It's all about celebrating your love — so what if it's the second time round. Even as marriages are breaking up before you say saat pheras, couples who are taking the plunge — again — are pulling out all stops to make it an affair worth remembering. Putting their past firmly behind, they're (re) doing it the way it's meant to be — a gala event, guests, wedding finery, the works.
"For my second marriage, surprisingly, I did not want it to be a low-key affair. I wanted to go all out, and not repeat the mistakes I made the first time. So instead of the heavy onion-coloured tissue silk lehenga I wore the last time, I went for a teal blue and pink designer lehenga-choli," gushes Megha Rawat, 29, who married Gautam Katoch, a software architect, about two years after her first marriage broke up.
The sangeet-cum-cocktail night, was followed by an elaborate wedding and a lavish reception. "For the wedding, we had almost a thousand guests. I planned everything personally — down to the hostesses, the theme music, the giant screens that made it easy for the guests to catch the ceremony," she says. The wedding alone cost some Rs 12 lakh.
Ditto for Akash Verma and Neetu Sharma, who hosted their wedding — it was Sharma's second time — at a five star hotel in the Capital.
Food and drinks flowed freely at the three-day affair. "The bride and groom behaved like star-struck lovers, the way they looked at each other and blushed. If you didn't know you couldn't make out that it was a second wedding," recalls Smita Raina, a friend.
"The days of having a quiet, almost apologetic ceremony at a temple or the courtroom are gone," says Ashish Kapoor, 41, who re-married Shalini Luthra last year. For his second time, Kapoor had about 100 guests over for a lavish lunch at a club, followed by an evening party. "It was all the handiwork of close friends, who egged me on against making it a muted affair," says Kapoor.
Echoes Megha's father Sudarshan Rawat, "When life gives you a second chance, you should make the most of it. We didn't want her to feel embarrassed for getting married the second time. Marriages can fail, relationships can turn sour, but life has to go on," he adds.
People are certainly looking at second marriages more positively. "Even smaller cities are more open to second marriages. Since a great number of people are in their early 30s, the society is more accepting of the phenomenon," says Vivek Pahwa of secondshaadi.com, a web portal for second-timers.
It's working for older men and women too, many of whose children are looking for a match for them. In Chennai, software engineer Ram Kumar is trying to net a match for his 60-year-old widower father, who spends his day alone in their three-storeyed bungalow.
Ram posted his father's profile on bharatmatrimony.com, telling him, "If Nelson Mandela could marry late in life, why can't you?"
Says bharatmatrimony CEO Murugavel Janakiraman, "Out of nearly 4,000 senior citizens registered with us, nearly 1,500 are here because their children signed them up."
(Names have been changed)