Is There Any Second Marriage Etiquette?

As times change, so does the wedding etiquette. Not so long ago, people believed that a second wedding should not be celebrated as largely as the first one as it’s not a reason for celebration, and it should be a quieter and smaller event. Nowadays, however, one in three weddings involve someone who has been married before. So is there any second marriage etiquette that should be followed?

The answer is yes. Second weddings have their own etiquette and planning it can often be more stressful than planning the first wedding. Can you wear a white dress and a veil? Should you invite your ex-spouse? Should you make a gift registry? Can you have a bachelorette party? These are only some of the questions that run through the bride’s mind before tying the knot for the second time.

To put your mind at ease, here are some of the things that you should and shouldn’t do while planning your second wedding.

Think About Your Children

If you or your fiance have children from your previous relationships or marriage, it’s essential to talk to them about how they feel about the wedding before you start planning anything. It doesn’t matter if they are 5 or 18 years old – a new marriage is a big deal no matter the age. Some people believe that your children should be the first ones to know that you are getting married again. And don’t forget to tell your ex-spouse, especially if you have joint custody.

Another thing that you should do is including your children at the wedding, make them feel like a part of the wedding day. Depending on how old they are, they can serve as flower girls, bridesmaids, groomsmen, or a ring bearer.

Have a Bachelorette Party

Nobody is going to tell you that you can’t celebrate your last days as a fiancee with your friends. If your bridesmaids or your maid of honor decides to host you one, it’s totally fine! Another thing is that you can opt for already organized bachelorette parties that provide you with everything you might need. You can find places who hold those by, for example, googling ‘hens night Sydney,’ ‘hens night Melbourne’ or whatever city you live in.

All that will be left to do for you is to have a good time with the people you love.

Create a Gift Registry

Even though you cannot expect gifts from everyone (especially those who attended your first wedding), you can still create a gift registry, as some people would like to give you a gift. It will be a valuable source of information for them.

If you already have everything you need for your house, you can, for example, raise money for a charity that is close to you or your future husband, or you can fundraise for the honeymoon.

When creating a gift registry, remember to include options with a broad price range. Some guests might not be able to afford to give you something larger, and some might feel as if they’ve already given you a gift.

Celebrate With People You Want To Be Present

If you’ve read some articles or books about what you should or shouldn’t do for the second time, you probably encounter information that you shouldn’t invite your ex-spouse to the wedding. The truth is that if you think that he and the rest of the guests will be comfortable with him taking part in your wedding – invite him. However, remember that you should always talk to your fiance before doing so.

Another situation is if your spouse died, and you’re still in touch with his parents. They might be happy that you thought about them being present on your special day. However, remember that it also might be tough for them, and they might not attend in the end.

Walk Down The Aisle With Whoever You Want

Some people might tell you that you can’t have your father walk you down the aisle if it’s your second wedding. However, it’s totally up to you – if you want him to walk you down the aisle, there’s no reason for you not to ask him. If you want some other relative or a father figure to do it – go ahead. If you’re going to walk alone – that’s also your choice. You cannot make a wrong choice, as long as it is your own.

Don’t Let Anyone Tell You What To Wear

Some people, especially the older ones, might tell you that you shouldn’t wear white if it’s your second wedding. The reason behind that is the old belief that once you get married for the first time, you lose your innocence. 

The truth is that you can wear whatever you want. The times have changed, and the color of your dress is entirely your choice. Do you want to wear white? Go ahead. Do you want to wear black? It’s your choice. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

One thing that you might consider, though, is not wearing a veil because of its symbolism. As much as the dress color is a personal preference, a veil is more than that. It symbolizes purity and that the bride is ‘untouched.’ However, if it’s not the end of the world if you decide to wear it – choose whatever makes you feel good and beautiful. Some brides opt for other accessories, such as a hat or a tiara.

Don’t Expect Your Parents to Pay

If your parents or other relatives offered to pay for the wedding – that’s totally fine. However, don’t assume automatically that they will do it, especially if they paid for the first wedding. They might be simply not able to afford to do it again. Furthermore, the tradition is slowly being ditched even by the first weddings.

Couples who are getting married for the second time are usually older and more financially stable so that they can pay for their wedding by themselves. Parents can help, but it’s their choice if they do.

Don’t Assume You’ll Get Married in Any Church

Depending on how strict your religion is, you might not get permission to get married in a church. For example, the Roman Catholic Church doesn’t recognize such a thing like a divorce, so if you already had a church wedding and got divorced, the church will see you still as a married woman. That’s why you should check with your church or other religious institution before choosing the location.


If you are planning a second wedding, there is a certain etiquette that should be followed. But to be honest, the wedding is supposed to celebrate the love between you and your future husband, so if something makes you happy, or there are things that you really want on your wedding – go for it. The only opinion that should be relevant to you is yours and your fiance’s. After all, it’s your day.

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