I’m engaged to a guy who’s never been married before, while I already did the Big Dream Wedding thing. I’ve been The Bride.
And this time around, planning a second wedding, is different in a LOT of key ways…
Two years ago, I became a widow after my husband committed suicide. Today, I’m planning a wedding with my teenage-years’ sweetheart, with whom I got back together a little over a year ago. And when these two things overlap, it becomes cause for grief, not joy.
I remember so clearly shopping at plussizebridal.com (which no longer exists). It’s where I bought my fabulous purple wedding dress. There was a section on the site, though, that gave me chills. It was called “Bride Again.” Dresses in beige, off-white, and tans, each more matronly then the last — dresses that looked like something you might wear to an Easter church service but somehow more conservative. Like bizarro funeral garb. Some of the ugliest off-color dresses I have ever seen. I just remember thinking, “I don’t want to do this twice… Breathe, cross your fingers, shut out all the doubt, and get on with it.” And I did.
This couple dated 25 years ago, broke up from distance, and found each other again, both divorced and ready to find second chance love with each other. An amazing story followed by an amazing elopement to Las Vegas (with a red string ceremony and pizza!), and a reception in their hometown of Chicago six weeks later.
My fiancée and I were talking the other day about our wedding, and it kind of feels like we are playing pretend. Ok, y’all, we actually are grown-ass people. We are both 34 years old. I will be 35 in not-that-long. We have both been married before. We know what we’re getting ourselves into. But I still feel like a kid playing Bride.
I have gone from being a young bride, to a survivor of domestic abuse, a divorcée, a fiancée, and now I find myself planning a wedding again. A wedding is supposed to be a happy experience. For me, this doesn’t seem to be the case. With my looming nuptials I can’t help but feel emotionally and physically drained. I remind myself every day that “he isn’t my first husband.”