Statistics say that almost half of all weddings involve one or more people who are not unfamiliar in the ways of matrimony. That means there are a lot of second time brides and second time grooms out there. Being that I’m a firm believer in doing what you want when it comes to weddings, I like to imagine all those second-timers out there having the ceremony they want, wearing the dresses they want, and hosting the sorts of receptions that suit them best.
But, according to I Do Take Two, “encore brides,” as they call them, have plenty of extra factors to consider when planning their second, third, or forth weddings. The site has some good advice, ranging from what to expect when marrying a widower to simple ways to word invitations to how best to include blended family members in a wedding ceremony.
Because the bride and groom may already have home items, registry gifts are often lifestyle presents—items that reflect the new couple’s interests, such as cooking, camping, tools and sports equipment. But shower gifts should not be expensive and may be presented jointly by several guests.
When planning your special event, realize that you can invite anyone you want to your wedding. Avoid inviting former in-laws and ex-spouses, even if you’re on good terms. They may become a bit melancholy, and some guests may feel awkward around them.
Similar to first wedding invitations, your second wedding invitation would also reflect the hosts of the event. If you’re paying, you are the hosts. However, if you want to assert that your parents are hosting and they agree, then you may use the traditional form.
But I Do Take Two also has some advice that I consider rather demoralizing. Some of the guidance offered seems to assume that the second-time couple is not interested in having a grand wedding or an ornate gown or even bridesmaids and groomsmen!
Guests invited to the bride’s first wedding should not be invited to her bridal shower, per standard protocol. If they are, for whatever reason, they are not expected to bring a gift. Um, so the bride should exclude her closest friends and family, then? Because I imagine they were at her first wedding.
Not necessary: Attendants; Someone to walk the bride down the aisle; The procession. If that was your plan from the beginning, great. But I see no reason to exclude these things, particularly not the attendants! They also suggest that if you hold a rehearsal dinner, you omit any toasting. Huh?
I can understand second-time brides and grooms being concerned about how their old Uncle Erwin will feel about their getting hitched in a church or how Grandma Martha will feel about the bride wearing this or that type of veil. But I can also understand how a second-time spouse might want to hold a big shindig that totally eclipses their first (failed) marriage. To blot it out, perhaps. So my advice to any second-timers out there is that you have whatever kind of wedding you darn well please.
The floor-length dress above has an a-line silhouette with a matching jacket and is by Landa Designs