Second Weddings

My second (widow,) his first, but finally with first love, long story

OK so I'm going to try to give you the Campbell's Condensed Soup version of the story: 

Matt and I met when I was 11, and by the time I was 12 I knew that I wanted to marry him. However, life threw us a lot of curve balls; growing up in a cult that believed dating was sinful, and so we weren't allowed, him moving to another state when I was 17, his parents not liking me, them telling him that I was dead and telling me the same about him. 

In 2004, a year after they told me that he was dead, I met my (now late) husband. I didn't want to lose another man I had feelings for, so I got engaged to him very quickly, though it took us five years to finally be able to marry because (again due to being raised in a cult) my family didn't approve of him and as I wasn't allowed to work because I was a woman, I had no money to just move out. My family told everyone at our church not to throw me any bridal showers and not to get us any presents, hoping that would deter us from marrying at all. So I have never had any of these things.

Eventually, in 2009, I became homeless in order to get out. I got married on November 4th 2009. My husband had lupus, as well as other disabilities. We got married at the county offices. We later had a very small ceremony, about 15 people attending. Still no gifts or anything. We made do with a toaster as our only appliance other than the stove/oven for years, got a $50 mattress, never had a table, couch, or anything. We were quite literally destitute. 

My husband's lupus was so severe they told him when he was diagnosed in early 2005 that he would pass away the next time he had a major flare up. So that's the set up to the rest of the story. 

In 2010, about 6 months after I got married, I found out that Matt was actually alive, and I decided that for my own peace of mind, and perhaps for closure, I needed to contact him. I ended up opening a can of worms. We were shocked that his parents had lied to both of us, and moreover, the odd thing is that even though ten years had passed since we'd seen or contacted each other, it was like the time and distance had never occurred. So we kept corresponding. 

In 2013, my husband's lupus was confirmed back, and this time last year, he was considered to essentially be in end-stage. By this time he had gotten to know Matt, and he actually WANTED me to be with him when he passed away- the sooner the better he said. So he actually encouraged me to be in a relationship with Matt (albeit it was long distance.) This March, he wrote Matt a letter asking him to marry me when he was gone. This is what we had decided would happen anyway, but we're glad that my husband approved. 

Tom passed away on April 1st. I was able to visit Matt for the first time since April 2000 on June 24th, and that is when he proposed. Although a very quick turn around from my husband's death, the timing still felt right, so I accepted. I'm 33 and he's now 34.

So that is the explanation of the quick turn around- me being with the man I had wanted to be with all of my life, and husband's blessing to do so. 

So, here's the wedding details so far: 

I was left with literally nothing when Tom passed away and am living with family at the moment on cheap rent. Due to his disabilities I hadn't been able to work for my entire marriage. My family has changed some of their ways and are letting me work and are supportive of me and Matt. 

Matt's mother has finally gotten on board. Matt has never been married. He's never even DATED. In his mind I was the only one for him. He was never able to see himself with anyone else. 

I could personally do without a wedding (even another small affair like I had with Tom) but both Matt and his mother want one. It'll likely just be a Justice of the Peace, but his mom's insisting on me wearing a wedding dress. 

I don't know what's appropriate for my second wedding, especially if it's not going to be a real ceremony. It'll likely be next year. I am apple shaped and slightly plus sized. 

Another issue is that Matt and I are pagan and wanted a handfasting but our families are still Christian. 



tl;dr is this: It's my second wedding due to me being a widow although I barely had a first wedding at all, I was proposed to by my best friend of 22 years rather shortly after my husband passed away (and at his behest.) It's his first wedding, I'm his first relationship. We're both poor, we're probably going to do Justice of the Peace to eliminate any religious element (we're Pagan and our families are Christian,) I'd skip a dress entirely except both he and his mother want me to wear one. Looking for advice on the kinds of dresses appropriate for Justice of the Peace, for an apple-shaped, small end of plus size bride.  



Been waiting for you forever, now it's finally our time...

Re: My second (widow,) his first, but finally with first love, long story

  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216
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    Welcome! I'm sorry for your loss, and congratulations on your engagement.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
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    You can have all the trappings of a wedding that you want. Having been married before does not preclude you from having any of that. However, I agree that there are some red flags here, and I hope you are not just catering to your family and doing what they want. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    OurWildKingdom
  • SP29SP29
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    Congratulations on your engagement!

    Your ceremony is a real ceremony. All that is needed for a wedding is two adults wanting to be married, an officiant and a witness or two (depending on your local legalities). Your JOP ceremony is no less valid that anyone who has a lavish affair or church ceremony.

    Agreed that a second wedding is no different than the first, so don't feel that you can't wear a wedding dress. But I hope you are doing it because you and your FI want to.
    OurWildKingdomCMGragain
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited August 2016
    Some good places to look for plus sized wedding dresses are David's Bridal and Full Beauty.com  http://www.fullbeauty.com/Plus-Size-White.aspx?dims=1000000021:4294951176&DeptId=11606&dimorder=1000000210,1000000021,1000000116,1000000061,1000002400#sm.00001ni76he2a8d80uhh89po3kic0

    You can wear whatever you wish, including a white wedding gown.  David's Bridal has sales all the time.  http://www.davidsbridal.com/SearchDisplay?searchType=1000&pageView=grid&catalogId=10051&facet=price_USD%3A%28%7B50+100%7D+100%29&showResultsPage=true&beginIndex=0&categoryId=3001550&langId=-1&storeId=10052&sType=SimpleSearch&metaData=

    Do bear in mind that bridal sizes are different from your regular size, and you will probably need a larger size than you might expect.

