Second Wedding Dos and Don’ts

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Second Wedding Dos and Don’ts

Second Wedding Dos and Don’ts

By
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Some tips for the big day
Second Wedding Dos and Don’ts

© Viacheslav Iacobchuk | Dreamstime.com

So you’re getting remarried. Congratulations! You have so much to look forward to planning your big day — like picking the perfect dress, the wedding menu and partying with your loved ones, to name a few. But with all the love and joy that comes with weddings, there’s also a lot of stress.

Wedding etiquette has changed, and in today’s world, second weddings are quite common. Stigmas around divorce are fading, and people are embarking on new phases of their lives at all ages

If you’re about to make your second journey down the aisle, here’s a list of some dos and don’ts for your big day.

Do: Tell your children first

Do: Tell your children first

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If you have children, make sure to have a conversation with them about your upcoming wedding — preferably before the big day. While some lies are OK to tell kids — like how Santa slides down the chimney once a year —  this one’s a big no-no. New marriages are a lot for kids to process, no matter their age. Be conscious and respectful of their feelings.

Do: Have bridesmaids and groomsmen

Do: Have bridesmaids and groomsmen

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If you don’t feel the need to have a wedding party, then don’t. But if you want to have bridesmaids or groomsmen, go for it. It’s not abnormal to have a wedding party at a second wedding. So if you want your best friends by your side on the big day, have a wedding party. Even if they were a bridesmaid or groomsman for your first wedding, they’ll probably be honored to help you celebrate the second time around.

Do: Talk to your fiance or fiancee about a budget

Do: Talk to your fiance or fiancee about a budget

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Make a point to sit down with your future spouse and talk through finances before you begin planning your wedding. If you’re hoping to save money, splurging on a decked-out wedding cake might not be the way to go. There are plenty of DIY decorations even a non-crafty bride can make to save a little cash.

Do: Include your children in the ceremony

Do: Include your children in the ceremony

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If you have children, make a point to include them in the ceremony. You might not realize it, but by not including your children in any part of your celebration, you might be offending them. Regardless of your children’s feelings about your second marriage, making them a part of the ceremony will make them feel loved and special.

Do: Create a gift registry

Do: Create a gift registry

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Some people neglect to create a gift registry because they feel they shouldn’t ask for gifts at a second wedding. But your registry can be a helpful resource for guests who might want to give you a gift. Only include the things you absolutely need and make sure items vary in prices. No one should be expected to spend outside of their budget to praise your new union.

Do: Have a wedding shower

Do: Have a wedding shower

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A wedding shower is a fun way to celebrate with some of the most important people in your life. If your friends and family offer to throw you one, why not accept it?  Plus, it’s an opportunity to introduce the parents of the bride and groom in a setting where there isn’t a ton of pressure.

Do: Have a rehearsal dinner

Do: Have a rehearsal dinner

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It’s a good idea to have a rehearsal dinner, even if your wedding ceremony is informal. The rehearsal dinner is the perfect opportunity to get your family and friends together, and a chance to give the perfect toast.

Do: Walk down the aisle with whomever you want

Do: Walk down the aisle with whomever you want

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Your parents might have followed the outrageous etiquette rule of not allowing their father to walk them down the aisle on the day of their second wedding, but this custom is a thing of the past. If you’d like for your father to have the honor of walking you down the aisle, then so be it. It’s also alright to ask a father figure or someone you care for deeply to step in. And if you’d prefer to make the trip alone, go for it.

Do: Throw the reception of your dreams

Do: Throw the reception of your dreams

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Don’t let people tell you that you have to have a small reception just because it’s your second wedding. You can throw whatever party you want. If you prefer a smaller ceremony and a smaller reception, then keep it small. If you’d love to host an extravagant event at a gorgeous venue, go for it.

Do: Take your honeymoon

Do: Take your honeymoon

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Don’t let a honeymoon with your first spouse stop you from taking a trip with your new one. Escape the bustle of real life for a bit to commemorate your new lives together. There are plenty of top honeymoon destinations and romantic adventures to embark on.

