If you haven’t yet heard the wonderful term, an “encore” bride or groom represents an individual who has made a previous trip down the aisle. Some may be encore brides, some may be first-time brides marrying an encore groom, but no matter what our specific circumstances, encore brides have one thing in common- they are in love and plan to spend the balance of their lives with the Right One.
For those who may be wondering, an encore wedding is, for the most part, the same thing as a first wedding, except that there are some special considerations that young, first-time couples do not need to think about. Often, encore weddings are smaller affairs involving older couples. It is common for an encore bride to choose a wedding gown that is less flashy, and the event itself is often less formal. For many encore weddings, there are children of one or both adults to include, and decisions about the ceremony reflect those differences.
If you’re an encore bride currently planning her wedding and looking to make some important decisions, we have some helpful tips for you.
Find a dress that suits your true self. An encore wedding is an opportunity to throw tradition to the wind, so don’t feel compelled to go with a conventional wedding gown. When looking for a wedding dress for an encore wedding, brides tend to look for more sophisticated options that are both comfortable and chic. Whether you choose to go with white, a variation on white, or opt to make a statement with color, an encore bride has all the fashionable, sexy, sleek dresses available to her, including light purple bridesmaid dresses. Explore all your dress options before committing to a color palette for your wedding, and choose a dress that fits your personality, your figure, and your venue.
Wed in an intimate location. An encore wedding is often small and quiet, but nothing precludes you from having something large and lavish. An encourage marriage deserves as much celebration as a first marriage, but because this often involves older adults, it’s important that your venue allows you an opportunity to enjoy your family and close friends. At-home affairs, weddings at a scenic spot, or a ceremony in a small chapel in the woods may provide some of the best locations to engage with those who matter most to the both of you. You may want to look at a wide range of intimate locations near you.
Include your children in the ceremony. The age of the children involved will help you determine what role they should have, but many encore brides and grooms include their children in special roles during the ceremony. One or more of the children can present the bride to the groom, or, if they are too young, they can be accompanied by the parents of the bride and groom for the long walk up the aisle. If they are old enough, they can be part of the wedding party and serve as groomsmen and bridesmaids, or even flower girls and ring bearers. Parents can also include children as readers, guest book attendants, ushers, or bouquet holders. Any roles assigned to children should be discussed and practiced ahead of time to make certain the children feel comfortable and confident on the wedding day.
Word your invitation carefully. Most encore weddings are hosted by the bride and groom. Rather than the traditional wording that highlights the role of the bride and groom’s parents, most encore weddings have invitation wording that reflects that the bride and groom are extending the invitation. Some parents may also decide to include their children. Having invitations that read, “We invite you to celebrate the marriage of our parents…” is one way to let the guests know that the wedding is focused on the celebration of family unity. Other options are multiple hosting, such as “Together with their families…” or “Together with their children…” or “As they join their lives and families…” which are warm and appropriate ways to word an encore invitation.
Gifts and showers are not required. While it is perfectly acceptable to have a shower for an encore wedding, the guest list is often made up of new friends of the bride or the couple, or close friends and relatives. One important difference is that it is better not to invite guests, other than the closest of friends, who attended a shower for the first marriage. Encore brides and grooms often have what they need for a household, so a specialty shower with a theme such as food, gardening, or tickets to some form of entertainment, make more sense than a traditional shower.
As for wedding gifts, it is never appropriate to print “no gifts, please” on an invitation, but many encore couples want guests to understand that guests who have given gifts at a previous wedding are under no obligation to do so again, although some encore guests enjoy donations in their names to charities of their choice. Word of mouth is usually best for spreading such information.
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