Don’t let it feel like Deja Vu!
It is likely that you will be responsible for everything that happens at this wedding, so take advantage of this and plan something that really works for both of you. Chances are you will have less time and it will have to be one of many ‘projects’ that you juggle in your life. Unlike first time brides where often the wedding becomes their soul purpose.
Typically there are less expectations, although with the advent of reality TV, second wedding are quickly catching up on encouraging couples to spend big on their ‘big’ day.
You may encounter more or different sensitivities that you need to be aware of, children, parents, exs and shared friends, are just a few examples. Second (or more) wedding etiquette is rapidly changing and it is very common for the bride to wear white, gifts are received, there is a large guest list and religious ceremonies are allowed. However, many couples still opt for a smaller, more intimate affair that equally (or even more so) reflects their love that they want to celebrate.
If you have children you will want to involve them, but don’t be surprised if they are not excited as you and lose interest quickly in all the planning. Involve them in some of the key decisions that impact them, such as what role they might place in the ceremony, will they be attendants, what your plans are for a honeymoon etc. They may also have some views on invitees, who they sit with, music and entertainment, so bring them along but don’t overwhelm them.
Second Wedding Etiquette
There is a lot of duplication and contradictory advice on next (second) wedding etiquette. The most common answers being sought on etiquette are:
- How to announcing the engagement?
- Do you tell the Ex and how?
- Who can I invite and what about the Ex or their family?
- Does the wedding have to be small?
- Can the Bride wear white?
- What should the invitations say?
- What names should be used on the stationery?
- How do I include children in the day
- Should we accept or register for gifts
- What about Shower parties and gifts
- What is the role of the Maid of Honour
- Who should walk the Bride down the aisle
- Who pays for this wedding
We have done much of the research for you, and have included it in the eBook Love2Plan.
Deal will an potential conflicts well before the day. If your parents have expectations or uncertainty, treat them with kindness and sensitivity. If you expect your children or family members to be difficult on the day have strategies and preventative measures to deal with this. Work together as a united front.
Ex-partners and in-laws need to be informed sensitively and face to face if possible, rather than hearing about your wedding from the children. If you plan to invite either make sure your partner and their family are completely OK with this, as it is not usual practice.
If you decide on a very small or destination wedding, be prepared to give reasons to your family to avoid disappointment and hurt. If you plan to elope, think about the impact on those close to you.
Start with a Plan
Choose the style of wedding that you and your partner both want and that suit where you both are in your life right now. Use the Love2Track planning toolkit to set a realistic budget that reflects your financial position, lifestyle and personalities, as well as what you are prepared to spend.
Schedule the date based on commitments, holiday periods and the availability of venues and special guests you want to attend. Decide the time of year, day of week and time of day. Out of season and off-peak periods can provide substantial cost savings.
Booking the venue(s) is usually an early decision as it locks in the date and location of your wedding, as well as indicates the size of budget you need. Leaving it too late may limit your choice. Many encore weddings use the same venue for their ceremony and reception. The venue also drives other decisions, such as: who to invite if you have chosen a destination/out of town wedding, type of food to provide, transport requirements, it can even influence the style of clothing (indoor, outdoor, beach etc). If outdoor though, make sure you have a contingency plan for inclement weather.
Deciding on your guest list can be just as hard, second time around. Don’t be surprised if it looks very different to your first, you and your friends move on. If it is bigger than you had planned work together to make changes so you stay within your budget.
Invitation wording and etiquette needs to fit your style and personality, your situation, as well as the level of formality of your wedding. If you intend your wedding to be ‘a joining of two families’, then reflect this in the invitation.
The Bridal Party
What does the bride wear has become a key focus and often the most asked question for second weddings. The answer…whatever you feel good in and whatever colour you like!
Some of the other decisions may not be so easy though. Do you have attendants, if so who? If children take the role of bridesmaids and groomsmen, who play supporting roles to the bride and groom that are normally performed by the maid of honour and best man?
Chances are your children will not change their personalities or behaviours for your wedding, so be prepared to be Mum and Dad even on your special day.
The role of the Bride’s and Groom’s parents is likely to be very different, make sure this is discussed with them well in advance of your wedding day, so you are managing expectations.
Gifts for the attendants, parents and supporters are still a feature of getting married, so you will probably still need to rack your brains for what is appropriate.
Honeymoon or Familymoon
So often the honeymoon takes second place in the planning when the bride and groom are planning their wedding, so put aside time for this important event too.
If you have children, then you have lots of decisions to make and it may largely depend on their age and your budget.
Familymoons are becoming more popular and travel agents and websites can help with finding good destinations, which will be both suitable and fun.
If you decide on a honeymoon for just the two of you, your challenges are different and will largely be around who can take care of them while you are away. These arrangements can get complex and need to be made at the same time as you are knee deep in wedding organisation.
More couples are opting for a hybrid, there are several options available if you don’t want to leave them at home, or billet them with someone while you are away, it may even mean cutting your honeymoon to a short romantic getaway, but at least it will be something.
The Love2Plan eBook contains a very helpful travel checklist to help you plan and organise your honeymoon/familymoon.
Encore couples often are uncomfortable about Showers and Hen/Stag nights. Remember, these are an opportunity for friends and family to honour the couple and share the excitement in the build up for the wedding day, so think carefully before saying no.
Some encore brides prefer to skip the shower but what about enjoying some experience or fun day event. There is more of a tendancy for these to be joint these days and can be themed to fit your lifestyle e.g. golf day, movie evening etc. There is a huge variety of options today.
Many encore couples prefer a gift free event, or if presents are to be given try to make them lifestyle related.
Take Care of Yourselves
Lastly, make sure you take care of yourselves by building into your preparations some time to relax and distress, otherwise you will be worn out by the time your special day comes.
Pay particular attention to your health, eating habits, sleep patterns to avoid getting run down.If you are planning to lose weight, start in plenty of time so as not to resort to starvation diets, diet pills and missed meals.
Consider using the de-stressing activities to also include family, have fun and bond. On the eve of the wedding, know that there is not much more you can do, so try to go through a pampering routine before going to bed to try to get as much restful sleep as possible.