Second Wedding Etiquette

Second marriages are more common than ever before, and it can be tough to know how to handle a second wedding, with old school traditions and your family chiming in telling you what “the right thing to do” is. If you’re getting remarried and not sure how to handle it, here’s some basic info.

Your Second Wedding Etiquette Questions, Answered

If you have kids, tell them first. If at all possible, you should have a discussion with them about it before you even get engaged. Then tell your parents, then other family and friends. If you still speak to your ex or you have kids together, you need to let them in on the information as well.

This one’s on you. You and your fiancé should be paying for this wedding. If your parents offer to pay and they’ve paid for a wedding before, you should say that you appreciate the gesture and politely decline. If you paid for your first wedding and your parents feel like they are in a better financial state to help you out this time around, it’s okay to accept help, but you should still contribute.

It’s okay to have an engagement party. Especially if you didn’t have one the first time around – but it should be casual and intimate.

You can register for gifts. If you need an upgrade in household items or you’re still missing some, you’re allowed to register; just take it easy. You should skip the fine china and crystal and your registry should be much smaller this time around. Check out where we recommend you register here.

You can have bridesmaids. Skip the huge bridal parties, though, and opt for one to three close friends or relatives on each side.

Skip the bridal shower. It’s tacky to ask for gifts in a second round of showers. Opt instead for a small luncheon or a night out with your closest friends and family where gifts are not the center of attention.

You can wear white. Or ivory. Or any other color you want to wear. You can wear a veil, too, if you want. Go with attire that makes you feel beautiful and that suits your venue.

Your guests may not all give gifts. Especially if they attended and gave a gift at the first wedding. The gifts that you do receive will probably be less valuable than the first time around. Be gracious for any gift you receive.

Have the kind of wedding you want. Just because you had a big bash before doesn’t mean you have to get married at city hall this time, and vice versa. Most people who have a big wedding choose not to have another one, though. (Probably because it was so expensive and stressful the first time around!)

Involve the kids. They can be attendants, flower girls/ring bearers, or they can do a reading. Involving them will ensure that they know they are still just as important and you won’t leave them behind in your new marriage. Don’t force them to take part, though, if they don’t seem to be comfortable. It might be too soon for them, or they might feel like they’re betraying their other parent by taking part. Leave the decision up to them.

The most important thing to remember is that you’re entering into marriage with a completely different person, and that this marriage should be awarded its own wedding that suits you and your new fiance. If it feels like the right thing to do, then go for it.