Second Time Bride / First Time Groom

December 4th, 2010

Let’s face it, the groom is second fiddle at a wedding. Most of the etiquette, traditions, and so on are geared towards brides. When it is the bride’s first wedding and the groom’s second, very little changes at all. However, if it is the bride’s second trip down the aisle, then all the rules about second time weddings apply, even if the groom has never before been wed. Fair or unfair, it’s just the way it is in our society. The good news is that getting remarried is no longer stigmatized like it once was for women. What that means is that it is now considered perfectly acceptable to have a large celebration for a second wedding.

Much of the etiquette about second weddings is focused on attire. Formal clothing for men is pretty much the same no matter what, so whether it is the groom’s first marriage or his fifth, he would still wear the appropriate attire for the formality of the wedding (tuxedo, suit, etc.). For , however, there are some matters of etiquette to keep in mind when selecting a gown and accessories like bridal jewelry. A long train and a poufy princess style wedding gown are best left to women who have never before tied the knot, so look for a  more slender and sophisticated silhouette. As for the veil, it simply is not appropriate for a second time bride.

There are some changes in the wording of the wedding invitation when the bride has been previously married. For a second time bride, her parents do not “give her away”, either on the invitation or during the marriage ceremony. Therefore, the wedding invitation is properly issued by the bride and groom in the third person like this: The pleasure of your company (or “The honour of your presence” for a church wedding) / is requested at the marriage of / Caroline Woods Smith / to Robert Hunter Finley / etc… If the bride had legally adopted her first husband’s name, it is written: first, maiden, married surname.

The only other thing of note is that second time brides should not have bridal showers. Beyond that, a second wedding is really not much different than a first wedding, even if it is her second and his first. The couple can feel free to hold as large or small, lavish or simple, wedding as they wish.

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