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Special Events

'I do' redo: Encore weddings on the rise

Fewer guests, fewer bouquets and absolutely no garter-toss: Second-time brides are setting their own wedding traditions. But that doesn't mean that budgets for second or "encore" weddings, as they are sometimes called, are a second thought. As Charleston, S.C.-based planner Tara Guerard puts it, "They're spending the money!"

Brides and grooms making a second trip down the aisle tend to skip using a traditional house of worship for the ceremony, opting instead for unique and picturesque venues that have special meaning for them. They also tend to forgo the customary cake-cutting, turning instead to special touches such as serving each guest a miniature version of the bride and groom's two-servings-only wedding cake.


Children often play a larger role in second weddings. The most common way to include younger children from a previous marriage is as flower girls or ring bearers; older children are typically the best man or maid of honor, with no other attendants. Sons may give away their mothers, and Kendall Brown of Media, Pa.-based Eclatante Event Design recalls seeing one groom "given away" by his two daughters. She adds, “I have a couple who is planning to make promises to the children as part of the vows.” Children may say vows of their own or have a special piece of jewelry--bracelet, ring, necklace--to exchange at the time the bride and groom do.

Traditions that seem sweet for a 20-something bride are less suited to a mature bride. The first dance between the bride and her father is often not considered an option. And as one woman told Brown, "If you have to be given away at 50, that's a problem."

For the full story, see the April issue of Special Events Magazine.

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