Getting Married Second Time Around



Why getting married the second time around can be the day where YOU get to call the shots.

Did you know that around 40% of all weddings in the UK are between couples on their second or even third time around? One couple I know remarried one another 20 years after their first ceremony – but I’m not quite sure how that fits into the statistics!

As the total number of weddings is around 240,000 per year, that’s almost 100,000 couples who – despite (or perhaps because of) their previous experience – have decided to repeat the exercise. And, in fact, statistics show that the chances of a second marriage lasting the course are significantly better: 69% compared to 55%.

Here at Alveston House Hotel, we regularly have the enviable task of sitting down with couples planning their wedding day or civil partnership… and what is very clear is that this is an opportunity for them to have their day precisely as THEY want it – without an obligation to fit in with all the expectations that can go with a first wedding.

Being that much older and more financially independent from their families affords couples the confidence and freedom to design their own day to fit in with their new situation.

Here are five ways that can matter…

1 Get me to the church…
One big difference is that fewer second-time ceremonies take place in a church. Partly it’s because not every minister or priest will be willing to conduct a ceremony where one or both parties have been through a divorce; but also, having had one church wedding, many people will feel more comfortable making their next a civil ceremony.

2 The world is your oyster…
On top of that, in the last few years the number of places where you CAN get hitched has burgeoned considerably, from historic boats and railway carriages through to animal parks and hotels like Alveston House. It just has to be approved as a venue by the local authority.

3 Not necessarily, Minister…
Then there’s the choice of who conducts the ceremony. While traditionally it has always been a member of the clergy, it can also be a judge, JP and certain other public servants – they will simply need to be authorised. Increasingly, couples are choosing to have a humanist, non-religious wedding ceremony conducted by a celebrant: however, humanist weddings are not yet recognised in law in England and Wales, so couples will need to conduct the legal formalities elsewhere (such as a register office).

4 Nice Day for a (insert colour here!) Wedding…
While most blushing first-time brides look forward to the tradition of a formal white wedding dress, complete with veil and train, many second-time brides will opt for an elegant outfit that can be repurposed later. Gentlemen too often prefer to don a conventional suit – which again can be a useful part of their long-term wardrobe – rather than hire top hat and tails.

5 Low key can even mean high tea…
The average wedding these days costs a staggering £27,000 – and that is often paid for or subsidised by the family or saved up for over several years by the couple themselves. So many couples choose to make a second one a lower key event altogether… just as exciting but with fewer “bells and whistles”. Some even opt for a quiet ceremony with just a handful of family and friends followed by a high tea!

So how would YOU design your (second) big day?

The very wonderful aspect of a second wedding is that couples are not hidebound by convention or tradition – and all the expense that can entail. They are often paying for the whole thing themselves. They aren’t putting on a big occasion where guests will feel obligated to provide a generous gift… after all, the couple are likely to already have a fully fitted-out home.

Importantly, there are fewer family expectations in terms of “the big day”. You can make this all about YOU without worrying about ticking all the boxes that tend to go with a first wedding.

It can be as big, or as small, as you wish… and as lavish or economical. It needn’t be a whole day with breakfast followed by dinner and dance… it might just be that a lunch, tea or dinner with a few close friends and family will suffice.

Get wed with us

So, if you’re thinking of getting married or entering a civil partnership in 2019, why not get in touch?

We’ve got two great locations available which can be configured for smaller groups or anything up to 75 people – the Garden Suite and the Cottage Suite, where you can hold the ceremony and then carry on with the celebrations. Importantly, you can have an area of the hotel that is exclusively yours for the day.

You can design a package yourself or choose from one of three “menus” that allow you to precisely budget for the number of people you expect.

We’ll make it the day YOU design. Get in touch and let’s chat!