Sunday, May 31, 2009

Planning A Second Wedding

Planning a second wedding involves many of the same challenges as planning a first. The fact that you're remarrying doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be downsizing your wedding. For example, if your future spouse is a first-time bride or groom, she or he may want a big wedding with all the trimmings. Look at the big picture first when planning a second wedding.

Once you and your partner agree on the type of wedding you want-whether it's small and intimate or big and lavish-you'll need to begin planning. For a large event, and especially if you're a busy person with a lot of other responsibilities, you may want to engage a wedding consultant to help.

Planning a second wedding: should you hire a wedding consultant or do it yourself?

Wedding consultants can scout sites, advise you on etiquette, manage the budget and coordinate a whole range of people and projects, including the caterer, the music, the florist and the other service providers. They can obtain discounts and negotiate pricing with vendors. Wedding consultants have a wealth of experience in solving problems, paying attention to details and dealing with the unexpected. For this reason, they can help avert catastrophes and save you a lot of headaches.

There are many different levels of service and types of wedding planners. At one extreme, the full-fledged consultant can handle every detail for you. At the other, a wedding day coordinator is someone who will orchestrate the events of the ceremony and reception and see that things run on schedule. And there are all levels of wedding planning services in-between. Think about what kind of assistance you need. Here are some tips to help you decide if you need a wedding planner, and what kinds of services are appropriate for you.

A wedding consultant can help you:
• Select a site for the ceremony and reception.
• Find all the suppliers you need, including the florist, the caterer, the musicians, and the video and still photographers.

• Manage communication between vendors. For example, the caterer will need to know when and how to obtain access to the reception site to begin food preparation.
• Coordinate your wedding rehearsal with the person officiating.
• Supervise all the details of your wedding day.

The cost of a wedding planner can vary widely. If you hire someone early on to coordinate most of your wedding arrangements, expect to pay this person on a fee basis (generally 10 to 20 percent of the total wedding costs). If you hire someone to provide selected services, you will probably be charged a flat fee, depending on the nature and extent of the work. The bottom line: If time is money for you, wedding consultants can be a good investment; and savvy ones will be able to pass on enough savings to defray much of their fee.

If you're not hiring a wedding consultant, you may want to delegate some of the responsibilities to appropriate family members and good friends. For example, if your future mother-in-law is a gourmet cook, you could ask her to research caterers and bakeries. If a friend is an avid traveler, he might be enlisted to come up with ideas for the honeymoon.

Once you've announced your remarriage, it's probably time to start planning your second wedding. Particularly during certain times of the year, popular sites and suppliers are in heavy demand. It's wise to begin a year ahead of time. If your wedding will be small, you may have some leeway here.

Proper second wedding etiquette to make your second wedding the most perfect day of your life.

If you plan it right, it can be better than the first! Certainly, it will be different, because there's a very special etiquette to second weddings. You are probably already wondering about a number of issues.
How big should your second wedding be?

Weddings between people who have been married before are, as a rule, smaller and less formal or lavish affairs than a first marriage. However, there is nothing to say that it has to be that way. Many second timers are marrying someone for whom it is the first time. In that case, it might be unfair to limit the celebration to family and close friends. Naturally, you'll want to be gracious about whom you invite.

The wording of your second wedding invitation is another point to consider.

According to etiquette specialist Emily Post, there are two options for wording a traditional wedding invitation correctly. The first applies to a young bride or divorcee, in which case her parents extend the invitation as though it were a first wedding using the bride-to-be's married name if she has retained it, or her first and middle name if not. For a more mature encore bride-to-be, it is appropriate to issue the invitation in your own name and the name of your future husband.

To whom should you send a printed second wedding announcement?

If you intend to have a small wedding, you will want to send printed announcements to the family and friends who were not included among the wedding guests, or in the case of a larger wedding, to acquaintances and business associates who were not invited. Plan to have the announcements mailed the day after you are married.

You want to look beautiful, but what's considered appropriate second wedding etiquette when it comes to a second wedding dress?

