Planning to Say 'I Do' ... Again

In line with many second weddings, Ines' July nuptials will be a much simpler affair than her first. There's a fifty person guest list instead of one hundred and fifty. She's having two bridesmaids instead of six and she's much more focused on the meaning of the ceremony. "The ceremony was the last thing on my mind last time. I was so much more concerned with my dress." Today, she and Chris have even written their own vows to reflect what marriage means to them. "Planning this wedding was much different. The first one was overwhelming. I was so concerned with the small stuff. Now, I'm much more laid back."

Theresa DiMasi, editor-in-chief of www.Brides.com says encore couples of today have many more options than the brides of the past. Gone are the days when it was taboo for a second-time bride to wear white. Today, anything goes. "Most dress a bit more modestly, opting for a shorter dress or white pant suit but some brides still want to wear a real gown." "Knee-length dresses are popular now. And colors can range from white, ivory, or champagne to gold or even pink. These days, it's up to the bride."

Kathleen Murray of "The Knot" says more fashion designers are responding to older brides citing a recent trunk show she attended that included several top designers with dresses intended for an older bride. "Oscar de la Renta, for example, and others are making less traditional wedding attire for older and second-time brides so they can look and feel great. Some have ¾ length sleeves to hide less flattering arms or have a more mature off-the shoulder look."

With all the "Dos" of planning a second wedding, there are still a handful of "Don'ts" that couples must navigate their way through in order to stay within the etiquette boundaries.

The blusher veil is most commonly cited by experts as a fashion faux pas for the encore bride. These traditional veils are short and cover the brides face when she walks down the aisle. Murray of "The Knot" says, "blusher veils are very traditional and second-times brides should steer clear." Long trains on an encore bride's dress are also a no-no, experts say, although shorter ones that extend just beyond the end of the dress are fair game.

Experts say the gift registry can be one of the trickiest minefields that encore couples must navigate. Rebecca Black, a California etiquette consultant, says registering is fine to do twice, but be careful what you register for. Do not ask for money, she says. Black says many guests may have already spent a small fortune on attending your wedding and asking for money as a wedding gift is downright "tacky."

Couples who have all the pots and pans they need might be tempted to list only expensive high-end items the second time around, like that $800 espresso machine they've always wanted. But, Black says they should think again. "It's a good philosophy for all couples to have a variety on their registry, so guests can spend what they want."

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