DJ was been married before, between when we were engaged the first time and when we re-found each other. He’s the kind of guy who has always, always wanted to be married and (at the right time) have a family. It’s a good quality.  So I can’t blame him for meeting a girl in college and settling down right after. Lots of people are on that schedule, and while he was dating and marrying I had a fairly serious boyfriend myself.

Our second shot at dating was very sincere, from the very beginning. We both wanted specific things and weren’t willing to settle. We had to trust each other to get it right this time. Neither of us wanted to be a placeholder in a photo.


After DJ proposed, I started asking questions about his first wedding. I knew enough of his perspective on the marriage to believe that lessons were learned, but I was still afraid of making a major gaffe. I didn’t want to repeat anything, or inadvertently create similarities. So I pestered him with questions. What kind of dress did she wear – white, ivory, ballgown, strapless? What was their first dance? What colors did the bridesmaids wear, and what kind of flowers did she carry? Did they register for china? Did they have readings or music during the ceremony?

It was really confusing to me that the answer was frequently “I don’t know.” Really, he seemed to not know, but I couldn’t wrap my head around that. How could you just not know? He said he hadn’t been involved in the planning. That he hadn’t given much input in the registry. But still, I just didn’t get it.


As months went by I asked less and was more confident that his friends and family would be too kind to remind us of our checkered pasts. Not to mention the fun I was having collecting silver and sewing chair covers (oh boy!) But I did ask one more time, and finally got the real answer. DJ said that he doesn’t want to remember. He wants to remember our wedding not as his second, but as the one that made a marriage. So he’s made an effort to forget whether his ex wore a veil, where they registered, the dinner menu, and what kind of toast his best man made.

Oh. That I can understand. So I’ve stopped asking – and, for the most part, caring. I’m sure his ex was a beautiful bride and they probably had a very nice wedding. But even if we happened to like the same flowers, it wouldn’t be the same at all.

Have any of you planned around a prior marriage? Any sage advice for the seconds?