Not so much the blushing bride, second time arounders are altogether a much more laissez-faire sort of crowd, with spending patterns completely different to first timers. Whereas girls marrying in their earlier days will spend a fortune on bridal gowns, bridesmaid’s outfits and just exactly the right shade of dove, those who’ve been through it before or round the block a bit, will tend to be a bit more relaxed about the affair.
They’re more likely to have a quick ceremony, often approaching it in a brisk cut-and-shut fashion without too much singing and hanging about.
I’ve been to a few second time arounders’ weddings and they’ve galloped through the wedding with almost indecent haste so they can get stuck in to the Veuve (they’ve all grown out of Moet by now), and have a proper party. It’s a thoroughly satisfying state of affairs.
They’re keen to keep spending down on stuff like dresses and up on stuff like the bar and honeymoons. Interestingly, men spend more on engagement rings for their second marriages, according to a survey by online jeweller comparejewellery.com, with a rise from an average of £821 for the first missus that jumps to £2,050 for the lucky second.
48 per cent said it was simply because they had more faith in their second marriage lasting, while others said it was just because they had more money. However, they spent less time choosing the ring, with nearly half of them getting their fiancée to choose their own – altogether a much more sensible approach if you ask me.
In terms of dresses, brides choosing for their second or third marriage don’t spend a fortune on bridal gowns, according to Katy Wilson of Walk in Wardrobe.
“They want to feel special,” she explains, “but they’re just not prepared to spend thousands on bridal gowns – they’re not going to wear something big like that again, and they’ve no interest in keeping it wrapped in tissue in the loft, they want something they can maybe use in future.
What’s really interesting is that they’ll quite often come into my shop and hire a dress that’s been worn before, but they will not buy a second-hand dress off eBay or whatever. I think it’s seen as bad luck. But we hire out loads of dresses for ladies to get married in. They have no interest in keeping them afterwards, they get married and get on with their lives.”
It’s the same for men, who are less likely to go the whole hog on morning dress and opt for a suit they can wear again.
Apart from a big knees-up on the day, the other big spend for the second time arounders is often the hen and stag parties, and the honeymoon. No L-plates in sight, you’ll often find your veteran hens taking long expensive spa breaks, or trips overseas for experiential weekends.
Same with the boys, who roll out the readies for adrenalin-fuelled activities, high-end eating and drinking, and again, trips overseas. It’s either this, or the polar opposite with a low-key dinner at a local restaurant.
As the age group tends to be a bit older, so the activities are reflected in the celebrations. As my recently-married second time-arounder Sally remarked, “I’m not exactly keen on having a nightclub crawl wearing a veil, L-plates and bunny ears; I’m 43 years of age.”
BRIDAL WEAR THAT WON’T BREAK THE BANK
1. Accessorize bridal flower bando £19
2. Lipsy asymmetrical dress £60
3. Marian pastel peep toe sling-back £135
4. Monsoon Carlotta bridal dress £299
5. New Look embellished strap sandals £19.99
6. Phase Eight £495 Josefina dress
7. Pretty Eccentric Ava dress with gold embellishment £225