Don’t: Feel obligated to invite everyone you invited to your first wedding

Don’t: Feel obligated to invite everyone you invited to your first wedding

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Friendships change as you get older, and the people who were a part of your life during your first marriage might no longer play a major role in your story. Don’t feel obligated to invite them to your second wedding.

Don’t: Expect your parents to pay

Don’t: Expect your parents to pay

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If your parents volunteer to fund your wedding, it is OK to take them up on the offer. But if they haven’t, don’t assume that they’re covering the cost. Just because your parents are empty-nesters or recently retired doesn’t mean you should expect them to be able to afford the cost of the wedding.

Don’t: Ask for money as a gift

Don’t: Ask for money as a gift

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This little-known etiquette rule goes for any wedding. It’s tacky to ask for money as a gift. You can use a creative type of registry to ask for donations to a charity or toward a greater purchase such as a honeymoon fund.

Don’t: Assume you can get married in any church

Don’t: Assume you can get married in any church

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Depending on how strict the religious sect is, some institutions won’t allow second weddings in their halls. The Roman Catholic Church, for instance, requires people to have a “declaration of nullity” before they can remarry in the church. Check with the awe-inspiring place of worship before committing to a location.

Don’t: Mimic your first wedding

Don’t: Mimic your first wedding

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If your first “I do” was the wedding of your dreams, it might sound like a good idea to recreate it. But you’re with someone new now, meaning your second wedding should reflect the importance of your new relationship. Create a new vision for your perfect day with your new partner.

Don’t: Try to downplay the event

Don’t: Try to downplay the event

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Many who are planning a second wedding will try to make it seem like less of a big deal or feel embarrassed about planning a big soiree. This isn’t just your second wedding. It’s a happy union between two people who love one another. A second wedding can be just as big a deal as a first. If you want to spend big on your wedding, and can afford it, why not make the most of the day?

Don’t: Feel pressured to have a big event

Don’t: Feel pressured to have a big event

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Just as you shouldn’t downplay your big day, you also shouldn’t feel like you need to make a big deal out of this event either. The importance you attribute to your wedding is personal. If you’d rather skip the party and just have a small gathering with a few family members to make hosting a breeze, do that.

Don’t: Let anyone tell you not to wear white

Don’t: Let anyone tell you not to wear white

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Not wearing white for your second wedding is a tradition that has persisted throughout the decades. But just as not wearing white after Labor Day is an outdated fashion rule, so is this one. Leave that thinking in the past and embrace the more progressive relationship norms of the present. Wear white, blue or even an extravagant princess dress if you want to.

Don’t: Wear a veil

Don’t: Wear a veil

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That being said, while your personal style might dictate the color of your wedding, the choice to wear a veil shouldn’t be taken so lightly. A veil is meant to symbolize purity before the groom lifts it and is wed. Were it not for the symbolism behind veils, they would never have been at weddings — so it might be a little odd to wear one. However, it’s not a disaster if you do want to wear a veil. Do what makes you feel best. Some brides opt for another accessory as an alternative, such as a hat or a tiara.

Don’t: Expect a gift from everyone

Don’t: Expect a gift from everyone

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Although wedding guests should never arrive giftless, don’t expect everyone attending to give you a present. Everyone’s personal opinions on second weddings are different, and some may feel they have already done their part by giving you a gift at your first wedding. Don’t let this ruin your day. Graciously accept a gift from anyone who has bought you one, and focus on making the most of your new relationship status.

Don’t: Follow all the rules

Don’t: Follow all the rules

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Your first wedding may have stuck to convention like glue, but your second time around really doesn’t need to. Keep the wedding traditions that mean the most to you and feel free to ditch the rest. If you want to skip the bouquet and garter toss, feel free to do so. The most important thing is that you have a blast with your new spouse. Having fun and enjoying a laugh with the one we love is one of the tips from our grandparents on how to make a marriage last.

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