By Gillian Andale
Probably the most prolific subject discussed on a number of forums such as ‘The Knot’ is second wedding etiquette. Whilst the $80 billion wedding industry is doing its best to encourage second time-around Brides to go the ‘whole hog’, many realise that there are some sensitivities that should be respected. So Brides seek to understand through books, magazines and articles to make sure they’d ‘do it right, the second time’!
Unfortunately, there is a lot of duplication and contradictory advice on encore (or second) wedding etiquette. Trawling through the forums it seems that the most common answers being sought on etiquette are:
- How to announce my engagement?
- Should I tell my Ex and how?
- Who can I invite and what about the Ex or their family?
- Does my second wedding have to be small?
- Can the Bride wear white (this is usually the #1 question)?
- What should the invitations say?
- What names should be used on the stationery?
- How do I include my children on the day (this is the #2 question)?
- 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?
For me to provide appropriate answers, I would need to write a book… Oh that’s right I did! In fact I have written three to help second time-around Brides find answers to these questions – and more, which I cover in detail!
Seriously though, the answer to all these questions is simple: Do what feels right for you and your partner. You may have been married before, but unless you are remarrying your previous spouse, this is still the first wedding that you are marrying each other. Whilst etiquette is there to help you, it does not have to dictate you. So throw away the etiquette book, take a big dose of sensitivity and plan the wedding that best reflects your personalities, lifestyle and beliefs!
Most of all, enjoy your wedding and have fun, make it special for yourselves and it will be special for everyone who attends, if they truly are there to support you.