Second Weddings

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If children are involved from a previous marriage, tell them about the engagement first. Regardless of their age, tell children in private so they’ll be able to ask questions and express their feelings without feeling pressured by the presence of others. Tell parents and other family members next. Consider including children in the ceremony in a memorable way. Perhaps create a set of vows to say directly to the children.

Gifts and Showers
Today’s etiquette allows for showers and gift registries for second marriages. However, past tradition also allows the guests to determine whether they feel it is appropriate to bring a gift, especially if they attended and gave gifts at the first wedding.

Second weddings, like the first, can range in size from a very intimate gathering to a grand affair. The only guest list restriction is the former spouse. No matter how good the relationship, it is not appropriate to invite a former spouse to the wedding. This might be confusing for your children, and it will definitely be awkward for everyone else. It is appropriate to invite former in-laws if desired.

As a general rule, the bridal gown’s style should match the location and formality of the wedding. That said, as a second time bride you should feel free to wear anything you want. This may be a second wedding for just one of you or you may not have worn a fancy dress for your first wedding and want to now. No matter what the situation, this is still your special day and you can wear whatever makes you feel the most beautiful.

The Ceremony
Some religions may have certain restrictions and rules required for second marriages. It is important to discuss initial plans with the clergy before any final plans are made. Additional documentation must also be provided when applying for the marriage license.

The rules of etiquette are simply there as a guide. You may do anything in order to make this wedding as special as any other!