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Etiquette Tips for Saying “I Do” Again

021014-secondweddingGetting married again? Congratulations! As you plan your wedding, you might have some questions about how this wedding differs from your first. Here are some common etiquette questions you might have.

Can I wear white?

Contrary to popular belief, you can wear white as an “encore” bride. While the color white is a symbol if purity, it’s also a color of joy. Pastels and ivory are also popular for second weddings. As always, look for a dress that is appropriate for your age and the style and formality of your wedding. Many brides opt for cocktail dresses or suits that can be won again.

Can I plan a big wedding this time around?

Old-fashioned etiquette used to say no, but the rules have changed. If you want a big party, go for it! It’s your wedding day, and you should celebrate the way you want. If you got married in a small ceremony the first time — or eloped — you may want the big wedding day that you didn’t get the first time, and you should have it. That being said, many people getting married for the second time want a simpler celebration, and that’s OK, too. Also, second weddings are most often funded by the couple, so budget considerations may keep your celebration intimate.

Should we involve our children?

If they’re willing and supportive, including your children in your wedding ceremony is a nice way to symbolize that you’re building a family as well as a marriage. Find ways to include your children that match their personalities and talents. Young children can serve as ring bearers or flower girls or they can hand out programs or favors. (Making homemade favors? Have your kids help!) Older kids can be members of the bridal party, do a reading, or serve as ushers. Or, give your kids cameras and let them help document the day. Kids of all ages can walk Mom down the aisle and stand with their parents while the vows are said. Some couples even include their children in their vows and make promises to them.

Can we register for gifts?

Even if you don’t want gifts, it’s a good idea to register anyway. Some guests will want to bring you a gift no matter what, and since it’s likely you both already have everything you need to run a home, they’ll need some guidance. Register for things related to your hobbies or gift certificates for outings you can take with your kids and lessons you can take as a couple. Or, ask your guests to make donations to your favorite charities in your name. Information about your registry should be passed by word of mouth, not included in your invitations.

Can I have a bridal shower?

Of course! If someone wants to throw you a shower, they’re doing so because they’re happy for you. Showers — for any bride — should never be thrown by the bride or members of her family, and those invited should also be invited to the wedding. Many showers for encore brides focus on gifts relating to the couple’s hobbies and interest rather than helping the bride set up her home.