You’re planning a second wedding, and it feels a little different than the first, doesn’t it?
Well why wouldn’t it? You aren’t the same person you were when you first got married. You’re more confident, more successful, and more secure–and more aware of what you really want (both in a partner and in a dress).
Not that your first wedding wasn’t beautiful–remember the gorgeous, detailed gown that you had pictured since you were little? Or the long string of bridesmaids, and the extended engagement period so you could plan all the perfect details?
It was a gorgeous day, but doesn’t it sometimes feel like it happened to someone else?
That’s why your second wedding–your encore wedding, as we like to call it–is different. And that’s why you need a wedding planner who understands what you’re looking for now.
Your Second Wedding, Our First Priority
We LOVE second weddings, and we love working with couples at such an interesting time in their lives. In 2020, we did 60 weddings–some of them first marriages, some second, and even some third. (Third time is the charm, as my third-time married stepmother told me before exchanging vows with my dad). Couples planning a second wedding have a lot of history–both as a couple and as individuals in other relationships. They may have chosen the wrong person, or lost their partner tragically. There are lots of roads that may have brought a couple to our inn for an intimate and meaningful celebration. Despite those differences, we’ve seen some similarities in planning a second wedding.
Give the Lady What She Wants
Encore brides generally fall into two camps: first, there is the camp who know exactly what they want. Their starter wedding may have felt like someone else’s affair: one encore bride told me that her first wedding was for everyone but her. “Everyone had an opinion,” she said. “My mother, my mother-in-law, my friends. This time, the only opinion I care about is mine and my partner’s.” These are brides who know the type of ceremony they want–from the number of guests to the flowers she wants to carry. They don’t have Pinterest boards–they have life experiences. They have spent years getting to know themselves, and that translates into knowing exactly what feels right to them.
For brides who know what they want, we spend a lot more time asking questions than answering them. Here are some of the questions we ask:
What’s the most important part of the day for you? Knowing the couple’s priorities helps us know what to focus on, and which details may not matter quite as much.
Many brides will have different priorities for their second wedding, because they know what details didn’t matter to them from their first wedding.
Which aspects of the event do you need help with? Many couples planning second weddings have collected a great group of talented friends–photographers, musicians, bakers and chefs, even officiants. We want all of our brides to enjoy an intimate and comfortable celebration, so we don’t mind outside vendors at all. Of course, we have a curated list of local pros who can help fill in any gaps.
Pick Your Place
One of the most important questions for our Bayfront Marin House Brides: Which of our three venues best suits your personality? We’re lucky to have multiple locations that are perfect for a second wedding in St. Augustine. For a larger group, we have the Spanish Colonial Sanchez House, a beautiful home from the 1790s with tons of charm and authentic details. We can fit up to 60 people in our front lawn space, right across from the Matanzas Bay. For a smaller group–or even an elopement–we love the historic stone cross in our courtyard as a perfect backdrop.
We also have a romantic Victorian gazebo, draped with simple but lovely white sheers. It can be staged for as few as two, or as many as 60 (most gazebo weddings are between 20-30 people). Finally, we can do beach weddings with up to 20 guests–the natural beauty provides the perfect backdrop for special photos.
What’s the plan for food? Second marriage couples almost always want their guests to be happy and well fed. In fact, when we ask what is the most important part of the wedding for them, the answer is almost always the same: “I want everyone to have fun and have plenty to eat.”
We can do anything from light appetizers for your guests, to a full barbecue spread at the Sanchez House, to an elegant dinner in the garden. For an elopement, you might want a romantic dinner for 2 in your room–we are happy to work with you on a menu or help you find a caterer you like. We also can help you find the perfect restaurant for you if you’d rather eat out–we have our favorite special occasion restaurants in St. Augustine!
Brides who know what they want are concise, no nonsense, and just want some help ensuring that their vision comes to life. And we love that about them!
A Busy Bride with A Busy Life
The second type of encore bride we frequently see is the bride who doesn’t have time to see herself as a bride. She is busy–at work, at home, and with her family. She wants a lovely party planned by someone else, where she can just show up and enjoy the celebration.
For our busy encore brides, our job is to do all the research for them. We then make suggestions, and have our couple sign off on the details. We try to make everything as efficient as possible.
Our planners normally start with the question What is the most important thing to you?–and we have a discussion about that element. Then we make suggestions, drawing a visual picture of everything so that the bride and groom can let us know if it is the kind of ceremony that feels like “them”.
We are proud of our ability to plan a day that feels like they planned it themselves. One of our busy brides recently said we chose things that she would have chosen for herself–if she had had the time.
The Marin Advantage
In addition to our wedding planner’s ability to read minds, there are a few other things that second wedding brides love about working with us.
- Options. Having three very different wedding venues is a huge time saver for busy couples planning a second wedding. It’s like visiting three separate venues at once. Once a couple chooses a location, many of the details start to fall into place on their own.
- Flexibility. You can bring your own vendors or use ours. You can use our provided decor to make things easy on yourself, or bring your own for a very specific look. Chocolate cake with a messy frosting, or formal cake with fondant designs? The choice is yours! It’s your day…we’re here to do things your way. Second brides love that we listen to them…and make adjustments when necessary.
- Excellence and Experience. We have been hosting weddings since 2012–in 2020, we hosted 60 ceremonies. From two-person elopements, to larger sit down events, we take pride in creating special days and memories for our couples. We were excited to be named a Best of The Knot Wedding Venue for 2021; it’s a testament to the customer service our team puts first every day.
- Convenience. In addition to our wedding venues, we are an award-winning bed and breakfast with 30 private rooms for brides and their families. And within those 30 rooms, we have a wide variety of lodging options! You sister wants to bring her dog? We have eight pet-friendly rooms downtown, and 1 pet-friendly cottage at the beach. Aunt Mary has mobility issues? Our Napoleon suite is a highly accessible space, with wide doors, a roll-in shower, and roll-under sink. Traveling with young children? Unlike a lot of bnbs, we have many rooms that can sleep additional children. Want a full kitchen? Two of our downtown rooms have full kitchens, as do four of our rooms on Vilano Beach.
- Safety. In the wake of Covid-19, the Bayfront Marin House made an exceptional commitment to the safety of both our guests and our team. From contact-free check in to advanced sanitation procedures, we are proud of the changes we’ve made to ensure health and safety.
- Love. We’re a small, locally owned business, and for owners Mike and Sandy Wieber it really is a labor of love. Our entire team is in hospitality because we truly love to make people happy. And helping a busy couple create a lovely day full of memories is the best of all!
It’s Easy to Get Started
If you’d like a guide to help you plan your St. Augustine second wedding, please complete our simple online event form, and our wedding coordinator will contact you directly. Or, if you’d like a little more information first, check out our wedding pages–you can read more about all of our venues, as well as all of our wedding packages.
Want to talk to someone right away? Feel free to call our office at (904)824-4301.
We look forward to helping you make your encore wedding vision a beautiful reality!