(Closed) not my first wedding = no bridesmaids??

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
734 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@roseyposey:  I think a lot of “ettiquette” is kind of stupid unless it involves hurting someone’s feelings, being rude, etc. This is one of those silly little rules that, honestly, I don’t even know if it exists and it doesn’t matter!

You’re spending the money, you do what you want!

Post # 4
511 posts
Busy bee

@roseyposey:  I think you can have as many attendants as you bloody well like.  True, I’m only having one (my daughter) at my second wedding, but I only had one at my first.  According to most etiquette rules you should be saying that you’ll obey your husband and seriously, are you going to do that?

Post # 5
3638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I’m going to tell you, bluntly, about how other people think (this is not how I think, just how others DO think):

It is tacky to have a big white wedding when it is not your first. You have already been married, you should not wear white or host a large event with everyone because you have already “been around the block”. So, even if you are still going ahead with a bigger wedding, you should make it look as *small* as possible. No big white dress, a small one, or a coloured dress and no attendants to make it look less “tacky” and “embarrassing” and like a “girl playing dress up”.


BUT, do you really care what these people think? If you want bridesmaids, then have bridesmaids! Go for it! 

Even if you want to consider these rude people, then remember that:

1) It’s your FI’s first wedding so it should be big

2) You had a small wedding the first time so you didn’t get to have bridesmaids


In the end, just do what you want to do and the rude people can go and jump in a lake. 

Post # 6
6122 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I do not think this is anything against etiquette at all.

Post # 7
479 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

It’s really up to you, if you want bridesmaids go for it. I know people that has been married 4 or 5 times and when they remarry they have bridesmaids

Post # 8
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I think it’s your wedding do what makes you happy 🙂

Post # 9
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Hi roseyposey:,

First and foremost I see you are NEW to WBee… so a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”

I am also an Encore Bride, so I understand how difficult to be to understand what exactly is proper and considered to be improper in this role

I also am a bit of an Etiquette Snob, so I can tell you that for the most part, the majority of people don’t really understand what elements of a Wedding are Etiquette (boils down stictly to making others feel comfortable) and which elements are really just “traditions” or “local customs” (lots of confusion in this regard)

So lets see if I can sort some of this out for you…

There certainly was a time when the Rules of Etiquette for Second Marriages (and beyond) were a lot more defined / rigid than they are today (and yes there was a time when a Bride would stand-up with just one Attendant / Witness… that being a Maid of Honour)

However, times have changed significantly… and Divorce is no longer considered a supreme failure and something to be ashamed of.  (Lol, we can thank Elizabeth Taylor and Zsa Zsa Gabor for that I suppose with 8 and 9 Marriages respectively).

Naturally, as Divorce became more prevalent, etiquette had to change as well.  The feeling now is that in the modern world marriage is harder than it ever was… and everyone is entitled to making a mistake… so at least when it comes to Second Marriages the rules have relaxed substantially… (less so for subsequent Marriages however)

So, as it stands now, no matter if the Bride or Groom has been married before or not, the Basic Rules of Etiquette for a Marriage apply.

The ONLY clear exception to Encore Brides / Couples… comes in regards to Gifts.

As always, a couple marrying should never “expect” Gifts… and when it comes to Encores, although Gifts are nice, they may not happen to the same extent as for Couples who have not been married before.  The Rule of Etiquette is there is no obligation for someone (a Guest) to give a gift to a Wedding for the couple, IF they gave a Wedding Gift to one of them previously.

So, if an Encore Bride marries a never married man, it is quite acceptable if the only Gifts that come in for the happy couple come from his side of the family (if her side attended her first Wedding)

Of course, in reality, this rarely happens.  Most Guests are happy for the couple no matter “their past” and will give a Wedding Gift all the same.

When it comes to Bridal Showers… they rarely happen for an Encore Bride.  For two reasons…

Firstly a lot of Encore Brides choose to Elope or have an Elopement to a Destination Wedding (this is what I am doing… just the two of us, taking our Vows in front of our Officiant on a Beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean… followed by a wonderful Honeymoon).  Elopements are not normally proceeded by any of the standard Pre-Wedding Events such as Showers, Bachelorette Parties or Rehearsal Dinners.

Secondly, if a Bride chooses not to Elope but marry in a more traditional ceremony with Friends & Family, then it is perfectly acceptable to have a Bridal Shower if a group of close female friends or family members choose to organize one. 

