Get rid of the rulebook and pave your own way.
Credit: Manuel Orero Galan

If you're getting married for the second time, people may express the idea that certain wedding practices are not appropriate for tying knot again. But we're here to dispel those myths, because it's 2016, and you can celebrate however you'd like! Wedding planner Sara Fried of Fête Nashville shares what these silly "rules" are and why it's OK to break them.

Myth 1: You can't have a big wedding.

Of course you can. If you have lots of close friends and family who also want to celebrate your union, all the more reason to do it up big, Fried says. "Everyone wants to celebrate love, and your wedding should represent your personality as a couple – whether it's a large, formal affair or a smaller casual one," she continues. Fried does, however, suggest making your wedding unique, and different from the first. And, "It's probably best to leave ex-spouses off the guest list, even if you're on amicable terms" she says. "Respectfully let them know before they find out from someone else."

Myth 2: You can't wear a traditional white dress.

There are no rules about color – no matter if this is your first, or even your 4th marriage, Friend says. "Wear a color that makes you feel beautiful. And if you opt for white, be sure to try on a variety of shades [including] ecru, ivory, off-white, champagne, blush, to see which matches your skin tone the best," Fried says. "Most brides opt for a more sophisticated silhouette as opposed to a ballroom gown for their second wedding dress."

Myth 3: You can't have a wedding shower.

If your friends want to throw you one, graciously accept. "A wedding shower is such a lovely way for you to celebrate your upcoming wedding with your close girlfriends and your 'new' family that you are marrying into," Fried says. With all of our busy lives, it can be difficult to get big groups of the people you love together for a brunch or a much-needed night out, so take advantage of the opportunity to have your friend clear their schedules ahead of time. And not only that, but it's also a great way to introduce your fiance's family to yours in a relaxed atmosphere.

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Myth 4: You should not expect gifts.

Many times it's true that most couples who marry a second time may not need traditional household items, so in lieu of gifts, you may want to register for a honeymoon, or have your guests donate to a charity that's important to you. "It can be difficult for many people to openly give information about gifts, as they do not want to appear tacky or expectant," Fried says. "But it's much better to share the information in a timely manner than to end up with a pile of crystal, picture frames, and candlesticks you won't ever use."

Myth 5: Your father can't walk you down the aisle.

You may absolutely have your father walk you down the aisle if that's your preference, Fried says. Although, it's also perfectly OK to walk down the aisle by yourself as a sign of independence, or even with your children if that's what you prefer. "As with a first marriage, whomever you feel closest with, should walk you down the aisle, whether it's your father, stepfather, grandfather, brother," Fried says, saying that she's even has mothers walk their daughter down the aisle. "Whomever you choose, make sure you are all coordinated with outfits and colors so your look is cohesive."

Myth 6: You can't have a bridal party.

This is the one tradition that is usually not carried over into the second wedding, Fried says. Most people choose to forgo the bridal party, and if you do choose to do that, there are so many fun ways to incorporate your close friends, siblings, children, and more into the ceremony. Some options include helping usher guests to their seats, handing out programs, walking you down the aisle, standing by your side during the ceremony, and more. "We love when grooms give special rings to the bride's child(ren) during the ceremony to make them feel extra special [and] let them know he wants to marry the whole family, not just mommy," Fried says.

Finding love the second time around is rare and beautiful and should be celebrated. "Everyone wants you to be happy and if you play your day your way, you'll have the most special memories," she says.

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