Wedding Planner 101: Remarriages and Second Weddings

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An estimated 40% of the weddings held in any given year have at least one partner who has been married before so it's certainly something you can expect to encounter in your wedding planning business. 

Second weddings tend to be unique depending on the circumstances.  Are there children involved?  How old is the couple?  Is this a second wedding for both the bride and groom?  A couple may be concerned about wedding rules and etiquette but what is most important is that a couple chooses a ceremony that feels right to them.  

When a working with a couple getting remarried or getting married for the second time, there are a few things they may want to consider.

  •  Maintaining sensitivity to the unique dynamics of the family is a must. If there are children involved, they should be the first to hear the good news.  It is also proper to inform a former spouse of plans when children are involved.

  • If it is the bride's second marriage, the traditional formal announcement is not made.  If it is the bride's first marriage and the groom's second, then a formal announcement IS made. 

  • If the wedding is a first wedding for the bride, and the parents are able, traditionally they would pay for the wedding otherwise the couple may choose to split the cost of the wedding.

  • If the couple has young children, they may want to find a way to incorporate them in the ceremony, this could be as a member of the bridal party, flower girl, ring bearer, or adding in a vow to child(ren) as part of the ceremony after the traditional vow exchange.

  • If it is the bride's second marriage, a semi formal or informal wedding is usually chosen.  An exception is made if the bride did not have a large formal wedding the first time or if this is the first time wedding for the groom. 

  • Brides may opt to forgo the classic white gown and choose a non-traditional hue or a fun cocktail dress for less formal event, although if she chooses a classic style to symbolize a new beginning that can be beautiful too!

  • When planning a small ceremony with only a few close relatives and friends in attendance, printed invitations may not be necessary.  If the ceremony will be a large one, printed invitations are expected.   

  • Couples may want to register for gifts and that's okay, it is customary to give a gift when a couple gets married. They may want to focus on just items that are important to them or experiences, as they typically already have the basics.

  • Increasing in popularity is a small intimate wedding for family and close friends, followed by a much larger celebratory formal reception.  In this case a formal invitation is sent to those invited to the reception with a small enclosure card for the ceremony to those who are invited to both. 

Regardless of the circumstances of the past, a wedding is a reason to celebrate!  Encourage the couple to worry less about "rules", and focus on customizing the ceremony to reflect their desire and personalities to create a memorable event!

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