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Remarrying couples make their own etiquette rules
JACKSON – An elaborate ceremony punctuated with a white dress and gift registry is no longer reserved for couples marrying for the first time.
“With about 40 percent of couples remarrying, our society has become more accustomed to second marriages,” said Carla Stanford, a Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Pontotoc County. “In the past, if either member of the couple had been married before, there was not a lot of pomp and circumstance surrounding the marriage. But today, people may go all out.”
Second marriages sometimes occur at a time when people are more financially stable and can afford to splurge on a big event.
“Many individuals could not afford a formal affair the first time around,” said Cassandra Kirkland, family life specialist with the MSU Extension Service. “Couples should make the most of the celebration in a manner that fits their identity best – simple or elaborate.”
Modern brides in some remarriages wear white gowns, register for gifts and send formal invitations, actions once considered taboo. Invitations should be sent to ensure family and friends are aware of the union, and gift registries can help individuals who would like to give the couple something, Kirkland said.
“Couples should allow friends and family to bestow them with gifts if that is their desire,” she said. “The act of giving gifts can serve as a symbol of support and encouragement to the couple, and it is okay to celebrate finding love again with a bridal shower.”
Honeymoon registries are popular among couples marrying for the second time and are good alternatives for couples who already have traditional wedding registry items. Guests may contribute to the couple’s honeymoon by purchasing different components of the trip, such as a cooking lesson, a snorkeling adventure or spa visit.
“Honeymoons are widely acceptable as an after-wedding trip, and they provide the couple a chance to have prime bonding time,” Stanford said.
Families with children should make sure children feel included in the process of blending families, Stanford said.
“Some couples include children in the actual ceremony, and others use the ceremony to highlight the joining of families,” she said. “Children can decide what to wear to the wedding, help shop for supplies or help decorate.”
Stanford also recommends families set aside time for family bonding after the honeymoon.
For more wedding ideas, visit the MSU Extension Service Pinterest board at http://www.pinterest.com/msuextservice.