• Second time around

    Priorities change when it's your second big day
  • An old sonwg suggests that love is lovelier the second time around. And it sometimes is.
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  • An old sonwg suggests that love is lovelier the second time around. And it sometimes is.
    Despite the best intentions or the hardest work, some marriages end. Or perhaps a spouse dies and the one left behind finds love once more. Second or third weddings, sometimes called encores, tend to have a different flavor than the first event, according to wedding planners.
    Ron Dunn, of On the Side Events and Service in Medford, sees the first wedding emphasis on the event itself, while folks on down the road focus on the celebration of their love.
    At a second wedding, the bride and the groom have the say. Gone is the daughter's tension as she balances what she wants with trying to please her mother.
    Heather Goodwin, of An Inspired Affair in Talent, sees a mixed bag of large and small events. Many of the weddings she helps plan are themed, the couple feeling comfortable with a nontraditional affair. They may write their own vows or incorporate symbolism unique to them. She has seen couples have a small, private ceremony, then host a big celebration.
    More couples are choosing a church wedding, an outdoor site or an event venue, rather than a half hour at the courthouse. Based on his experience, retired pastor Alan Jackson categorizes the events as "celebratory, though not lavish, and deliberately informal."
    Cord Amato's first wedding was a small Las Vegas affair, and Tammy Hueur had never been married. Representing the younger generation, the Portland couple decided on a big celebration and chose a destination wedding in Mexico. To their delight, about 50 people said yes to the invitation. They pronounced the entire occasion fun and meaningful.
    The budget looks different with a second wedding. Dad often pays for the first affair, so the bride feels less compelled to save money. When people remarry, the bride won't spend as much on her dress, but perhaps more on a photographer or will hire a live band instead of a DJ. Overall, however, they generally spend less money, now knowing the realities of house and car payments.
    According to Dunn, couples remarrying might choose a midday wedding, which costs less than a dinner event. They will spend more to serve quality food, however — Rogue Creamery cheese instead of what the market deli has to offer.
    Pastor George Nye, also retired, has performed second weddings that were far more elaborate than the first. Perhaps one person of the couple, especially the bride, eloped the first time around, or for various reasons had a cheap or quickie wedding. Now she wants the event she always dreamed of, the one she feels she was cheated out of.
    The guest list also looks different. Dunn usually sees shorter lists, 50 to 100 people. First wedding lists often include all acquaintances and every known relative, typically around 200 names. Those who celebrate with a couple saying their vows for the second time tend to be a close-knit group who share a history, even though they may be from different arenas of the couples' lives. Goodwin said the list usually consists of the couples' friends, not their parents'.
    Many older couples have an established household or are combining households and frequently request no gifts. Or a gift registry might include the more practical — supplies from Home Depot or Lowe's, for instance — if the couple is buying a house. They may opt for a money tree for a honeymoon, or utilize an online honeymoon site, such as Honeyfund.com.
    Some may specify a charity or organization they support.
    Tam and Barbara Moore of Medford asked that in lieu of gifts, guests bring items for their church's food pantry.
    Between the two of them, Tam and Barbara logged in more than 100 years of happy first marriages. After both their spouses died, their friendship blossomed into more. They had a church wedding with a reception in the fellowship hall. The couple provided simple fare they purchased or dishes prepared by friends. Their wedding day emphasized sharing the joy of their newfound love.
    Michael and Jean Shyrer of Central Point were also widowed after 40-plus years in each of their marriages. They attended different churches, so chose a simple ceremony at one church with its minister and witnesses only. Later, the other minister performed a Ceremony of Blessing at the clubhouse where they lived. About 100 people joined the celebration, and their children took charge of decorations, food and music. Their kids stood with them for part of the ceremony, a real blending of families.
    Despite trends, however, each couple ultimately determines how to celebrate. Their personal views, their budget, their age, their current situation — all come into focus. And no matter those views, when they say, "I do," they believe that love is lovely indeed, and they're ready to commit to another go-round.
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