    Second weddings are no different from first weddings these days.  The rules have relaxed and changed.

    But a courthouse wedding, like your first one, is a REAL wedding.

    Here is an etiquette guide for second weddings:
    http://www.idotaketwo.com/blog/home/



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    OurWildKingdom
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited August 2016
    Just because you are planning a civil ceremony doesn't mean that it must be in a courthouse.  You can have your wedding in a park, in a back yard - anywhere.  You hire an officiant who is licensed to marry people in your state.  You can also have a friend officiate in many states.  They can get ordained to perform weddings online.  Different states have different rules about this, so check you local laws.
    Do make sure that someone takes pictures of your wedding day.  Good luck with your plans.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    OurWildKingdomSP29
  • Charlotte, we didn't just reconnect. We reconnected six years ago. We have been writing and calling ever since. We knew three years ago that we wanted to marry when my husband died, and had already known his death was inevitable. And my husband wanted us to.

    Matt was never in a relationship because I am the only one he was ever able to see himself with.

    We aren't doing away with our religion, we're just trying to eliminate the awkwardness of having a Pagan religious element in a ceremony that our families will be attending. We plan on having our handfasting later.

    My family could care less if I wear a dress or not. It's his mother who would like me too, and I know that he would like me to as well, simply because it's his first wedding.  

    As far as my last marriage was concerned,  I had anticipatory grief because he was hospitalized for 5 months continuously before he died, and had been in and out frequently for all of 2015. I have mostly felt relief since he passed away.

    Yes, our families, having been in a cult and finally starting to escape, are still somewhat controlling. But at least it isn't like it was when I initially became homeless to leave in 2009 because they wouldn't let me work. The only reason I hadn't worked these past 6 years is because my husband was disabled (with more than just the lupus) and I had to take care of him. I am working now and my family is not hindering me in any way. They are happy for me and Matt, and glad that I had him to fall back on.

    If I had any other choice I wouldn't have moved back in with them. But I didn't, and living with Matt isn't an option right now because he's in a roommate situation that he can't get out of. 

    At any rate I was just giving my story, not asking about any perceived "red flags," especially as they pertain to our family not him. I don't consider it a red flag to eliminate religious elements that would make the ENTIRE FAMILY uncomfortable; I consider it as being considerate. And he and his mother have every right to request that I have a wedding dress because it is his first and most likely only trip down the aisle.

    At any rate,  moving on...


    Been waiting for you forever, now it's finally our time...
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
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    I have to agree with Climbing on distancing yourself from these people.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    OurWildKingdom
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    Nienna said:
    Charlotte, we didn't just reconnect. We reconnected six years ago. We have been writing and calling ever since. We knew three years ago that we wanted to marry when my husband died, and had already known his death was inevitable. And my husband wanted us to.

    Matt was never in a relationship because I am the only one he was ever able to see himself with.

    We aren't doing away with our religion, we're just trying to eliminate the awkwardness of having a Pagan religious element in a ceremony that our families will be attending. We plan on having our handfasting later.

    My family could care less if I wear a dress or not. It's his mother who would like me too, and I know that he would like me to as well, simply because it's his first wedding.  

    As far as my last marriage was concerned,  I had anticipatory grief because he was hospitalized for 5 months continuously before he died, and had been in and out frequently for all of 2015. I have mostly felt relief since he passed away.

    Yes, our families, having been in a cult and finally starting to escape, are still somewhat controlling. But at least it isn't like it was when I initially became homeless to leave in 2009 because they wouldn't let me work. The only reason I hadn't worked these past 6 years is because my husband was disabled (with more than just the lupus) and I had to take care of him. I am working now and my family is not hindering me in any way. They are happy for me and Matt, and glad that I had him to fall back on.

    If I had any other choice I wouldn't have moved back in with them. But I didn't, and living with Matt isn't an option right now because he's in a roommate situation that he can't get out of. 

    At any rate I was just giving my story, not asking about any perceived "red flags," especially as they pertain to our family not him. I don't consider it a red flag to eliminate religious elements that would make the ENTIRE FAMILY uncomfortable; I consider it as being considerate. And he and his mother have every right to request that I have a wedding dress because it is his first and most likely only trip down the aisle.

    At any rate,  moving on...


    While I agree with most of what you have said here, the one thing I disagree with is the bolded.

    Your FI and his mother are entitled to input only for what they themselves wear -- but not anyone else, including you -- just as you are not entitled to input into what they wear.

    How many times either you or he has been married has nothing whatsoever to do with it -- it's about accepting that both of you are adults who are entitled to make those decisions for yourselves without being answerable to anyone else in the matter. It's one of those boundaries that you need to learn to set and maintain.
    charlotte989875SP29
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