Saturday, September 14, 2013

According to the website I Do Take Two, more than 30% of weddings are couples marrying for the second time (see Reference 1). While a second wedding can be a small, intimate celebration, it is also socially acceptable for the event to be as elaborate as the couple desires. Bridal showers, wearing white and the bridal party are other elements about which couples planning a second wedding often have questions.

The Engagement

    Inform immediate family members, starting with your children, of the engagement before announcing it to the rest of the world. Engagement parties are acceptable, but not as gift-seeking occasions if thrown by the bride and groom. It is more acceptable for the couple to throw a party that is not specified as an engagement celebration and then announce their engagement at that occasion.

Showers and Gifts

    It is perfectly acceptable to have a second bridal shower. As with first showers, invite only guests who will also be invited to the wedding. Guests who gave a gift at the first shower are not required to give another, but it is acceptable for them to do so if they wish. This same rule of etiquette applies to the wedding day gifts (see Reference 2).
    Second showers offer an opportunity to incorporate a theme that reaches beyond the usual giving of household items. If the couple enjoys wine, for instance, the shower can be a wine-and-cheese-tasting party and guests can be advised to give a bottle of wine or related accessory. This allows for guests to feel as if they are contributing something to wish the couple well without duplicating a gift the bride likely received at her first shower.
    It is acceptable to create a gift registry, but it is never a requirement for guests to purchase gifts from the registry. Since you may not need the household items traditionally given at first bridal showers, you may want to register for nonessential items such as that cappuccino maker you've always wanted, electronic devices or decorative items for the home. This is also a good time to seek replacements of worn, broken or lost items you have been meaning to replace on your own.

Wearing White

    Once considered unacceptable, a second-time bride may wear white if she desires. The purity rule has become a thing of the past, and the choice between a white, off-white or pink gown has become a matter of personal taste and preference. Wear white if you desire and wear it comfortably, knowing you won't be looked down upon by the discerning eyes of etiquette.

The Bridal Party

    Many second marriages are combining families of children and inviting the children to serve as the attendants has become commonplace. This is a way to honor the importance of the children to the parents as well as to symbolize the blending of two families.

The Reception

    Receptions are about celebrating the marriage and there is no rule that states a second marriage is less important and therefore should be less extravagant than a first marriage. Most second weddings are paid for by the bride and groom as the parents are not expected to pay for two weddings. The size and elements of the reception should be dictated only by the couple's budget and personal preference.

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