The Difference Between Your First Wedding And Your Second One

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When you're a first-time bride, both the excitement and planning are overwhelming.

What's also overwhelming are the opinions from everyone around you. Your mom wants you to wear a cathedral veil. His mom wants you to get married outdoors. Your sister hates her bridesmaid dress. His brother wants to have the bachelor party at a strip club -- and nothing else.

Your wedding plans can become overshadowed by what everyone else thinks the day should be, as opposed to what you and your sweetheart are planning. That is the biggest difference between first-time and second-time brides. Well, for me anyway.

When I got married for the first time, I had wanted a mermaid cut gown. I walked down the aisle in a Cinderella-style dress that made me look like a cream puff. It was a beautiful dress, but not what I envisioned. Same goes for the flowers, the location and having a DJ rather than a band.

Weddings are a lot like compromising with your groom, but when you're getting married for the first time, everyone wants to be involved and that in itself can be rather stressful.

When I was planning, I followed the directions my mom gave me. Makes sense, right? She was married before; I wasn't. I needed her advice. But what became problematic with not just her, but with everyone involved, is that I tried too hard to capture the rest of the family's opinions.

I worried about finding the dress my mom would approve of because, naturally, I wanted her approval and she hated a mermaid fit. I wanted everything to fit into a preconceived idea of where a wedding should be (outside), what kinds of pictures to take (say cheese) and what types of flowers to get (whatever my mom's friend made for me).

The second time around, I took the time (and am taking the time) to listen to no one other than my and my fiancé's wants. (As it should be). He and I, we're eclectic. We like to live life to the beat of our own drum.

This means getting pictures the morning of our wedding with our friends acting ridiculous. This means playing a couple punk songs at our reception because it reminds us of being 17 again. This means having a cake topper in beautiful metallic gold and ornate letters that says, "shit just got real." And, why? Because we want our personality to shine through when we say "I do."

The importance between both weddings has dramatically shifted. The focus isn't on doing what's "proper," but what's right for us by our own traditional standpoint. For our wedding, we don't want to invite our second cousin who sends us a Christmas card. My mom will disagree. But, we only want people we love and frequently spend time with to share in our joyous day.

Family members we only see at weddings or at funerals are not welcome. We want to share it with those who have seen our love blossom throughout the years. We want songs that mean something to us. I want to walk down the aisle, not to "Here Comes the Bride," but to my fiancé's instrumental rendition of "Thinking Out Loud" he taught himself how to play on his guitar for our anniversary.

The other day I showed my mom the cake topper we both like and she said that some of our guests may not understand the reference, and would not feel included. My response was, "If someone at our wedding is more focused on the cake than what's happening around them, then maybe they shouldn't have been there in the first place."

It may seem harsh, but it's true. People who get married for the second time realize that it's truly their day and that they deserve to have and carry out the kind of unique day that makes each of them happy. Worrying about anything else is just not worth it.