Encore Wedding Etiquette

second wedding ceremony

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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.

second wedding involving children

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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.

children involved in weddings

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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.

second wedding ideas

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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.

  1. The bride can wear any color and any style that suits her age and figure.
  2. Veils and trains are now appropriate if part of the gown – but, no blusher veils.
  3. The couple may include multiple attendants.  (See note above)
  4. 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.
  5. Do not host the event in the same location as the first.
  6. Do not wear rings from former relationships.
  7. No former spouses unless agreed upon definitely by both bride and groom. It is confusing and puts others in an uncomfortable position.
second wedding ideas

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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.

second wedding ceremony

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About the Author
Team Wedding, founded in January 2000, is a network of wedding related directories and niche wedding websites designed to alleviate wedding planning stress and to give brides and grooms the one-stop-shop experience they need in this busy, modern world. Top Wedding Sites, is the Internet’s first directory of the top ranked wedding sites, voted on by brides, grooms and others interested in hosting a wedding. Plan your wedding fast, easy and in the comfort of your own home, office or anywhere you can get an internet connection.

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  1. Aaron

    Great article! Second wedding etiquette can be so tricky since the children and friends from previous marriages add a level of complexity and more opportunity to offend. Thanks for setting us straight about what’s considered appropriate.

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