Not too long ago, encore brides wore a pink suit and wed in the clerk’s office in City Hall. Understandably, since so many weddings taking place around the country are second or subsequent marriages, the rules for “proper” behavior have realistically eased.
The underlying theme this time, whether divorced or widowed, is romantic rather than innocent. Your wedding dress may be ivory, the new pinks and peaches, or the traditional white. This time you may have a lower cut dress, but forego the train and replace the veil with a romantic hat or a sophisticated beaded headpiece. A widow or encore bride may walk down the aisle alone with family members, or with the groom. A new popular custom is including your sons and daughters as attendants, or as flower girl and ring bearer if they are young.
Check first with your clergy for any religious restrictions. You may then find this the perfect opportunity for a home or garden wedding or an intimate church wedding with a larger reception. But if you’ve always dreamed of a large wedding, go ahead. A Sunday wedding will allow you more choices for reception facilities.
At the reception, there need not be a formal receiving line, and while most of the “fun” traditions remain, the throwing of the bouquet, garter and rice, are usually reserved for first weddings.
Marriage “reaffirmations” are also increasing in popularity. Once reserved for 25th or 50th Anniversaries, they are now being celebrated as early as 5th Anniversaries.