Book Review: ‘How to Get Married Again: Advice on ettiquettes of second marriage’

‘How to Get Married Again’ by Jill Curtis is a self-help book whose primary concern is how to plan a second marriage without emotional breakouts, tears, and awkwardness. ‘The largest proportions of all marriages in the UK today are second marriages for one or both partners.’

‘The book is dedicated to every bride and groom seeking happiness a second time around.’

The author gives advice on how to plan your second wedding. A second marriage comes with a host of problems and conflicts. The authour gives rules and etiquettes on how to run matters smoothly.

Rule no 1: Consider the budget amongst yourselves.

Rule no2: There are many ways to make the wedding special. It’s your decision.

Rule No 3: Don’t take into consideration what people will think. It is your day.

In case of a second marriage, you need to be more careful. You don’t want to repeat the mistakes of your past. It needs to be clarified that marrying a second time is not taboo. Guilt should not interfere. It is a form of nurturing and caring.

The word ‘etiquette’ is conventional and it means that you are on cordial behavior and wary of making others uncomfortable.

The wedding will only go smoothly, if special care has gone into its preparation. A wedding planner is the ideal choice. It will save you all the worry and haste.

The excitement of going to a wedding is unparalleled. Everyone is swept by the joy and even unmarried women and bachelors want to get hitched.

As the couple takes the wedding vows, tears brim. Is it because they are reminded of the purity of the vows they took in their first marriage? A second marriage is not all joy. There are painful memories attached with it. And before breaking the news to anyone else, first have things cleared up in your mind.

The author introduces the reader to the new and recent online dating apps as a way of meeting up with people. However, whilst it seems like a good opportunity the fact that you’re talking to a complete stranger is a bit dangerous. It would be good to take a friend or relative with you and meet in a public place.

In case, one of the spouses has children, her parents are likely to go ballistic upon hearing the news, of their daughter getting married to that man. However, if the daughter has made up her mind and the children wholeheartedly accept their new mother, there is a happy ending. The parents too will forget their differences and share in the happiness.

Give the news of your marriage to your ex directly and not through a third party. Invite them to your wedding but don’t introduce them as your ex. Keep it simple. In case of your in-laws, prepare them in advance. In case you are a widower or widow, try to have a face-to-face meeting which is difficult as they might remember their grief. If you have children from your first marriage then be sure to invite them and send their pictures to the grandparents.

The younger you are, the more mouldable. With age your habits become fixed and hence the reason for higher divorce rates. In the case of second marriages, where your husband has died, the mother-in-law treats the daughter-in-law like her daughter. The new mother-in-law wants things her way. This is a tricky situation. Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules to tackle such a situation.

How will your friends react to your decision to a second marriage? The first question they will ask is are you happy? Your true friends will not be concerned about the scale of the event. They will be happy in your happiness and the people who are important are the ones who count.

How the children will react is another concern. Someone will wholeheartedly embrace the idea of a second marriage whilst others will throw a raucous. Break the news to them in private and give them the time to absorb it.

The following quote illuminates the personal choice in a marriage.

‘All weddings are similar but every marriage is different.’

For example, you may decide to be different on how you want to make the announcement. You can come up with innovative ideas. In case you are a widower you can pass on your ring to your daughter.

The trend of throwing a bridal shower in the US is replaced by throwing a couples shower in UK. It is a more encompassing term. The word bride comes from the English word means to ‘cook.’ That is the conventional definition of a bride. But in modern times that isn’t all that a woman has to do.

Finally, the authour says that age doesn’t matter. You may be 10 years younger or older. What matters is mental compatibility and the fact that both spouses love and understand each other.

Jill Curtis winds up the book on a note of how the wedding doesn’t necessarily have to be big. Maybe the man wants an intimate wedding. Both man and woman need to understand each other’s concerns before any hard feelings come between them and pave the way for resentment.

The book is a wonderful and detailed insight into a second marriage. It is a must read for all those who are going through marital problems. Second marriage isn’t a taboo.

Beenish Mahmood has a double Master's in English Literature with almost a decade of experience in magazine journalism. She is passionate about South Asian Fiction and environmental issues. She can be reached through email at

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