it without any guilt. My fiancé and I were talking about how "deep" in the family tree we need to go and decided to invite only family and friends who were the most important to us and not stress about the rest. I asked my daughter to be my matron of honor, his daughters to be my bridesmaids and my son to give me away. It makes me happy to know the ones I love and care about the most will be there.
Get married where you want: This time around is wide open and the options are endless. Get married by justice of the peace, or at a Las Vegas chapel, perhaps a destination wedding or a barbeque in a field. Do what works best and feels right for you. We are choosing a low key, summer wedding day on our property by a small lake. My officiating reverend is a practicing medium and I teased her that she will see lots more people at the wedding than who were invited.
Have fun: Have fun, fun, fun this time! I was so stressed at my first wedding trying to be perfect that I didn't slow down to enjoy the day. This time, I am enjoying every step of the way. It will be a lovely picnic wedding. The bride will not be in a formal wedding dress and the groom will not be in a tuxedo. There will be summer fields, a tent, a keg, a pig-roast, a cake, and a fire pit. It will be a day filled with love and laughter.
So, forget the past, do what's right for you, let go of all the worries, share the day with those you love the most, get married where you want and have fun! And, most importantly remember this is a day for love and second chances.