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46, second time around, overwhelmed a bit

Good morning!

My SO and I are both 46 and have both been married before.  Neither of us had the tradtional wedding the first time around and we really want it this time but, I have to admit, I am kind of overwhlemed. 

Not entirely sure where to start.. how far in advance things need to get done...how much we can DIY and what we absolutely need outside help with.

Any advice, suggestions and/or insights would be greatly appreciated!

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Re: 46, second time around, overwhelmed a bit

  • Congratulations.  The real problem with planning a "traditional" wedding is there is almost no such thing.  People today have everything from the Hollywood extravaganza to simple backyard barbecues.  I actually thought I was missing the bride gene, but I discovered it was only napping when I began planning my wedding.  My advice is get in touch with your innder bride and everything pretty much flows from that.  Once you have a vision (small, large, romantic, beach, country hoedown, whatever), an approximate time of the year and a budget, you're well on your way.  The budget, approximate number of guests and location are your first considerations and they somewhat go together.  The rest of it (dress, flowers, food, favors, rehearsal, wedding party) are all just details and the nice part of being a mature bride is that we have the wisdom to know that the wedding is just a party and what really counts is the marriage.  Keeping that in mind, I would advise you relax and enjoy every single detail of the planning.  I also found that an Excel spreadsheet was my best friend.  I have a small wedding (about 40 people).  It was more an elegant dinner party with fancy clothes but you need to keep track of dates, times, expenses, guest lists, phone numbers, etc and being reasonably well organized decreases stress allowing you to enjoy the planning and actually look forward to your wedding day. 
  • I would agree, there really isn't one "traditional" wedding.  What people think of as traditional depends on their area of the country, religion, race, and family background, among other things.

    Of course, you can have a wedding that feels traditional to you.  However, it is worthwhile to talk early with your FI about what is important to each of you.  You may find that even if you both want a traditional wedding, that means very different things to each of you.
  • By 'traditional' maybe you mean a religious ceremony then a reception?  As far as planning, my fiance and I got engaged in February 2013 and are getting married in April 2013 so I've been do a lot of planning lately.  My wedding is small, 50-60 guests and the ceremony and reception are at the same place. There are hotels, art galleries and historic homes that can do both wedding and receptions. Also look for a catering service that has 'one stop shopping'/preferred vendors - bakeries, photographers, limo service, music, even a minister - makes it so much easier on you!
  • I had six months to plan mine. The first decision was where to have it. That was easy as my DHs uncle owns a restauratnt 4 hrs away so we had it there. The rest I felt a little rushed but managed to get it all done in 6 months. (Actually I found the dress at an antique fair when we were still looking for rings so that was really first.) I used timeline information off The WeddingChannel site. I also did a lot of web surfing to get information and ideas. Good luck.
  • Venues first. They get booked like crazy, and it's never really TOO early to start looking for one. This includes churches btw. As for the diy it really depends on how much time you actually have available. DIY stuff takes longer to plan and execute so you gotta factor that in. Other than dad follow the excelent advice from these ladies :)
  • WoW! Hello beautiful one, I'm 48 and geing maried for the second time as well. There's a lot of things I didn't get to do the first time. We're not having a wedding, just a reception. This is my fiancee second time to so I totally understand how your feeling. I was the same way at first not knowing where to start. I had a big wedding the first time but this time we want to elope and have a reception. What I can tell you for me it feels really good this time around because we've know each other sense we were fourteen years old. Because of our history we know each very well. We had the wedding set for next year but being so excited, happy and scared as crap all at once. Things become a bit too much for me to handle. Our families are so very close so when we told them they couldn't be more happier for us. To begin with the wedding plans it felt like everything was being rushed.The hardest part was telling my fiancee I need more time. He can't wait to be my husband so for me to tell him I want to change the date to for another year, 2015. It took him a while to come around. To have someone who loves you that much along with the support from our families for the first time feels so good we are so blessed. After sitting him down to reassure him I want to be with him. I want this wedding to be more intimate with all that love flowing through on our day. He is so excited and very supportive. I let him decide on the date which is set for September 27, 2015 lol. He's even went as far as picking the place for our reception, honeymoon, the DJ for the music and photograher. He's picked out the rings and I'm left to pick out my dress and his tux. Basically he's helping me with everything. I expressed to him with his interest and support has help calm me a lot which took away the edge of everything. You can start a vision board of how you both want things to be for your wedding day. This may sound funny to you but I dreamed how I wanted my wedding day. So far everything is falling in place just like in my dream. I believe this is a message from GOD. Let me know how things are coming along for you two. Take care and stay forever blessed.
  • How exciting for both you and your fiancé! I'm a little last to respond but I had a I had a friend get married (in August) for the second time and she was wondering the same thing when she was planning so I thought I'd chime in. Better late than never! 

