Planning to Marry a Second Time? Etiquette Advice for the "Encore" Marriage

As Jessica Simpson plans for her second marriage, planned for November 2011, various opinions regarding the proper ettiquette for an "encore" marriage have come to light. An encore marriage is considered to be one in which one or both parties is getting remarried for a second or third time. Much of the advice floating around is rather obvious - don't wear a wedding dress from a prior marriage in your wedding; do not use rings or stones from a prior wedding ring in the new wedding ring; and do not get married at the same place you previously were married. Emily Post, wedding etiquette guru, lists a variety of others "dos" and "don'ts" for encore marriages:

DO tell your children from previous marriages about the upcoming nuptials before anyone else. If either the bride or the groom has children, Post says they should always be the first ones told about the upcoming wedding. Any blending of families should be done with sensitivity so that all of the children involved feel included in the encore marriage.

DO register for gifts. While gifts should not be requested or expected, the couple should still register for gifts as there will be family and friends who want to send gifts.

DO talk to the Officiant of your wedding prior to the service to ensure that both families are represented and any traditional religious text is appropriate for an encore marriage.

DO not be afraid to wear white. It is perfectly fine for the bride to wear white in her encore wedding, or another color of her choosing. The dress should reflect the bride's personality.

DON'T use the wedding as an opportunity to berate or even discuss former spouses.

DON'T wear a classic long veil in the wedding. Julie Raimondi, Editor in Chief of Brides.com, says that long veils are reserved for first weddings only. Encore brides should wear a veil with a birdcage style or a fascinator.

DON'T expect your parents to foot the bill for your second wedding. The cost of this one is on you.
Molly B. Kenny
Founder and Principal Divorce Attorney
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