In the past, second marriages were often discreet, low-key events, but today people tend to celebrate remarriage with great enthusiasm. If the big day involves two adults with children, there's even more reason to make the wedding a family affair.
There really are no rules for including children from previous relationships in the wedding. Instead go with what works for your family depending on the ages of the children and how much they want to be involved.
"It can be a good idea to include children" in the wedding ceremony and a good step toward a happy future, "as long as you can do it without imposing your expectations" on them, said Susan Stiffelman, a marriage and family therapist and author of "Parenting with Presence" and "Parenting without Power Struggles."
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Be OK with feelings
While the bride and groom may be over the moon about their impending nuptials, there's no guarantee that their children feel the same way. Not only is it completely normal not to feel an instant loving family connection, it can take as long as four years for stepchildren and stepparents to feel comfortable with one another, according to the National Stepfamily Resource Center.
"As parents, you're the anchor in their lives," Stiffelman said. "Don't push too hard. You can say, 'I want you to be a part of it as much or as little as you want to be involved.' Understand children might be dealing with different feelings in the days before and after the wedding. Be conscious that kids may have hard feelings that are difficult to reconcile," Stiffelman said.
Don't make them feel guilty if they don't feel a certain way about the wedding, and don't push your expectations on them, Stiffelman said.
Instead, "check in with them frequently. Ask them how they're feeling," she said.
Kids may be filled with emotions but lack the words to articulate them. Instead, speak the words for them: "Grandma and grandpa are coming in town and isn't that exciting? How are you feeling about everything that's going on?" Stiffelman suggested.
There are so many ways children can be involved in the wedding, starting with the planning stages.
"Ask their opinion and listen to their input" on things such as what flowers to order, what songs to play at the reception or what colors to go with, Stiffelman said. It will give them ownership of the day and help them feel excited about it.
"Make them feel that they are part of the day and the wedding. It's not just two people getting married, it's the blending of a family," Stiffelman said.
Some children will welcome the opportunity to be a part of the wedding party as a flower girl or ring bearer, maid of honor or best man, but not all kids will, Stiffelman said.
"Be aware that children may be grappling with the issue of loyalties" and others would rather not take on such a significant role, she said.
Within the ceremony, parents can make vows of love and support to each other's children and children can respond, "We do, too."
Since it's going to be a long day, it would be a "kind gesture" to allow children to invite a friend to attend the wedding with them, Stiffelman said. A friend can provide support and help keep a child entertained.
And when it's all over, some brides and grooms will turn the honeymoon into a family vacation.
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Always one to make a statement, Katy Perry walked the Grammy red carpet tonight in Tom Ford. Her Grammy appearance comes just days after Thursday's release of her new politically charged single, "Chained to the Rhythm," which she will perform on tonight's ceremony (Feb. 12).
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Perry has a history of bold Grammy looks, having walked the red carpet in 2014 in a sheer Valentino gown featuring images of musical notes. In 2013, the keyhole jeweled neckline of her pale green Gucci column gown made headlines. 2015’s look, a tea length, crystal bedecked dress by Zuhair Murad, was relatively sedate, allowing her newly purple hair to be the main event.
But in light of her new single, Perry sought something different for this year. “It was important to portray this new image, especially at Katy's first red carpet upon releasing her new single," explains her stylist Jamie Mizrahi exclusively to Billboard. "There was less thinking about what had been done in the past and more thinking about the present and future. We wanted something that felt different and elevated."
While her look may be new, it’s still very much in line with the conversation-starting style she’s clearly established for herself. “It's interesting and bold. The mix of feathers and sequins paired with the silhouette of the elongated turtleneck top is unexpected and cool,” Mizrahi explains. “The look is powerful and playful at the same time -- just like the woman wearing it.”
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All that wedding planning is hard work! As the bride, be sure to take some time for yourself and relax. Dr. Jessica Glenn, from Bella Rose Skin Care and Wellness Center, shares 9 ways to pamper yourself before your big day!
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1. Skin Scope Analysis (6-12 months prior to wedding)
This helps identify imperfections or sun damage on the skin that can't be seen by the naked eye.
"It allows us to target areas [more] than if we were just doing an assessment without a scope. We also start someone on a customized skin care regimen," said Dr. Glenn.
2. Laser Hair Removal (6 months prior to wedding)
There are many areas you can choose to use to get hair removed such as your full body, under arms, bikini, a Brazilian and facial hair.
"We usually sell them in packages of six sessions because it takes about that to completely get rid of the hair," said Dr. Glenn. "When we do it you have to hit the hair in its active phase of growth and all of your hair is in different phases"
3. Eye Lash Extensions (1 week or less prior to wedding)
Give yourself the gift of a full lash look, without all the mascara.
"We use Nova Lash Extensions, which are individually applied to each lash." said Dr. Glenn. "It gives you a nice, full eyelash and those typically last 2-3 weeks."
4. Brow Shaping and Tinting (couple days prior to wedding)
Get your brows waxed and shaped to perfection before your wedding. Tinting also gives your brows a more defined look you may have been searching for.
"We apply it directly to the brow area and it gives you a nice defined darker brow," said Glenn. "Most people don't use brow pencil after that. It lasts about a week."
5. Cool Sculpting (3-6 months prior to wedding)
It's described as a liposuction equivalent, without the invasiveness of a procedure like that.
"With a lot of brides a popular area to do is the bra fat, because they wear strapless dresses or they have the extra skin above the dress popping out. That really bothers a lot of brides," said Dr. Glenn. "Any area that you can pinch that has fat, you can cool sculpt."
6. Microdermabrasion or Dermaplaning (3-6 months prior to wedding)
For microdermabrasion, a diamond tip abrasion attached to vacuum is used on the skin. Dr. Glenn says this "sucks up the dead skin cells and helps to resurface the skin, so it takes off that dead skin cell layer that we have on the face."
For dermaplaning, a special set of blades is used on the skin to take the dead layer of skin off.
"This is very popular with brides, because when you take off those little blonde hairs your makeup lays so much smoother."
7. Botox and Dermal Fillers (1 month prior to wedding)
While Botox helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, dermal fillers can be used eliminate folds in your face and to plump up your lips for a bigger pout.
"Typically Botox lasts about 90 days," said Dr. Glenn. "Dermal fillers last between 6 months to two years depending on what filler you get. Sometimes you can get bruising so you want to make sure you get those ahead of time."
8. Teeth Whitening (2 months prior to wedding)
After just one session, you'll have a brighter and whiter smile for your big day.
"We use Davinci LED laser lights. We put gel on your teeth and then you sit in front of the laser lights. The laser helps to activate the gel and it's a much quicker process," said Dr. Glenn. "It takes about an hour when you come in to do the whitening."
9. Spray Tanning (3 days prior to wedding)
A natural looking tan is a must for any bride-to-be!
"We use Bronze Biologic Tanning Solution – the products are very safe, made of botanical ingredients, they use cane sugar. It's a very natural looking tan. Usually lasts about a week," said Dr. Glenn.
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