Once upon a time, it was considered inappropriate for encore brides to wear white or a long wedding dress. A simple suit or dress in a pastel color or off-white was recommended. However, today you may wear white, because it is the color of joy and celebration and no longer represents chastity. While a beautiful bridal gown is perfectly acceptable, consider your age and figure before you make your selection. A woman over forty will look far more elegant in a dress that isn't frilly or too long.

While it is preferable for an encore bride to forego the veil, you may want to wear one for religious reasons. If the bride is wearing a formal wedding gown, the groom may wear a classic a tuxedo or a dark suit. If, however, the bride is attired in a less formal suit or dress, the groom would most likely want to wear a suit, rather than a formal tuxedo.

Should others be included in the wedding party?

It is quite common for couples getting remarried to dispense with the wedding party, if that means numbers of bridesmaids and groomsmen, unless it is a first wedding for one or the other of them.If the bride has been given away by her father at a previous wedding, it would seem silly for him to give her away again. But it is perfectly acceptable for the bride and groom each to ask a very close friend or relative to stand with them during the ceremony.

If there are children and/or stepchildren involved, finding a place for them in the bridal party is a nice way to make them feel a part of the new family. A young boy can serve as ring bearer; while a young girl can be a flower girl. Older children may wish to accompany their parents to the altar as best man or maid of honor.

What is proper second wedding etiquette when it comes to who should pay for the wedding?

If the bride has never been married before, traditionally her parents would assume most of the costs of the wedding, although in modern times it is not unusual for the groom's family to help with the costs or for the bride and groom themselves to pay or help pay for some of the expenses. The fact is that 40 percent of today's couples assume the responsibility for paying for their wedding, especially when it is not their first marriage.

It's a good idea to determine a budget you are both comfortable with before making any wedding plans. You'll need to agree on your priorities before you move forward to avoid beginning your marriage with a disagreement or worse yet with outstanding debt.

Receiving gifts the second time around.

Many couples who are getting married for the second time already have a full complement of silver, china, crystal and other gifts including linens and kitchenware. In fact, most people need to edit their collections so they can combine households without having two of everything cluttering their new home.

If you have sterling silver or fine linens with a monogram on them, how will your new husband feel about an initial that represents your former husband's last name? The answer is to ask him. Silver, especially, is ultra expensive to replace these days. Many people buy antique silver with monograms other than their own and don't even think about it. But, ultimately, it's a decision you both should feel comfortable about.

You may feel uncomfortable asking people to give you gifts the second time around . You can mention to friends and relatives that you would prefer it if people did not feel obliged to provide a gift and ask them to pass the message along . It is not appropriate to add a "no gifts please" message on your invitation as it tends to emphasize the gift. If new friends wish to give you a gift, they may ask your older friends and relatives for ideas. You can offer up a few fun and inexpensive gifts for them to suggest, but only if asked.

Should you change your name when you remarry?

While a more traditional bride usually opts to take her husband's last name as her own, it is perfectly acceptable in today's world for her to retain her own name or use a hyphenated form, i.e. Amy Wetmore marries John Sullivan and becomes Amy Wetmore-Sullivan. When making this decision, however, there are a number of considerations. For example, if you have children of your own, you might prefer to retain the same last name they have to make matters simpler for them and you. Imagine that every time you make a call regarding your children, you will have to say, "Hello, this is Mrs. Sullivan, I'm Nancy Wetmore's mother. Or, it may be that your children want you to keep the same name they have for emotional reasons.
Another reason for keeping your own name may be that you are recognized by that name among business contacts. It is possible to use your own name in business, but your married name in every other part of your life.

You can always change your name at a later date, remember, by filing a petition for a name change with the court. However, the marriage license and certificate cannot be changed.

If you decide not to take your husband's name, you will undoubtedly have to find a diplomatic explanation to provide the more traditional members of both families, who may be surprised. You can point out, if questioned, that there are practical reasons for keeping your own name, but that the decision in no way reflects your feelings or attachment to your new husband and his family.

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1 comment:

Diane - your wedding reception planning guide said...

You have truly covered all of the pertinent information needed during planning of a second marriage.

Very well done!