I’ll Wear What I Damn Well Want Part One – The Story Of A Second-Time-Around Bride

Engagement Announcement

I’ve been writing about weddings for longer than I care to think about. I’ve written about anything and everything related to matrimony but I did not, in a million years, think I’d be writing about my big day.

You see, during the summer, my amazing boyfriend proposed and now I’m seeing the wedding world from a whole new angle. So I’m here to out myself – I’m a second-time-around bride and do you know something? I’ll wear what I damn well want…

“So will you still be wearing white?” asked a friend when we joyfully told them we’d be getting married. Oh yes, that was the first question that came out. Would I, a divorced woman, be donning a white dress when I headed up the aisle? There was an unspoken ‘again’ at the end of her question and, whilst she didn’t say it out loud, I definitely heard it.

I really didn’t imagine that it would even be a thing. I got divorced a decade ago, lots of my friends never actually knew me when I was married and I’ve been a Ms for as long as we’ve known each other but when it comes to it, it seems that some people just can’t get their heads completely around the prospect of remarriage.

But why? I totally understand that for some people, including the wonderful Rev who’ll be conducting a blessing for us on our big day next year, there are religious and deeply held personal reasons why remarriage is a tricky concept. Whilst I might not agree, I can understand because, after all, we’re all happily entitled to our own opinions and both Rev and I are big enough to respect each other’s.

Who doesn’t love having to produce their decree absolute and go through the details of it when you’re booking a wedding ceremony?

What confuses me more are the casual comments that just pop out. The assumption that I won’t want a gorgeous dress, a beautiful ceremony or indeed any element of tradition because I’m a second-time-around is just bizarre. And not only do I have to listen to these comments, my fiancé (eek!) does too.

Now, I’ll admit that when I imagined getting married again (and yes, I did imagine it!), I visualised a certain type of day. However, that’s not what we’re having. When it comes to it, I and my fiancé (yes, I’m going to keep saying it because I still can’t quite believe it) are more traditional than we thought. So, forget the blank canvas venue and intimate wedding I’d created for myself on that secret Pinterest board because that’s not what’s being planned.

Perhaps that style of wedding wouldn’t have confused people so much. Perhaps they would have looked at our non-traditional day and understood it more. They would have imagined it as being different and modern and they would have watched me sashay down the aisle in a shit-hot bridal jumpsuit and filed it under ‘cool second-time-around wedding, how to have a’.

But that’s not what people are going to get. What they’re going to get is OUR wedding. It’s our style, in our way and it’ll include all our favourite things and favourite people in a way that we love. I’m following my own advice and we’re having the day that we want, regardless of what people might think.

Of course, it’s not everyone who thinks like this and since we announced our engagement, we’ve been blown away by the outpouring of love that’s come our way. From our friends and family through to suppliers, it’s been pretty great to be honest.

So why am I fixated on the few comments about me having done this marriage thing before? Well, it irks me. It irks me because those comments suggest that for lots of people, there are still hang-ups and even a little prejudice about second-time-around weddings and if I’m on the receiving end of a few of these, so are other people. And that irks me.

Being even a little bit sniffy about second-time-around weddings seems to ignore so much. It ignores the fact that people don’t always get things right, that people change and sometimes, people have to make hard and difficult decisions for all kinds of reasons. Being sniffy denies people who’ve been hurt, saddened and even damaged the chance to be happy.

We’ve come a blinking long way since divorced women were stigmatised and only ever given the chance of registry office weddings and now, around one in three marriages is a remarriage for one or both parties. In fact, when marriage rates are continually on the decline, ONS statistics show that the only demographic where marriage rates are increasing are for men aged 50 to 54 and 60 to 64 years and for women aged 50 and over. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the majority of those weddings are second-time-around and I’ll definitely raise a glass to people being happy, whatever their age.

There are times, especially at the moment, when it feels that the world is kinda going to hell in a handbasket and, as has been said, the best thing to hold on to is always each other. If you’re lucky enough to find someone that you want to hold on to, do it. Do it regardless of the comments, the questions and the out-dated legalities (because who doesn’t love having to produce their decree absolute and go through the details of it when you’re booking a wedding ceremony?!). Do it because you love your partner and do it because we teach our children that everyone deserves a second (or even third) chance. Do it because you want to wipe the slate clean, start again and be as happy as it’s possible to be.

And when you do it, make sure that you wear what you damn well want.


Tamryn x

Tamryn Settle

Tamryn Settle View all Tamryn's articles

Self-confessed wedding addict Tamryn spends her days in her Berkshire studio writing about all things beautiful and romantic with her black Labrador for company.

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