BUT… the Guest List should be very small, and made up of NEW Friends of the Couple, or very close Friends & Relatives.  The rule of thumb being that it is best not to invite those who attended a Bride’s Shower from a Previous Marriage.

So oftentimes “the work around” for Second Marriages is that a Couples Shower will be organized that invites both Men & Women and the theme is often something that both members of the couple enjoy doing together (Camping – Biking – Travel – Gardening – Backyard Grilling – Wine, etc)

Lol, of course all Rules of Etiquette tend to go out the window if a Bride has some WELL MEANING and enthusiastic friends who choose to throw her a SURPRISE SHOWER.  A Bride should never embarrass such friends by telling them that which they have organized is “somewhat unconventional OR a breach of Etiquette”… rather she should be GRATEFUL that her friends love her so much and care about her, and are thrilled at her finding LOVE again.

The most important element though when it comes to Etiquette surrounding Gifts, is the Bride / Couple should not in any way draw attention to the element of Wedding Gifts.  So for example, it is still IMPROPER ETIQUETTE to print on the Invites… No Gifts Please. 

If a couple truly wishes no gifts (as they feel it would be an imposition on their Guests, etc), then this is something that should be spread by word of mouth by those closest to the couple.  Likewise if the couple chooses to register somewhere, again the info should be spread by word of mouth… or if the couple have a Wedding Website the info (store name, address, phone number, website) can be put on there discreetly.

For the Wedding itself, you will of course hear a myriad of tales about what and isn’t acceptable Etiquette for Encores… and it will cover just about EVERYTHING possible Detail.  Honestly there are NO SET RULES…

So if you want to wear WHITE – or a BIG Pouffy Wedding Dress – Have Bridesmaids – Toss the Bouquet – etc.  All is perfectly fine.  You really can design your Wedding pretty much however you please.

Of course it is possible that some people will talk… or THINK they know better than you on what is or isn’t PROPER… but that wouldn’t make them right.  And well lets face it, folks are going to gossip about such things no matter what (sad but true)

There is however, STILL A FEELING that if a Bride is being married a Third Time or Beyond, that it is far more respectable though to show a bit more restraint in her choices (not draw too much attention to herself… and make a public scene).  In those cases, an Elopement or an Intimate Ceremony with Restrained Elements would be more appropriate.  BUT, even then if the Couple wishes to hold a Back Home Reception / Party afterwards… then all bets are off… as there are FEW to NO RULES on those types of Events.

Hope this helps,


Post # 10
342 posts
Helper bee

Thank you for asking this question. I also am an encore bride, but it’s SO’s first marriage. I have NO idea how to do this a second time!

Post # 11
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

TO itsmle: , I agree there is a distinct LACK OF INFO for Encore Brides.

Read my post above, and you’ll discover that most things are as they were for you the first time round.

If you have any specific Questions, you can always ask here on the WBee ETIQUETTE BOARD

Hope this helps,


Post # 13
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@This Time Round:  This is a wonderful post and quite helpful for both the encore brides and those who know an encore couple.  Although divorces are never the plan as a couple is standing face-to-face and saying vows, they are a real part of the world we live in, and thinking that first time brides are somehow “better” than those who have elected to remarry is cruel and uncalled for. It’s foolish for us to judge others, especially over something like the choice to celebrate a second marriage! This is especially true since so much of the “wedding etiquette” that is tossed around is merely tradition.  As you point out, the true etiquette is almost exclusively focused on gift giving and how the couple should not impose on their loved ones.

It’s silly for people to call etiquette “dumb” – the whole point of these social behaviors is to prevent offending or hurting the feelings of those around us.  As far as I am concerned, getting along nicely with others is a fundamental part of living in society.  I believe that much of the scorn for etiquette stems from misunderstandings, not actual disdain for what is proper.

So, @roseyposey: , feel free to include bridesmaids in your wedding if you’d like, please, don’t think that you have tossed etiquette out the window by doing so.  Happy planning. 🙂

Post # 14
650 posts
Busy bee

I would go for having the bridesmaids, that is really silly to think that because it is a second wedding that you cant have the whole nine yards. celebs can have 3 and 4 and they do what they want why cant we. If that is indeed a rule then it is the most stupic i have ever heard

Post # 15
49 posts
  • Wedding: April 2013

Absolutely have the bridesmaids. I think no matter what you do, someone won’t be happy with something you would do for your wedding. If you were re-asking a bunch of your close girlfriends to be repeat bridesmaids, I would get maybe no having them. But go for it, girl.

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