Getting married the second time round is a ton easier. You’ll have a firm handle on how the day should run, and probably some strong opinions on what you want, and don’t want, at the wedding. Traditional etiquette dictates a second wedding should be simple and casual, however modern etiquette (and common-sense) tells us you can do what the hell you want! Today we are going to cover off some advice for those of you having their encore wedding.
Announcing your Engagement to your nearest and dearest
When planning a second wedding, your first thought needs to go to your children, if you have any. The children should always be the first be notified of your decision to remarry, as this will combine two already-established families. Don’t expect incredible displays of joy: kids may be hoping “Mum and Dad will get back together” and they will need a certain amount of time to accept the situation. It’s not that they are unhappy by your decision, but rather unsettled by change.
The bride and groom’s parents should be the next to be informed and then the respective ex’s (if appropriate). The ex-wife or ex-husband should make an effort to appease the children and reassure them about their roles in the new family – snarky remarks need to be kept to oneself.
Announcing your Engagement to the world!
A second marriage can be announced just as you would your first, by advertising it in the newspaper, posting it on Facebook and phone calls.
It might be obvious, but just in case – engagement rings from the past should not be worn anymore, even on a different finger. All signs of previous relationships should be taken away once planning for the wedding and announcements are made. This is a fresh start!
Who should be invited to your second wedding?
Just about anybody can attend your second wedding. However ex-spouses and former in-laws should not be invited even if you are in speaking terms to avoid awkwardness among the other guests. Plus you don’t want to put your future spouse in the hot seat by asking if it’s okay to have your ex and any emotional baggage still there. You may also invite unfair comparisons by having the ex there.
Your children at your second wedding
If you have children, assign them important part of the ceremony in order to foster unity. They can escort you while walking the aisle, do a reading, or serve as attendants in the event.
Are Bridal Showers okay?
It’s perfectly acceptable for a bride to have a bridal shower for her second wedding. If you are concerned at all about offending someone with having a shower, just ensure you follow some traditional etiquette: only guests to the wedding should be invited, unless it is a shower run by the bride’s workplace and her work colleagues are hosting. Traditional etiquette dictates anyone who attended the first wedding should not participate; I would leave that decision to your own judgement/particular circumstances.
Wedding Gifts and Registry
It’s completely fine to have a registry or wishing well for a second marriage. This advice on asking for particular gifts may help, as generally you’ll be coming into a second marriage with two sets of household items rather than nothing.
Wedding Gift Ideas for Second Marriages
- Gift certificates—restaurants, spas, stores
- Charity Donations
- Coffee maker, pasta maker, cookbooks
- New bed linen
- Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below!
Please avoid doing these things at your second wedding:
- Getting married in the same place as your first wedding
- Wearing a similar wedding dress
- Doing similar readings to your first wedding
- Reusing old rings from a past marriage
- Critising former spouses
Are you getting married for the second (or third!) time? Do you have any questions, or any advice?