How to Plan a Second Wedding
Wedding planners know how much their clients look forward to the big day. The planning that leads up to their wedding is full of energy and optimism, and it’s an unforgettable experience for couples. However, some clients are already familiar with the wedding planning process since they’ve been married before!
As a wedding planner, you’ll inevitably work with individuals who are embarking on their second wedding, and you’ll need to adjust your process accordingly. Being positive, encouraging, and helpful during this time is essential – even more so than a first-time wedding.
Read on to find out how to plan a second wedding and work with a second-time bride!
Don’t make assumptions
One of the most important lessons to learn in your event planning career is to not make any assumptions about clients. Everyone is different, so no matter how common certain traditions are, or how many clients do things a certain way, you have to approach each situation with a fresh set of eyes and an open mind.
If you completed a wedding planning course, you understand the importance of building client relationships, and understanding your client’s vision for every event. In the case of a second wedding, you will want to ensure your client is clear about what they want and don’t want on their (second) big day.
Just because their last wedding featured a traditional aisle walk doesn’t mean they’re against it the second time around! Let them tell you about their vision, and then get to work on making it a reality.
Which leads us to our next set of steps…
Ask a lot of questions
The best way to get to know someone, and to understand their perspective, is by asking questions. Make a list of what you want to know about your client and their wedding ideas. Sit down with them for an in-depth meeting before you start any planning. Here are some items you’ll want to cover:
1. Do they want to have a bridal party?
2. Will they have a wedding registry?
3. Are children or step-children going to be part of the day?
4. How large will the wedding be? How many guests?
5. Will they take a honeymoon?
6. How different do they want this wedding to be than their first?
Your client may not allude regularly to their first wedding, and it shouldn’t be the main focus, but you can be sure it’s in the back of their mind. How could it not be?
When helping them to plan their second set of nuptials, these questions will help both you and your client understand how they feel about this event and which details are going to make it memorable for them. Think of your initial meeting with the couple as a way to generate inspiration and excitement – and to help them form an idea of what they want the day to look like.
Know the etiquette
As you gain experience from more events, you’ll learn the ins and outs of wedding etiquette. This is especially important in the case of a second wedding – while they are commonplace today, there was a stigma attached to etiquette in the past. Your clients may feel slightly nervous or unsure about what they can and can’t do.
The fact is that they can do whatever they want! Here are some common details that they will need your expertise, and enthusiasm, to iron out:
- Ceremony: If the bride or groom (or both!) have been married before, they may not want to be married in an elaborate religious ceremony. Many couples choose a civil ceremony for their second wedding, but as a wedding planner, you need to be open-minded about a traditional ceremony. After all, it’s their day! There is no rule book regarding second marriages – if the couple wants their wedding to be just as large and sparkling as their first, then so be it.
- Pre-wedding events: Engagement parties, bridal showers, and stag and doe parties are something that couples look forward to. However, couples who have been married before may forgo these events. Or not!
If they still want to hold these pre-wedding parties, being supportive as their planner will help them feel positive and excited. In fact, wedding planners jump in and coordinate these events, so you’ll be able to showcase your range of skills if they decide to go this route.
- The wedding dress: This is a sensitive subject – perhaps the most sensitive when it comes to planning a second wedding! While most brides will opt for a simple, perhaps even colorful dress for their second time around, others will stick to a traditional white wedding dress. As the wedding planner, your role is to be as encouraging as possible. Similar to the ceremony, there is no rule regarding wedding dresses at a second wedding. If your bride wants to begin her new life with her husband-to-be in a white gown (just as she did at her previous wedding), then you’ll help her choose the right one.
Although second weddings have a different feeling than the first-time nuptials, they aren’t any less joyful or exciting. Wedding planners should join their clients in the celebration by being excited and prepared for the big day. Enjoy the fact that your clients already know a good deal about how to plan a wedding (which will your job much smoother!).