The Answers to All Your Second Wedding Etiquette Questions

Sep 14, 2019

A middle aged couple smile at the camera before their second wedding.

There are a lot of assumptions out there about second weddings. Should they be understated, casual affairs? Sure, they can be. They can also be as grand as you want. Either way, we’re here to congratulate you on finding love a second time and we think you deserve to celebrate that any way you want.

The good news is that either one or both of you have done this once before, and now you know what works and what doesn’t. We will say there are a few important things to consider while planning your second wedding, though, and we’re here to answer all the questions you’ve got.

Gift Registries for Second Weddings

Q: Can I make a second wedding gift registry?

A: The short answer is yes.

However, consider your unique situation. Is this both you and your partner’s second wedding? If so, you may have all the items found on a typical registry. In that case, you can either make a shorter, more specific list (centered around a shared hobby, for example) that is optional to contribute to. Another great choice is suggesting donations to a worthy cause. If it’s your second go-around, a charity registry should be the perfect move.

We just recommend you stay away from asking for cash. But you already knew that.

Q: What’s the appropriate second wedding gift amount to request?

A: There’s really no simple answer to this one. Again, consider your situation. If it’s your partner’s first wedding, you can take a more traditional route and request gifts through a registry of your choice. If it’s a second wedding for both, you may want to stress to your guests that gifts are completely optional.

Ceremony Traditions 

Q: Can the bride wear white? 

A: Yep. No caveats here. 

Q: Who should walk the bride down the aisle?

A: Whoever the bride wants to walk down the aisle with — if anyone at all. If you’re an older couple with parents who have passed away, brides often choose another family member who will make the occasion special or simply walk solo.  

Tip: Shake things up from the first wedding. Did you have traditions you missed out on? Regret not doing that destination wedding? Add those missed opportunities to this wedding! You’ll avoid deja vu by making it a different experience both for you and the guests who were at the first. 

Groomsmen & Bridesmaids

Q: Can I choose the same bridal party as my first wedding?

A: Sure, choose as many from your first as you’d like. If they’re your best friends, they’ll have stuck by your side through thick and thin (and you should gift them properly for that) and will be happy to support you on your big day. 

Tip: Go easy on your party’s wallets, especially when it comes to bridesmaid gowns. Give your group the option to pick their favorite dress within a certain color so they can actually wear it again after the wedding. 

Q: Can I throw another bridal shower/bachelor party?

A: Absolutely! You can celebrate however you want, just keep in mind some may not want to spend big on another event. If you’re planning on a big trip, you may want to cover expenses. Similarly, for second bridal showers, some may not want to splurge on another big gift, and that’s okay. 

Q: Should I give gifts to my groomsmen/bridesmaids even if I did the first time?

A: Yes. You’ll want to make an especially big gesture for those who are repeat-showing in your party. Find personalized gifts for your gang to make it special.

The Size of the Second Wedding

Q: Should I invite my ex to my second wedding?  

A: No … but with caveats. You know the situation best. It’s generally recommended to keep exes out of second weddings to minimize drama, but it’s been done before with former partners who have great relationships and kids who’d like them to be there. 

Tip: If you are remarrying because your former spouse passed away, consider inviting their family. Depending on the situation, they may decline but will appreciate the gesture. 

Q: How many people should I invite to my second wedding?

A: Invite as many people as you’d like! Don’t let misconceptions about second weddings stop you — make it as small or large as you and your partner want. 

Family Inclusion

No big questions here, but rather a few suggestions. If you and your partner are coming into the wedding with children from previous marriages, it’s a great idea to include them in the festivities. This is the perfect opportunity to start officially blending the two families together. Here are a few ideas for starters:

At the end of the day, it’s your wedding and you can do whatever you think will make it the best occasion possible. You’ve done it before, and now you have the opportunity to make it even better — so go out and do it.

Just don’t forget to thank those who help make it a success with a special gift. Second wedding or first, who doesn’t love classy gifts?



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