    She originally got married right after high school therefore didn't have the money or capability to have a "traditional" wedding. The second time around she wanted something special since she felt like she missed out. I can just pass along what she did...
    • First determine your budget. That will dictate everything that comes next. 
    • Start creating a rough guest list (this will help determine what size venue you need)
    • Decide what month or preferred weekend you would like to get married, this could vary since it will depend on your venue's availability. OR if your firm on your date, then you'll know what venues to rule out
    • The fun part, start looking up and researching venues 
    • Once you have the date and the venue in place, you can start looking into other things like dresses, save the date cards, photographers, DJ's, florists, minister, bakery for your cake. 
    You can probably get away with doing most of your wedding yourself like centerpieces. If you look on craigslist some people are trying to sell their wedding decor after their done with it. 

    You'll want to hire a photographer, a DJ for sure, they help set the tone of your reception (unless you have a really friendly and charismatic friend or family member). Florist for the bouquets, you can make your centerpieces if you get crafty. Also hiring a car or limo doesn't seem necessary anymore unless your having a big send off (unless you really want one). I highly recommend hiring a "day of" coordinator. My friend hired a co-workers friend (I know, 6 degrees of separation) who was just starting our her coordinating business. She did a lot of the decorations and planning herself but was glad she went with a coordinator. Since her coordinator was just starting out so she got her at a discounted price which was an added bonus. She hired her coordinator early in the planning stage and her coordinator even gave tips and "checked up" on her throughout the planning process. I don't think all coordinators do this. My friend needed to be kept on track so the checks up really helped. 

    The earlier you start planning, the less stressful it will be towards your wedding date. 

    My last words of wisdom (suggested by my friends coordinator)...

    Create a checklist and stick with it! For example if your wedding is Oct. 2014  you'll start setting goals for yourself now. 

    By November you'll need to accomplish: 
    Rough Guest list
    Create Budget 
    Start looking at inspirations on Pinterest

    By December: 
    Make appointments will potential vendors
    Start looking at invitations, dresses and think about who you want to be in  your wedding party 

    and keep going...

    I hope I've helped. Good luck and happy planning!! 

  • Sometimes I feel like the oldest bride in the world. My Fiancé and I will be 62 when we have our wedding in June 2014. This is the second time around for both of us. We are doing a destination wedding on Mexico with all the trimmings. I've told our families it's a combination wedding, family reunion and retirement party. LOL! I agree with everything the other ladies have posted. I started by following the checklists on The Knot, set the budget and the approximate date. I've visited a lot of wedding forums on the Internet and pretended to be a 20-something new bride. My feeling is 'why not?' There is no age limit on love, excitement and happiness. Have fun planning your wedding. I know I am. At this age, it is very unlikely to happen again.
  • We find we're in the same boat.  I'm going on marriage #2 and my guy on marriage #3.  We are in no way traditional and we're paying for this thing ourselves.  I have found that once we got the venue and the theme, everything was starting to flow a little easier.  Don't get me wrong....I am struggling to put this together but it's a process.  Think logically, confide in your besties, and know what you're looking for.  Best of luck to you!!
  • You have been given some good advice. 

    As for the timing / plan ahead stuff. . . . although there are cash & carry ready to wear bridal gowns out there, they tend to be in smaller sample sizes.  Some gowns can take up to 9 months to make or you have to pay huge rush fees.  Factor that into your timing. 

  • I'm planning mine in four weeks and going crazy.  My fiancé is unemployed and we need to get him on my insurance. 

    There is a wedding calendar on this site that helped.  It gives you a one year countdown, but you don't necessarily need that long.  I bought my gown off the rack and it fit so there was no issue of ordering it.  I'm a big girl (20 W) and David's bridal had lots for me to try and pick from.  However, I'm not really particular so I was easy to please.  I guess some of the things that will determine your time line is what venue you want to use.  If it is something that books up months in advance, you will need more time.  However, if it is a church wedding and a reception in the social hall, you won't need as much time.  Also, you may choose the date based on your honeymoon - when and where you want to go  or when you can get time off. from work.  If you are going out of the country, leave enough time to get a passport

    As for DIY, are you a DIY person?  I did my own flowers because I have that skill.  I cant cook worth a damn so I'm paying someone.  I did my invitations from a kit at Michaels.  Saved lots of money because my wedding is small.  I have basic computer skills and it was very easy for me.

    I guess another issue in the DIY world is the size of the wedding.  Making 25 favors is one thing, making 250 is a whole other issue.  Congratulations and good luck.


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