Second Marriage: Wedding Rules have Changed for Encore Brides

Planning a Second Marriage

Is this your second marriage? Wedding rules for encore brides have changed. Second weddings tend to be smaller than first weddings – and oftentimes, they’re more personalized. Couples marrying for the second time are old enough to know exactly what they want. Many of them have done the big wedding thing, and prefer to celebrate with only close friends and family. Besides, they have different priorities. Many of them have careers, homes, kids, and they no longer feel pressured by their families – or society in general – to have a traditional wedding.

 For a couple entering into a second marriage, wedding plans aren’t necessarily less elaborate. Many encore brides and grooms pull out all the stops for their second ‘I do’s.

If you are planning a 2nd wedding, here are some things to keep in mind:

• If you want to wear a traditional white wedding gown, go for it. The ‘no white’ rule has been abolished.

• Registering for gifts is perfectly acceptable. If you already have all the household items you need, consider setting up a honeymoon registry at

• If you are divorced and want to have a church wedding, check with the cleric well before your wedding date to make sure the church permits 2nd weddings. If you get turned away, try a nondenominational minister.

• Consider a destination wedding. They are a popular option for 2nd weddings.

• If you have kids, involve them. This is a great way to prevent them from feeling alienated and to help them get excited about your nuptials.

For couples entering a second marriage, wedding plans often include children. Here are just a few ideas to get children involved:

• Encourage kids to offer input on wedding-day decisions. This will make them feel part of the process. Ask for input on everything from the wedding day music to the favors.

• If kids are artistic or into crafts, have them make favors, place cards, invitations or wedding programs. Also have kids help decorate the venue.

• A young girl can serve as flower girl or ring bearer, while a young boy can serve as ring bearer.

• Preteens could serve as junior bridesmaids or junior ushers. A teen or adult could serve as bridesmaid, groomsman, usher, maid of honor or best man.

• Have a child give a reading or a speech if s/he desires.

• If a child is musical have him or her perform during the ceremony or reception.

• Don’t force kids to take a role. Ask them if they would like to participate, and if so what they would like to do.

Photo: Ralph Heinze Photography

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9 Comments  |  Filed Under: Second Weddings

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  1. Posted by Belle in Georgia on June 7th, 2009 at 9:29pm

    I agree with this article and more! There are more encore brides (and grooms) out there than imho, the wedding industry realizes!

    I began my blog ( because of this very issue and because such little style or emphasis had been placed on an encore wedding.

    Thanks for including this article.
  2. Posted by Andrea on March 3rd, 2010 at 7:39pm

    After reading this article, I have to agree. My mother will be getting married for the second time and she and her fiance are really going all out! I think it is a nice way to honor both my dad and his wife who passed away.
  3. Posted by Candy on March 28th, 2010 at 8:13pm

    I am getting married for the second time and I am also an older bride. My groom and I will be 57 and 56 when we get married. Beween us we will have 5 adult children. We want to have a small outdoor wedding with just us and our children. I am finding it difficult to find an appropriate dress for my age and for a second wedding. I am glad to see this article as it reaffirms some of the things I have been thinking of.
  4. Posted by Christina on March 29th, 2010 at 8:22am

    Great to hear! Congrats on your upcoming wedding!
  5. Posted by Mary on June 30th, 2010 at 12:52pm

    I love your site!! I was recently married for a 2nd time. We both have kids and wanted them to play a role in the wedding. My eldest daughter (15) gave a reading while my son (13) was the one who walked me down the aisle. My eldest step son(14) was the Best man and keeper of the rings. The youngest 2 children(9 and 12) were the ones who lit the candles before the ceremony began after they walked down the aisle. They were the entire wedding party and were fabulous. Many people think you have to have the same number of bridesmaids to groomsmen but we didn't and all the pictures look fabulous. It doesn't look "offsides" at all. Most importantly, do what is right for you. Our wedding was small and beautiful. A total DIY wedding on a slim budget all cash. We didn't put anything on credit. Good luck to you all in your planning.
  6. Posted by Linda Smith on March 11th, 2011 at 5:11pm

    So many of my friends are on their second time around and this information is very helpful. Love going through your blog. Kudos to your hard work.
  7. Posted by Alex on April 27th, 2011 at 10:49am

    Only important thing is love, years aren`t important. So live your life!
  8. Posted by SHASH on July 26th, 2011 at 9:49am

    HI ,
    Liked this article very much. Im also getting married for the second time and this time in a Hindu wedding which is so heavenly and romantic ! Im feeling like a first time bride!, glad that second marriages are given some time in the spotlight as well. Its true that when u are older, u plan better and do things ur way, which we are both doing. We inviting who we want, having what food we like and not going into debt. Spend months buying things before hand and with 3 months to go, we all on track...good luck and best wishes to all the brides, marriage is wonderful
  9. Posted by Dori Niessen on May 26th, 2012 at 8:18pm

    I am a Senior and have been asked to be the
    Matron of Honor at my friend's wedding in
    October. She is a senior also 67 years old.
    What are my responsibilities? Do I give a shower?
    Seems a bit awkward to me. She has been married twice before. The
    Groom is in his 70's.and was married once before.
    Is a shower necessary?
    Any advice would be appreciated.
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