Love, Part Deux: What Are the Rules for Remarrying?

February 22nd, 2011

You’re getting remarried.  You’re thrilled; in fact, you’re glowing. You’ve finally found your soul mate, and this time you know it.

To you and your man-to-be, it feels like the first time — only better.

But that’s not the vibe you’re getting from supposed well-wishers. “You want to wear white?” “You’re wearing a long dress?” “Eighty people? You’re kidding.” And, even if you’re remarrying at the age of 24, the ubiquitous “You know, you’re no kid this time. Why do you need all the bells and whistles? Just go for something quiet and intimate.”

Quiet and intimate is lovely. If you’re the quiet and intimate type. (I am.) But is it required simply because you’ve “already done this”?

Choose sophisticated touches. Shown: Cherry Blossom Candles.

The answer to this can seem tricky. A second marriage isn’t less than; it’s an important, life-changing event. On the other hand, what if you’ve learned this time that you don’t need all the accoutrements, but you still want something much more special than a trip to the county clerk’s office and dinner?

There are many very legitimate reasons so many couples bring things down a notch for a second wedding. Perhaps you have children this time, a job, a mortgage, a car or rent. You may simply not have the funds, or the free time, you had when you organized your first wedding. Yet you want to mark this all-important occasion for the brand new life it really is for you and your spouse.

There is a happy medium between an all-out 175-guest affair and “just keeping things quiet.” Try these ideas to make your second time feel like the first time…without feeling silly or breaking the bank.

Create a Sophisticated, Romantic Environment

Let your bridesmaids carry something they'll use forever. Shown: Wedding Day Purse.

Make the wedding and reception environment dreamy and sophisticated. You’re more grown-up this time around, but you haven’t lost your sense of romance or fun.

Try some beautiful, soft candles for table lighting rather than large, overwhelming centerpieces. Carry a single rose, a single large lily or another simple but dressed-up choice for your bouquet as you walk down the aisle.

Don’t choose full bouquets for your bridesmaids and matron of honor. Have them carry a single flower each, or an elegant clutch that will double as a bridal party gift from you.

Hang fairy lights (strings of, generally, white, small lights) around the reception area for a beautiful and upscale glow.

Take a Walk Off the Beaten Path

Choose slightly different accessories and decorations for your wedding than you may have selected in years gone by, but be true to yourself.

Make your wedding delicious. Shown: Filigree Cupcake Wrapper in white.

For example, at your first wedding you may have felt tied to a bride-and-groom cake topper because that’s what all your friends did. If so, try wedding cake jewelry this time, or a pretty spray of edible wedding flowers.

Or how about skipping the cake idea altogether in favor of this fun and fabulous trend: wedding cupcakes! Choose gorgeous and elegant cupcake wrappers and fill them with delicious gourmet treats that have a playful side.

Have a Smaller Reception

This is something we do agree with — you will probably want a somewhat smaller reception, if only for practical/economic reasons. Note that I said smaller. That doesn’t mean you, hubs and his best friend as a witness; it means (generally) 45 or fewer people.

Of course, if your heart is set on something bigger, go for it. But do consider your budget first. Don’t feel you absolutely have to invite every extended relative, your boss and his family, etc. to your wedding.

We love it: wedding cake jewelry!

Dress the Way You Want To

We’ve heard some surprising news from many second-time brides: very few of them chose a wedding gown for themselves for their first wedding. They wore Grandma’s or Mom’s dress to please her, they wore off-white because they were told white “washed them out,” they chose a certain length or style because of their weight or height, they downplayed the style because it was an afternoon and not an evening wedding…and the list goes on.

You know what? It’s your wedding. This is the one second-wedding rule we routinely encourage brides to break: wear whatever gown you want to wear. And yes, you can wear white if you really want to. (Tough darts, uber-traditional Aunt Stella.) Or you can wear a gorgeous pants suit, a cocktail dress, a 50s throwback dinner gown or a Medieval fantasy dress.

The bottom line: anyone can give you advice…but what you choose for your wedding truly is up to you. Choose what you love and what’s appropriate to the people you and your fiance are today. With that in mind, you can’t go wrong.

Your Very Own Royal Wedding

February 16th, 2011

Upstage the world's most beautiful couple. (Photo: williamkate.com)

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s impending nuptials are all over the news and the net of late.

