How Do I Plan a Second Wedding If It's My Fiancé's First Time Getting Married?

Ceremony & Vows, Etiquette

Second weddings can be tricky affairs, especially if it's the second time down the aisle for just one of you. Our etiquette experts are here to respond to the concerns of a second-time bride in our daily post.

I'm getting married for the second time, though it's my fiancé's first marriage. I feel funny wearing a white wedding dress, but can we still have a decent-size wedding? His family's so excited about the wedding, and I don't want to disappoint them.

Even if this is your second wedding, you don't have to settle for anything less than you want. This is a new celebration of a whole new relationship. Wear the long white gown, carry the big bouquet, invite all of your nearest and dearest—whatever makes you and him happy. Old rules that punished second-time brides no longer apply, although certainly many second-time brides go for a more low-key affair.

The only consideration you need make is for the feelings (and pocketbooks) of those who lavished gifts on you for your first wedding—especially if it happened just a few years ago. Say the groom's family wants to throw you a shower, for example: pulling together the guest list might take a little thought. The aunt who bought you a food processor five years ago may not want to supply an updated model—so plan the guest list accordingly and leave off people you think would rather pass. You could also call the guests who attended your first nuptials before the wedding invitations go out, and let them know that their presence at your celebration is their gift to you—code for "No gift required."

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