With encore weddings representing approximately 40 percent of all weddings today, it is time we reconsider tired, old etiquette rules, because most just don’t apply to the way we live today.
The focus for today’s encore couple is that this is a new beginning, their first wedding together. So, let’s celebrate this new beginning.
According to a popular online second wedding guide, aptly named I Do Take Two, the first consideration should be the children, if there are any, and their comfort level and concerns. If there are children involved, they should be informed before others about the wedding and considered in the planning process. Inviting children to play a part in the ceremony is not only appropriate, but can also be a bonding experience. After all, this ceremony joins two families. Lighting a family unity candle is a wonderful idea to emphasize this.
Appropriate Roles for Children
Pass out wedding programs
Guest book guardians
Escorts for the bride
Bridesmaids and groomsmen (adult children)
Jr. Bridesmaids, ushers and candle lighters (ages 9-15)
Flower girls, ring bearers and pages (ages 4-8)
Note: Please discuss this privately with your children and allow them to decide if they want to be involved. Note: One usher per fifty guests.
So, what are the rules? The number one rule for all couples is to plan together. Perhaps former weddings were based on other’s ideas of the perfect wedding. Well, today it is all yours. Your wedding can be formal or informal, large or small, and include any element of a first wedding you wish.
The bride can wear any color and any style that suits her age and figure.
Veils and trains are now appropriate if part of the gown – but, no blusher veils.
The couple may include multiple attendants. (See note above)
Showers are fine, but should be small and intimate. Don’t expect gifts from guests who attended the first wedding, though they may want to bring a small gift.
Do not host the event in the same location as the first.
Do not wear rings from former relationships.
No former spouses unless agreed upon definitely by both bride and groom. It is confusing and puts others in an uncomfortable position.
Are gifts appropriate?
Yes! Gifts are appropriate for encore couples, so it’s perfectly acceptable to register. However, those who attended former weddings and showers are not obligated to give a gift. Gifts should never be mentioned on wedding invitations. Register for gifts in a variety of price ranges.
So, there you have it. Modern etiquette for couples getting remarried. If you have questions or want to post an idea, we welcome your input. Post your comments or questions below.