Out of all the hashtags I’ve been using for my bridal posts on social media, this has to be the most meaningful to me. I mean, what bride-to-be doesn’t hashtag the heck out of their posts? Of course, we created a “wedding hashtag” for people to use when posting pictures on their various social media so we can search all the candid pictures (#HappilyEverHager). I’ve incorporated the #WeddingPlanning, #BrideToBe, #Wedding2018 hashtags in virtually everything these day. They all have special meaning, but #SingleMomGettingMarried is a very important one to me.

After my divorce 5 years ago, I never imagined I would be planning a wedding. I have had my wide array of horrible dating stories, unfortunate “relationships” and saw everyone in my circle of friends finding their love. I got to the point of being very content with the life I had. My children are my world, and I was very happy having them as the men in my life.

I know it sounds so cliché, but when people say that you find someone when you least expect it or aren’t looking, it’s true! I had come to the point of contentment with being a single mom for my life. Hey, my mom did it after her divorce, and she was a great mom and I think I turned out ok. I was 37 and happy in life. But then I met my now fiancé.

In all honesty, after our first date, I thought he wasn’t interested. Guess I was wrong! After 2 years together, he proposed and now we are getting married next month. As a #SingleMomGettingMarried, I have approached the whole wedding planning experience from a different perspective. My first marriage was a quick justice of the peace ceremony with no real wedding planning needed. I got an after season prom dress and had a simple reception in a church basement a few weeks later.

This time around, it’s a full-fledged wedding. My fiancé had never been married, and he wanted to have the full experience. And what little girl hasn’t planned out their dream wedding? I wanted to do this, too! But, being in my late 30’s (and he in his early 40’s), we didn’t have our parents paying for our wedding. We took on the planning and paying for this wedding. I also wanted to make sure to include my children in planning this wedding.

My boys are 8 & 10 (almost 11) and have very specific ideas of what they like and don’t like. Creating a new family is a big deal, and I want them to be comfortable with everything. I talked to the boys about marrying my fiancé prior to us even getting engaged. I wanted them to be comfortable with the idea, even before it happened. On many occasions, they told me that they WANTED me to marry my fiancé and they wanted him to be their step-father. Now, their father is very much involved in their lives and we have shared custody and we have a great relationship. My fiancé is not a replacement father but an additional father figure to be in their lives.

I let them pick out if they want regular ties or bow ties. We had shoes picked out for them, but they disagreed on the color (nothing new there), so they each got their own shoe color. Some battles are just not worth fighting. And the biggest thing for me is having my boys walk me down the aisle. Since they have been the main men in my life, it’s only fitting that they are the ones “giving me away” to my future husband.

I have included them in decoration ideas, cake ideas, and have kept them in the loop with all the wedding plans. They have cheered me on while I’ve tried to lose weight during this wedding planning stage in life. And when my dress had to be taken in over 4 inches due to the weight loss progress, they cheered along with me! They have been my biggest supporters and really have been great with all these changes coming their way! 

Getting married for the second time with kids and later on in life definitely puts a different perspective on things. It changes the priorities in the planning. As my children are gaining a step-father and several new aunts, uncles, and cousins and grandparents, this is an important day for them as well. This isn’t just about a girl marrying a boy. It’s about a mom, with children, with an established life, joining with a man and the whole “ready-made-family” concept. Pretty soon I’ll get to upgrade my hashtag from #SingleMomGettingMarried to #JustMarriedMom. We all can’t wait for that day to be here!

UPDATE: #MomGotMarried!

Now that it’s all said and done and we’ve had time to breathe, here’s a picture of our family from the beginning of our “Happily Ever After”!

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