Just as with your first marriage, your second marriage is a new
beginning with your fiancé. So it makes sense that many of the
traditional rituals and rules of etiquette apply. But which ones?
There is no reason why you should not register for gifts, have a shower,
or wear a white, full-length gown at the altar. Whether or not you will
choose any of these options is now considered strictly a matter of
personal preference dictated by your style.
Charting a new course
When it comes to the ceremony, one of the questions that experienced
brides-to-be frequently ask themselves is "Do I really want to do
everything the same or do something completely different?" If you were
married in a civil ceremony the first time, maybe it's time to consider a
church ceremony, complete with flower girls, a ring bearer, and
Because you are certainly all-grown-up now, this is your chance to plan
your wedding exactly the way you want it to be, without any unnecessary
consideration for the wishes of parents. However, you will want to
discuss your feeling and carry out the planning with the groom.
On the other hand, if the formality and style of your first wedding did suite
your taste, you should feel free to repeat those elements. Nevertheless,
since this is a time to look toward the future, rather than returning to the
past, don't get bogged down with history. Using the same reception site
or adding the same personal touches would be in poor taste, so should
Large ceremony or small
The size of your wedding party, as well as the number of guests you will
invite, is entirely up to you. With regard to the ceremony itself, the rules
of etiquette would be the same as if you were marrying for the first time.
If you are planning to invite more than 50 guests, arrange to have
attendants (groomsmen or ushers) on hand. If at all possible, you will
want to have one attendant for every 50 guests.
And Jenny makes three
Children of the bride and/or groom are often a part of second marriages.
If either of you has children, invite them to participate in the ceremony.
Teens make nice junior ushers and junior bridesmaids. Very young
daughters can, of course, be flower girls, and little boys, ring bearers or
pages. Conversely, if the ceremony is to be small or the ages of the
children would make them unsuitable for these roles, you might simply
ask them to accompany you down the isle, or meet you at the altar.
Children do not always welcome the opportunity to participate in
wedding ceremonies. If you children seem unwilling to play a role in the
ceremony, you should respect their feelings.
Incidentally, if you share custody with your ex-husband, let him know
about plans to include your children in the ceremony.
Inviting your ex-husband and former in-laws
If you and your former in-laws are still on good terms, you may want to
invite them. However, you are under no obligation to do so. Consider
this as nothing more than a formality since they would not be expected
Rarely would an ex-spouse be invited to the ceremony, even if the two of
you have remained friends. Think about it. Inviting your ex-spouse to the
ceremony leaves him with only two choices, neither of which would be
welcomed: accepting and feeling bad or declining and looking bad.
A more sensible and considerate approach would be to invite him to a
private dinner, perhaps at your home, after the ceremony and