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Marriage the Second Time Around

26 Aug 2008 9:08 PM by Sachin Gupta in Re-Marriage
According to tradition and etiquette, second weddings should be simple and casual instead of being formal and excessive. However, the number of second or encore weddings rises steadily each year. Such a ceremony is planned to celebrate two people who want to embark on a new marriage with different partners. Note that many of the old traditions in weddings are now considered sexist, so modern couples are exploring the creation of new traditions and activities, making modern weddings more interesting for everyone!

Etiquette In Revealing Your Engagement

The pressing concern in planning a second wedding is how to announce this to your children. The children should always be the first be notified of your decision to remarry, as your second marriage would combine two already-established families. Expect your children to be stressed by your move and they would require a certain amount of time to accept the situation.

The bride and groom's parents should be the next to be told and then the respective exes. The ex-wife or ex-husband should make an effort to placate the children and reassure them about their roles in the new family.

Engagement rings from the past should no longer be worn based on second wedding etiquette. All signs of previous relationships should be removed once planning for the wedding and announcements are made.

A second marriage can be announced in other ways such as advertising it in the newspaper, making e-mails and phone calls. Based on second wedding etiquette, the couple does not have to host an engagement party but a small gathering can be organized where you can make that important announcement.

Who's Attending?

Almost anybody can attend your second wedding. However, in observance of second wedding etiquette ex-spouses and former in-laws should not be invited even if you are on speaking terms to prevent awkwardness among the other guests.

The bride and groom should determine a realistic budget for the wedding. A second wedding is a rare chance to again have the wedding of your dreams, and it could be elegant, extravagant and intimate.

Oaths and Ceremonies

Second weddings are usually done in civil ceremonies but can also be done in a religious ceremony. They are many ways to make the ceremony feel quite intimate and special. Writing vows is common for a second wedding and there is an abundance of books written about it. The children can be assigned to do an important part of the ceremony in order to promote unity. They could escort you while walking down the aisle, read passages from the Bible or serve as attendants in the event.

The closest relatives and friends of the new couple can walk down the aisle as well or no one at all.

Are Bridal Showers Acceptable?

Bridal showers for encore brides are normal but they need to abide by with second etiquette rules. Only those invited to the wedding should be invited. Club, office, and school showers could also be done and may be attended by those not on the official guest list. However, those who attended the bride's first wedding should not participate.

Wedding Presents and Registry

Guests should make up the registry. Some guests will have the uncontrollable urge to give something even if the couple does not request gifts.  It's also acceptable for encore couples to establish the gift registry.

Wedding Present Ideas for Second Marriages
Coffee maker, pasta maker, cookbooks
Gift certificates -- restaurants, spas, stores
DVD player and DVDs
Charity Donations

Wedding Receptions and Festivities
The reception of a second wedding may be extravagant or simple depending on the wishes of the couple. The bride and groom will be the head of the line and followed by their children. The traditional garter and bridal bouquet toss are not obligatory.

Not Required In A Second Marriage

* Procession
* Rehearsal Dinner
* Accompanying the bride down the aisle
* Attendants
Sound Advice
-  Create a gift registry even if you don't want gifts.
-  Give the children responsibilities in the ceremony.
-  Adapt and personalize the wedding and reception.

Try to Avoid
-  Doing the same activities like in your first wedding.
-  Wearing a similar wedding gown.
-  Holding the wedding in the exact spot of your first wedding.
-  Using old rings from a previous marriage.
-  Criticizing previous spouses.


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