"I think the pressure to stick with tradition is off when planning a second wedding—you've been there, you've done it—typically the bride and groom are a bit older and maybe more sure of who they are and how they like to entertain," says Nick Yarmac, senior account executive for New York City event planning company State of the Art Enterprises. "Does this mean they don't want a big celebration—definitely not—but it does mean that they're not tied to Wedding 101 formalities."
Nicole made some adjustments to her guest list based on the invite list from the first time around, but her decisions were equally motivated by finance. One of the downsides of an encore wedding? The parents probably aren't pitching in.
Yours, Mine, and Ours
Of course, every cloud has a silver lining, and no money from parents means no interference from parents here. Besides, we're both more financially established than if we'd gotten hitched years ago, so even though we paid for the entire wedding, we were in a much better position to do so than Nicole had been at the time of her first marriage.
"One of my favorite weddings was a second for both the bride and the groom. They were married on a Saturday night, in front of 50 or so of their closest family and friends—no maid of honor, no best man—right in the middle of cocktail hour. It was great. Dinner followed, with a string trio playing in the background," explains Yarmac. "The next morning, they hosted a brunch celebration for about 200 at their home. A blues singer performed, backed by a gospel choir. The bride went barefoot because it was her backyard and that's what she wanted to do. I think a cinnamon bun may have pulled double duty as the wedding cake."
While we discussed some of the logistics of Nicole's first wedding, we never discussed the wedding itself. Some guys might get jealous, but for me, it was almost the opposite. Her first wedding was "her" day, which meant that our wedding was wide open to be "our" day. As an encore bride, Nicole had already planned a wedding and knew what to expect when the day arrived, so we were able to plan quickly and efficiently and really enjoy the day when it came. We had the day we wanted, and we were able to relax.
And that may be the most important rule of an encore—or any—wedding: it's your day, so do what you want with it!