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Ask the Pros: Second Wedding

July 29th, 2015 by Jeannine

Ask the Pros: Second Wedding

This topic has been on my mind since I am one of many who are looking to say “I Do” to Mr. Right for the second (and hopefully final) time. If you’re in my position, you can relate. You’ve done the big wedding and maybe you thought about what you could’ve done instead and now you’ve got a second chance at it. Will you go to the opposite end of the spectrum this time around? What would your guests think and would you invite the same people? Does this mean you get to have another bridal shower and stagette too? So many questions, I decided to call onto one of my Vancity Vendors for help. Candice Jones from A Day to Remember Weddings and Events has gladly answered some of my burning questions about the do’s and don’ts of having a second wedding.

Jarusha Brown Photography

Are there any rules with regards to planning second weddings?

Maru Photography Candice: “Avoid inviting ex-spouses & ex-inlaws, even if you are on good terms. If the first wedding was less than five years prior to the second, skip having a large wedding party again. Choose a maid of honour & best man to witness, but avoid making your 8 girlfriends be bridesmaids again as they probably spent a lot of money the first time. They will completely understand that you are keeping it small and you can still share fun pre-wedding events with them. In regards to wedding speeches, ensure that anyone you ask to make one does not talk about previous marriages. Try to keep the speeches to a minimum and don’t have an open mic!”

Some etiquette experts also encourage second-time brides not to wear white, but Candice finds that nobody really pays attention to that. There’s nothing wrong with wearing white. Myself, I would probably choose ivory again but at the same time I would be open to other colours as well. She also notices that second-time brides tend to choose simpler dresses (compared to what they wore before) and skip the veil. Personally, I wouldn’t wear a veil again because I literally wore it for just 30 minutes… and it really wasn’t my thing. Do what feels right for yourself.

Kim James Photography

What differences have you noticed that brides change or add to their second wedding that they didn’t have for their first wedding?

Maru Photo Candice: “Usually second time brides want something completely opposite than they had before. They usually prefer to skip the frills the second time around! They could be more mature brides who have a better sense of what they want. We also see shorter engagements for second-wedding couples.

They are likely paying for the wedding themselves and many have destination weddings, such as Mexico, where they can book an all-inclusive package. Typically with an all-inclusive resort, a bride & groom don’t have to do much for planning since everything is included in the package. It is also more inexpensive since the guests are paying for themselves which includes their own food / beverage. But keep in mind, it can be expensive for guests and it may not be the place they would want to go to on vacation. Be considerate of your guests and keep that in mind!

For local weddings, many second-wedding brides opt for a wedding brunch instead of a dinner. Or they may do a late ceremony (say 7pm) followed by a cocktail reception. Civil ceremonies are more common than religious ceremonies for second marriages.

We’ve also noticed that brides have much smaller wedding parties (if any) for their second wedding. If a couple has children from their first marriage, they can include them as a junior groomsmen, bridesmaid, flower girl or ring bearer. Since many couples have children from their first marriages, it’s always beautiful to see them included in some way.”

It’s common for second time couples to pay for the wedding themselves and not get any help from family… but often, Candice says, this translates into a more meaningful wedding that truly reflects the personalities of the couple. No backseat planners here!

Michael Wachniak Photography

Should brides-to-be still expect a bridal shower and stagette for a second wedding?

This is a difficult one as it can be perceived as a money grab for the bride… and you really don’t want to create any friction. Candice says that you shouldn’t expect it, but she sees many second time brides still have both.

Candice: “I think it all depends on how far apart the two weddings are. Since a second time bride usually has everything she needs for the household, a shower isn’t necessary. If the first wedding wasn’t too long ago, and many of the same guests will be at the second wedding, opt to have a small gathering with no gifts. Stagettes also can get expensive for guests, so if you decide to have one, keep it very inexpensive. A movie night or girls night in is something all can enjoy.”

Edward Lai Photography

What about wedding gifts? Should second-time brides still register?

Candice: “In regards to registering for gifts, experts are divided on this. My opinion is no as there are likely people coming to the wedding that came to the first wedding. And since you aren’t starting a first home you probably don’t need much. Consider that maybe you don’t need wedding gifts and tell your guests no gifts. Or a great alternative is to let guests know they can donate to a specific charity, that way they know you aren’t hoping on the gravy train for more gifts! Regardless, concentrate on being a gracious host to your guests.”

Thank you Candice for your great insight and advice on this matter. I hope it has answered a few of your questions, as it definitely cleared up a lot for myself. If you’d like Candice to help with your wedding planning, feel free to visit her social media links below:

Vancity Vendor Profile | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Are you a second-time bride? How do you envision your second wedding?

Michael Wachniak Photography

All photos provided by A Day to Remember Weddings and Events and showcase weddings they have decorated and worked on.

Photographer Credits: The Apartment Photography (feature photo), Jarusha Brown PhotographyKim James Photography, Maru PhotographyMichael Wachniak PhotographyEdward Lai Photography

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