Encore and Reaffirmations

Not too long ago, encore brides wore a pink suit and wed in the clerk's office at City Hall. Understandably, since so many weddings taking place around the country are second or subsequent marriages, the rules for "proper" behavior have realistically eased. The underlying theme this time, whether divorced or widowed, is romantic rather than innocent.

Check first with your clergy for any religious restrictions. You may then find this the perfect opportunity for a home or garden wedding or an intimate church wedding with a larger reception. But if you've always dreamed of a large wedding, go ahead. A Sunday wedding will allow you more choices for reception facilities.

Your wedding dress may be ivory, the new pinks and peaches, or the traditional white. This time you may have a lower cut dress, but forget the train and replace the veil with a romantic hat or a sophisticated beaded headpiece. A widow may want to have a male member of the family give her away, while the encore bride may walk by herself or with the groom. A new popular custom is including your sons and daughters as attendants, or as flower girl and ring bearer if they are young. At the reception, there need not be a formal receiving line, and while most of the "fun" traditions remain, the throwing of the bouquet, garter and rice, are usually reserved for first weddings.

Reaffirmations are increasing in popularity. Once reserved for 25th or 50th Anniversaries, they are now being celebrated as early as 5th anniversary. Many couples choose to recreate their wedding day. complete with original dress and attendants while others opt for a clergy renewing their vows during an anniversary party. Couples are also finding this a great opportunity to redesign their wedding day and enjoy the ensuing celebration. Remember, have fun and enjoy!