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Remarriage Ideas & Advice for Couples About to Enter a Second Marriage

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In modern times, many people who get married have done so before. Whether its divorcees or widows, there are nearly as many couples tying the knot for the second time as there are the first.


In the past there have been many restrictions on couples entering a second marriage, but today the climate is a little more relaxed. That said, there are certain rules, regulations, requirements and things to think about that you need to be aware of.


You can re-marry an unlimited amount of times within the UK so long as you can prove that your previous marriage has come to a legal end. Therefore, you will need to supply either a death certificate of your former partner or decree absolute certificate, depending upon whether you are widowed or legally divorced.


Dependent upon your situation, you may also have to think carefully about any children involved as a result of either partner’s previous relationships when entering into a second marriage.. Who is/will be the children’s legal guardians, the surname that they will take, their involvement in the day and how to will inform them of your plans will all need to be given careful thought. It is also wise to have a new will drawn up to ensure that any inheritance is distributed exactly as you wish.

Generally a second marriage wedding is less elaborate than that of first-timers and as such tends to be less expensive. Brides do not always wear white, and the parents do not tend to put forward such a substantial financial contribution. That said, the marriage can follow whatever path you choose - your imagination is your only limit.



Civil Ceremony Second Marriages


A Civil Ceremony, sometimes followed by a blessing, is the most popular option when one partner has been previously married.


A Civil Ceremony has no religious content at all, though is still just as romantic and meaningful as a religious ceremony but without the complications. The blessing is a religious service of prayer and dedication, and it is very common for a Minister to agree to perform the blessing to those entering a second marriage as, when combined with a Civil Ceremony, it is often viewed as an appropriate half-way house.



Anglican Church Second Marriages


Within the Church of England and the Church in Wales, second marriages have been forbidden in the past, but nowadays the Church is a lot more open – in some parishes at least.


Widowers should meet no reluctance from the Church, although divorcees may need to speak to a number of different ministers before finding a willing volunteer.



Roman Catholic Church Second Marriages


If your previous marriage has ended through the death of a partner, the priest should agree to remarry you. However, the Catholic Church will not recognise the state’s decree absolute certificate if your previous partner is still alive and if the wedding ceremony was performed by a priest. Thus, in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church, you will be unable to remarry. The only way to overcome this is to seek a dispensation of annulment by petitioning the Church to declare your previous marriage null and void. If your previous marriage was via a Civil Ceremony, things become a lot easier. Civil marriages are not recognised by the Roman Catholic Church and therefore the priest should agree to a second marriage (religious ceremonies conducted outside of the Roman Catholic Church may also be dealt with the same way).



Second Marriages - Others


A non-conformist Church and Church of Scotland second marriage or re-marriages is generally an uncomplicated affair and whilst you will need to speak to the minister concerned, there should be little objection to the ceremony taking place. For a Quaker second marriage, the case for the re-marriage must be put before, and approved by, the monthly meeting in order to obtain permission. Other religions vary in their attitudes to ‘second timers’, so before discounting this option completely, it is wise to speak to the officiant early on to clarify their standing on second marriages - they will be more than happy to discuss any queries or concerns with you.




Recommended Reading

For those of you wanting to find out more, we've a whole host of other wedding ceremony articles on our site packed full of expert information and helpful advice, not to mention our online wedding directory that's filled with loads of civil wedding venues, decorations, florists and more.

For friendly tips and helpful advice, take a look at our wedding ceremonies forum and ceremonial Q&A's or check out the items for sale and the 'links to pages & websites you may like' below.


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