Or rather, Kate’s part of the wedding is all over the news. (O William, where art thou?) Kate’s ring, Kate attempting to gain weight (I’m really trying to feel sorry for her right now), Kate’s possible hairstyle, wedding gown, entourage, what the Queen Mum has to say about things.

Kate, Kate, Kate. (Said in my best “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” voice.) Jealous yet? Don’t be. You can have your very own royal wedding with a few fun accessories. Here are our favorite ideas for your princess-for-a-day event.

It’s All About the Crown

Every queen needs a crown. So select a tiara for your head piece.

Sparkly meets sophisticated: the look you're going for.

Bridal tiaras are usually stand-alone, but you can add a veil if it’s very long and very flowy. Don’t choose a short, wide veil if you’re going this route. Let the tiara either speak majestically for itself, or be the holder of yards and yards of delicious fabric.

Royal Jewels

Choose your bridal jewelry for maximum sparkle, but be sophisticated about your choices.

Pearls are lovely, but for a “royal wedding,” we recommend rhinestones, diamonds, cubic zirconium, crystal or colored gemstones, such as rubies or emeralds. (Ooh! Sumptuous.)

Also select your bridesmaids’ jewelry with majesty in mind…but key theirs down a bit. Nobody should outshine the queen!

So pretty. Click for info.

Accessories Fit for a Queen

Choose accessories that simply, well, look royal. Check out these gorgeous crown accessories. We particularly like the champagne flutes.

The best part? They all become keepsakes — for the two of you and for your lucky guests.

Do your guests a favor: get them something they'll love.

Keep with this theme for other accessories. Buy queenly wedding favors and a guest book and pen that reflect the occasion. (Click the link directly above for more ideas.)

Top it all off with a fabulous wedding cake jewelry piece.

Remember: the bling’s the thing! Have fun with this idea. It’s your big day. Don’t worry — we’ll alert the media for ya.

Should You Have Children at Your Wedding?

February 9th, 2011

Children are a delight, but many to-be-weds face a dilemma: should they or shouldn’t they invite little ones to the wedding?

You may feel like an ogre if you’re in the “no way!” camp, but there are a number of factors to consider before opening the chapel doors to the children of friends and family. And trust us, guests who’ve been brides or grooms themselves understand. Here are a few thoughts on what to consider and whether having children at your wedding is the right thing to do.

1. Your wedding budget. Do you have enough room in the wedding budget for additional guests — even if they’re small ones? For many couples, the total budget is a deciding factor in whether or not to invite the children of family and friends. Try this fix: Find out whether the reception venue will give you a reduced cost for kid-size servings. If not, and you’ll be placing a $35 plate in front of a picky toddler who only wants juice or a six-year-old who thinks “asparagus tastes like barf,” your answer may be “no” to having little ones take a seat at your big day. Don’t feel bad — this is a simple matter of practicality.

2. The size of the venue. The venue bucks add up too, so looking for a larger spot to tie the knot may just not be feasible. Try this fix: Ask whether the venue has a separate area that the children can party in while the grown-ups mix, and hire a babysitter to oversee the group.

3. The style of the establishment. Let’s face it: Some locales just aren’t right for children, not because they’re “too fancy for kids!” but simply because the little ones will be uncomfortable, bored and unhappy. Try this fix: Hire a babysitter to come into the home of a guest member who’s local to the wedding and reception venue and let them party all night so they can be celebrating, too — but without the discomfort and tears.

Consider getting noninvited children a little something special so they know you're thinking of them.

4. Whether you and/or your fiance has children. If the marrying couple has children, they will often be more accepting of others’ kids at the ceremony and the reception, though this isn’t always the case. Still, you may feel uncomfortable not having others’ children at your special day if your own will be attending. Try this fix: Have your children take part in the ceremony (bridesmaids, a flower girl or ring bearer, ushers, etc.). This way they’re not simply youngsters running around; they’re integral to the ceremony and as such, should and must take an active part.

The bottom line: Whether or not you invite children to your wedding is up to you — and there is no wrong decision. You’re not slighting a child by not inviting him or her; sometimes, it’s just a logistical or practical impossibility. If you simply can’t make inviting children to your wedding work, buy each child of your invited guests a small “wedding gift” or set up a fun evening for them off-grounds so they know they’re a part of things. They’ll love you all the more for it, and the parents will appreciate the gesture more than they can say.