(Closed) First Marriage for me; Second for him – Traditional ceremony or small intimate?

posted 4 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Has he said that it would hurt him because his family probably won’t show? If not, maybe you guys should talk about that aspect so that you guys can come to a compromise if you need to. Can you do a small, traditional wedding instead?

FWIW, my marriage is my first and my husbands second. My situation wasn’t as extreme as yours but my husband didn’t have a wedding, so it actually meant a lot for him to have one with both our families. If I were in your shoes, as long as your FH lets you know how he feels, I’d try to do a 20 person wedding or something. It’s about the both of you, so hopefully you guys can find something in the middle that works for you both.

Post # 3
47187 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

diamond78:  Were you involved in the breakup of his previous marriage? Or, did you meet him later? If you had nothing to do with the breakup of his marriage, his parents will eventually have to adjust.

Does he have chldren from his first marriage? If so, his parents may maintain a realtionship with his ex wife for the sake of a continuing relationship with their grandchildren. I know i am still close to my ex in-laws.

Have the wedding the two of you want, without regard to whether or not his parents plan to boycott the day.


Post # 4
2181 posts
Buzzing bee

I can relate to you in several ways. He was married before me, I was not. Our budget was also $5000. I thought I wanted a small ceremony at first, then realized I wanted more people there. We ended up with something pretty small. I do wish I could have experienced some of the more traditional elements like a bridal shower, bach party, dancing, some more people were able to make it,etc. But I dont regret what we did. 

We found a big house on vrbo, a website that allows owners to rent their houses to people directly. So you are communicating with the owner of the property, and ours had a property manager who gave us a tour. This house could hold 20 people so thats what we invited. We had a friend of mine officiate (free), we each had a sister to stand up with us (one bought a dress, one had a dress, neither bought shoes, we all did our own make up and hair), my husband wore nice pants, a dress shirt, vest and tie we didn’t buy a suit or rent anything for him. 

The house was our venue for the ceremony & reception. It also served as lodging for everyone so no one had to pay for hotel rooms, and we all got to spend more time together. It was awesome. I wanted to get married outside and was planning the whole time to have the ceremony in the backyard but we got there, it was May in FL, and already very hot so we decided to have it in the living room of the house. I got a cheap curtain rod and some gauzey curtains to use as a backdrop. We made a youtube playlist for our music, had a coworker take photographs, ordered dinner from Carraba’s and they delivered it. I did my own flowers, fake ones. Some from Pottery Barn, some from Dollar store. 

Overall it was awesome. My point in sharing all this with you is that it is totally possible to have the day you both want, with that budget. So his whole family doesn’t care for you? Invite those that do. Invite your family who cares for him. Invite both of your friends. Decide what is important for the two of you for your day, is it an awesome meal, great music, photography, etc. Find a budget that works for you. There are loads of ways to cut costs and make it work. 

First, you two need to decide what your day is going to be like. What will you both be comfortable doing? Then go from there to make a plan!

Post # 5
11456 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

julies1949:  That’s exactly what I was just about to ask.

Post # 6
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

Yes, not to be rude but that would really affect how to handle the situation. 

Post # 7
1042 posts
Bumble bee

when people post for advice and disappear when you ask for clarification 😒  

Post # 9
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

Tough situation  but his family’s grudge shouldn’t spoil your experience. And as you are not really “the other woman ” there is less worry about shielding yourselves from forked tongues all around.   His family’s grudge is their own thing.  Of course it is painful for him to feel cut off like that.  In your shoes, I would try a destination wedding and invite your immediate family, his kids if they’ll go, and treat it like an adventure.   You can still wear a dream dress, get married in a beautiful setting, and you can take your mother somewhere she’s never been.  It would be a wonderful experience for her too.  And no need to agonize over guest list.  Just fun, lots of great memories and lots of pictures. My husband and I eloped largely for similar reasons sort of.  Small numbers of family living and those surviving on my side I had cut off due to abuse in past.  No regrets about eloping.  So much stress avoided.  We still laugh about it…. “Yes! Best decision ever.  Oh the hassles we dodged!”

Post # 10
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

I meant to say you could have an open house style reception for your friends who are near enough to attend after the wedding.  Minimal cost.  You can put out your photos and tell them all about your great time.   There are places you can go on your budget.  And I know a lot of gals who saved money by making their own gown or buying one second hand. We were on a $1500 budget so  I had my dress made for $800, we drove 8 hours to DC and toured there for four days.  We found an inexpensive hotel with a kitchenette to cut back on $ wasted on restaurant eating.  It worked!

Post # 11
8321 posts
Bumble Beekeeper



Your update underlines how very hard it is . Looks like   his whole family  see you  as The Other Woman and Homewrecker etc etc.

Probably it will take years ( maybe until if/when you have children  too) to change this mindset, certainly   with his parents and older member of family . I wouldn’t even try to engage  them  wedding wise, as they clearly feel that your Fiance is wrong to be seeking  happiness by remarrying. Proabably epecially with you as you were on the scene before the actual divorce.

It is sad for him they don’t put his present happiness above  what they think he ought to be doing , but I don’t think anything is going to change in the near future, nor is there any point in hoping or expecting that  it will. He must   know how they operate morally etc .  

So, seems to me you should  go ahead and have the wedding you want ,  certainly not one that excludes your mum and sister and anyone else you want . 99bee above  has some nice ideas .  Yes he’s sad not to have unconditional  love (aren’t we all!)  , but he’s a grown up, you are  his wife now.

PS of course his children  will  always  be his children –  you don’t  say anything about his relationship  with them or his ex-wife …..


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