Wedding Planner 101: Remarriages and Second Weddings

Second wedding blog.png

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!

Want to be a Certified Wedding Specialist? Sign up for our self-paced online course which will teach you what you need to know to run a successful business in the wedding industry.  Start your new career today!

Planning a Brunch Wedding

Wedding trend.jpg

Weekend brunch already feels like a treat, so it's no surprise that bunch weddings have been a money saving trend for many wedding planners and couples.

If you have a couple's dream venue is already booked for their choice of wedding date, consider making a time adjustment and rather than a sit down dinner at 7 PM ask about availability of brunch at 11 AM.

Wedding planners may also suggest a brunch if clients are having a smaller wedding. It usually starts at 10 or 11 AM and runs for about four hours as opposed to the typical evening wedding that can go for 6-7 hours. In addition to saving money on the venue, clients will pay less for food and for cocktails and leave plenty of time to spend the day together, with family, or catch a flight for their honeymoon.

Brunch wedding menus are easily planned, and the decor and flowers are simpler - no less elegant - just simpler. Table linens, silver, china, can be chosen with care to reflect the couple's color palette or theme.

Consider the brunch buffet with fresh juices, waffles, custom omelettes, quiche, ham, bacon. Hors d'oeuvres like mini "pigs in a blanket" or toffee-dipped bacon kabobs and French toast sticks with maple syrup are also a great option. It is unlikely that you will host an open bar at a brunch but you can do personalized bloody Mary bars or mimosas and champagne and of course, you'll want coffee and tea.

A traditional wedding cake may feel a bit heavy in the morning, so a brunch wedding is the perfect time to adopt the "naked cake" trend which has minimal icing.  A wedding cake can even be made with tiers of crepes or pancakes, or for go the cake all together and have the caterer construct towers of doughnuts or mini cinnamon rolls.

In keeping with the theme and to add a fun touch, gifts for guest can include vintage coffee mugs, chocolate covered espresso beans, or custom teas. 

Have an exit strategy for when the party is over. A 10pm end time has a different feel than a mid-afternoon end time.  A couple may want to think about renting a car for their exit.  Some people may expect and after party, a clear getaway will make that transition easier. If families are traveling from out of town, couples may want to provide them a list of things to do in the area, particularly if the wedding is on a Saturday morning.

As one bride said about her brunch wedding - "it's more about the guests and a lot less pressure".

 Everyone loves breakfast foods, and a daytime celebration can be very special. For many couples, brunch is the answer.

Church Guidelines

We find that many brides are not aware that most churches have policies in place that govern what can and cannot be done at a wedding.  While your individual church will have its own rules and regulations, in general most churches have these guidelines in place. 

Typically a church will not allow permanently attached furniture to be moved.  No thumbtacks or nails can be driven into the woodwork nor can anything be used that might deface it. 

Saucers or mats must be placed under all palms, greenery or floral arrangements that rest on the floor/carpeting or are not in waterproof containers. 

All arrangements for music, ceremony and decorations must be submitted in advance and are subject to the approval of the officiant or the wedding coordinator for that particular church. 

Floral arrangements or candles that must be taped to each pew are likely to be forbidden.  The best rule to follow is that decorations should be kept to a minimum so as not to detract from the dignity of the sanctuary. 

The church may require that its organist be engaged.  It may require that no photos -especially flash photos - be taken during the ceremony. 

In order to streamline procedures on the ceremony day, many may require that all fees be paid prior to or at the rehearsal. 

It is expected that no trash or personal belongings be left behind in the building. 

If you have not been provided with a printed set of guidelines for the place you have chosen for your ceremony, be sure to ask for clarification.  In popular months, certain weekends will likely host multiple ceremonies so churches have a right to expect cooperation from all of their wedding parties. 

What's in Your Wedding Emergency Kit?

 

You’ve planned a flawless wedding and believe with all your heart that it will go off without a hitch. 

Your family has thought about and planned for any eventuality. However, should “Murphy’s Law” show up, the wise bride and her wedding consultant always have an emergency kit available. 

What should go in your kit? These are the basic items we recommend for every kit. Add your own items as you see fit. 

  1. A small sewing kit. At a minimum be sure it has thread to match your gown, the bridesmaid dresses, the mothers’ dresses and the tuxedos. There should be a variety of needle sizes, small scissors and a collection of extra buttons for your gown (if appropriate) for shirt fronts, safety pins and hemming tape just in case.
     

  2. A roll of Hollywood tape. This is used to keep low cut necklines in place among other handy uses. If you can’t find it in your area, you can find it online.  
     
  3. A small medical supplies box. This should include aspirin or Tylenol, Tums or other antacids, band aids, smelling salts, breath mints and some Pepto Bismal tablets. 
     

  4. A box of personal grooming aids. Include a hair brush for touch ups, hair spray (used for both hair and for eliminating static cling on fabrics, hair or bobby pins, hat pins (for securing boutonnieres), your make up, mouthwash, deodorant. 
     

  5. Rolls of Scotch Tape and white gaffer’s tape (you should be able to get at a local hardware store.) These are to be used on emergency fabric tears and on bouquets that “come undone”. Also bring a couple of sticks of white chalk to cover up stains on your white gown. 
     

  6. Other miscellaneous items include: a lint brush, a pair of white or ivory ballet slippers for when your feet scream “take off the heels”, a small hand towel and washcloth, a couple of zip top plastic bags, Kleenex and a bed sheet (to cover the floor in the dressing room to protect your gown as you step into it).

Knowing that you can cover most emergency situations should give you peace of mind. Of course, when you are prepared emergencies are less likely to happen.