Encore! Encore! – Embracing Second Weddings

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“It was all about the wedding and not about us,” said Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex in the City movie.

Sometimes, the second (or third) time’s the charm — and, often, the bride has learned from her experience what she really wants, in a spouse and a wedding.

The negative connotations of second weddings or getting remarried are long gone. Couples are embracing the thought of getting a second chance and creating new beginnings with what’s become known as “encore” weddings.

A blog posted by Berkley’s the Wedding Shoppe says, “An encore wedding is the same thing as a second wedding or third wedding or fourth and so on. Encore weddings are usually smaller affairs and usually involve older adult couples. The bride often chooses a less flashy wedding gown and throws a slightly less formal event.”

Multi-color centerpieces form a line down a table set for a wedding reception.
Lorri Lewis coordinated the encore wedding of Debbi and Joshua Daniels at the Somerset Inn in Troy. Centerpieces by Breath of Spring, Bloomfield Hills.

Perhaps — but it doesn’t have to be. My client Debbi Daniels, who chose to focus on a more intimate celebration for her encore wedding, had a slightly smaller event than her previous marriage. This wedding included fewer invited guests than her first; however, her bridal attire, room decor and other details were just as elegant and well-planned as they were for her first wedding.

For the wedding ceremony, the couple have various options to consider. Is a big wedding an option? Do they want a destination wedding? In her previous marriage, did the bride have an elaborate wedding affair? What about the groom? Has he been married before? Many encore brides and grooms choose to use this event to be what they really want, rather than what is expected.

Encore weddings have evolved over the years; in 2007, Special Events magazine stated, “Second-time brides are setting their own wedding traditions.” And the trend continues. Today’s Bride 2017 magazine article adds, “There are no written rules for encore weddings, which means you can go with what works for your family. After adhering to wedding traditions the first time around, encore weddings open up the floor to looser rules and a more individualized event.”

FIVE WAYS TO CREATE THE ENCORE WEDDING OF YOUR DREAMS

  • Take a real look at your budget while determining what type of wedding you desire. If it’s limited, consider a courthouse ceremony or ceremony performed by friends, but spring for an elegant wedding brunch or early dinner at an upscale restaurant.
  • Instead of a wedding registry, ask your guests to make donations to your favorite charity; you may also want to do a special dedication in honor of a loved one or mutual friend.
  • Have a dress code or theme for your guests; you could request they wear all black or all white, while you and your significant other wear the opposite color. This makes a great visual at the event and the happy couple will really stand out in photos.
  • If you’re blending families — your kids, his kids — consider allowing the children to be the wedding attendants, and the oldest children can sign the marriage license as witnesses. How about changing into matching T-shirts for the wedding reception or brunch: bride and groom T-shirts with Mr. and Mrs.; children can be Team Bride or Team Groom. What a great, and fun, photo opportunity!
  • You remember those wedding favors from way back when — matches, notepads, shot glasses? Why not create cute little gift boxes or baskets for your guests full of you and your significant other’s favorite things, like gum, chips, lotion or shaving cream with personalized labels with your family crest or monogram? There are many small companies that specialize in custom wedding guest boxes for every budget.
  • Remember, it’s your celebration. There are no rules other than what feels best and most comfortable to you when embarking on your new life together.

Lorri Lewis Special to the Jewish News

Lorri Lewis, the DirectHer, has been a wedding coordinator in Metro Detroit for more than 20 years, specializing in encore weddings. Contact her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter via
@thedirecther.

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