Second Wedding Etiquette

Second Wedding Etiquette

Second Wedding Etiquette

Reader Submitted Question: Can you provide any information pertaining to second wedding etiquette. I haven’t much luck at all in finding any material on that, such as etiquette, ways to involve the children, traditions that aren’t appropriate for a second wedding, etc. I would greatly appreciate anything you might have to offer on this subject.

Answer: While I can answer most etiquette questions, I am far from an expert on etiquette and actually disagree with some aspects of etiquette while agreeing completely with others. The reason I am stating my position on etiquette in this particular column is at many of the things I disagree with most strongly deal with etiquette for second weddings. I will include etiquette “rules” concerning second weddings as well as my position on the same concepts. You may choose whichever fits the wedding you would like to have.

Second Wedding Etiquette “rule” :

  • Some etiquette experts claim that the bride shouldn’t wear white, because it is meant to symbolize virginity. Another reason is that it is assumed that your first wedding had all of the frills and your second should be more understate Some etiquette experts do NOT agree with this.

Second Wedding Etiquette “rule”:

  • Brides marrying for the second time should not wear veils. Same reason for not wearing a white wedding dress. Once again, not all etiquette experts agree with this either.

My position on Second Wedding Etiquette: The bride should wear whatever she would like to wear. Whether the wedding is the first or second, if the dress looks beautiful on you it shouldn’t matter whether it is a traditional dress or not. Not all first weddings have all of the frills and once again my opinion is that you should do what you are comfortable with.

I hope that you’ll notice that the second wedding etiquette rules above mention the bride while leaving out any mention of the groom. I’ve never found an etiquette book that states a groom should never wear a tux if he is marrying for the second time, yet I have run aross what the bride should wear time and time again. I find this ridiculous to say the least. I believe that the couple should wear what they want. If a second time bride wants to wear a white wedding dress with plenty of ruffles, a train and a veil on her head she should. If the groom would like to see his bride walk down the aisle in traditional wedding attire and she would like to they should do so. If, on the other hand she would like to wear a simple pastel gown, she should be given choice, just as first time brides are and be able to choose her gown based upon her own preferences. Why should a second time bride have a different set of rules than a first time bride?

I realize that I will probably get plenty of mail on this subject. This is an opinion and only an opinion. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of everyone at, and therefore all mail should be directed towards me personally.

Now onto the second half of your question. There are plenty of ways to include children from a previous marriage (and/or relationship) in a wedding ceremony. One of the most popular seems to be an item called the “wedding medallion“. The wedding medalion is a pendant that consists of three interwoven rings. The symbolism behind it suggests that instead of the traditional joining of two people (the couple), there is instead a joining of three (or more) people in order to form a family. Usually you will also find an addition to the ceremony which alludes to the medallion and it’s significance.

Another way that you could include children is to add an addition to the ceremony. In essence, to make the child/children feel as if they are part of the ceremony. This could be as simple as allowing them to stand with you or adding a line which point out that this is a joining of families as well as of the couple.

Yet another way is to use a unity candle. While it is traditionally a symbol that joins two families (the parent/s of the couple light it), you could instead allow the children to take over this tradition. This suggestion is, of course, meant for childen old enough to take on this responsibility.

Allowing the children to participate in both the ceremony and planning of the wedding will allow them to feel involved. If the children are old enough to have opinions on certain aspects of the wedding planning, I would suggest allowing their input. Perhaps you could take them with you when choosing the invitations or the gown. This will allow the children to feel as if they are a part of the wedding rather than just a bystander.

Second Wedding Etiquette


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