ARCHIVE: Summer 2007 Edition
Summer 2007 Edition
This edition of Encore Bride is all about planning a great
encore wedding on a budget.
Encore brides do not always have the resources, finances,
or time to plan an elaborate wedding. Many feel they have
had a large first wedding and do not want to opt for the
same when they become an encore bride. They do not
want to burden family and friends with the expense of
attending another wedding with them as the star. And
sometimes, it's simple practicality that dictates how much
a couple can spend. Parents may have shared the expense
the first time, but now you are on your own.
Whatever the reason for minding the budget, it does not
mean settling for a day that is less than perfect. There are
many ways to have a beautiful encore wedding without
the expense that often accompanies a formal first time
Can "Honeymoon" and "Budget" Go Together?
by Susan Polyot
Your honeymoon is about time away for the two of
you. It's a chance to pause and reflect on your new
beginning. And that time doesn't have to be elaborate
or expensive. A honeymoon for an encore bride can
be different than for first time brides. In addition to
budget concerns, children and time constraints are
often considerations. We have discussed in a previous
issue taking kids on the honeymoon (yes, it can be
done, see archives), so we will reserve this discussion
for budget issues. A recent article I read stated that
the average cost of a honeymoon is $3,000 -$5,000.
But there are many options for $1,000 or less. If you
have time restrictions, consider a Bed and Breakfast
Inn within driving distance. Some B & B's offer a
honeymoon package with an upgraded room, as well
as welcome treats such as a bottle of champagne.
Many B&B's have shared baths, so ask. A
honeymoon is a good reason to splurge on a private
bath option. A luxurious inn can be a fabulous treat
for a honeymoon, something you wouldn't ordinarily
do. Prices can range from under $100 to just about
any price per night, depending on when and where you
go. Staying 3 days at a great B& B makes a nice
honeymoon for under $1,000, including a nice dinner
at a local restaurant. These are generally not places to
take the kids, but for a short stay for the two of you,
perfect. Often located in scenic spots such as
oceanside or mountainside, they can also be very
romantic. Find a list of B&B's through your travel
agent or online through your state's tourism office.
Summer wedding? How about renting a lake front
camp? Rentals can often be a cost effective option to
a resort, and are frequently available by the week,
again, well under the cost of an average honeymoon.
You will likely have to stock the cabitnets with your
own groceries, and sometimes linens, but the savings
are often significant. A private lake front home for
your honeymoon can also be a great family vacation if
you have children with you. For rentals, check lake
associations, local realtors, or the local tourism office.
Be specific about what you are looking for, the
number of bedrooms want, indoor bath or not, and the
amenities you want included. You wouldn't want a
honeymoon with the kids, only to find out "sleeps 6"
means altogether in a loft. Remember, it is a
If you want a resort style honeymoon, significant
savings can be found by traveling off-season, or by
scouting for last minute fares. This requires some
flexibility in time and destination, but can be worth
significant savings. Check out budgettravelonline.com
for ideas on the best travel savings each month, or
consult your travel agent.
How about registering for your honeymoon? Encore
brides generally don't need traditional wedding registry
gifts. A honeymoon registry can be established through
many travel agencies, or directly through the place you
will be staying. You pick the place, secure the basic
reservation, and guests then choose the extras: spa
package for the two of you, dinner gift certificates,
champagne delivered to the room, whatever amenities
you have registered for. There are also registries that
allow guests to contribute toward the actual price of
the honeymoon. As with any registry, do not direct
your guests to the registry, let them ask.
Your honeymoon is an important part of your encore
wedding plan. Whether you can spare just 1 night or 3
weeks, take time to honor your new marriage and your
new spouse by taking time for the two of you. You
can plan a wonderful, romantic time without breaking
Step Parents Need to Ask: Who Pays for the Kids?
by Susan Polyot
In keeping with our budget theme this edition, our step-
parenting topic is: Who Pays for the Kids?—an issue
that confronts many encore families. Answers vary, but
the key to success is in the process of making a decision
more than the decision itself.
Couples who talk ahead of time about how finances will
be handled—and specifically who pays for what with
children—will avoid misunderstandings, resentment and
anger. Be honest with your feelings. There is no right
or wrong way to feel about paying for someone else’s
children. You may feel you aren’t financially
responsible; that it is a responsibility of your stepchild's
birth parents to share expenses for their children. Or you
may believe family income should be evenly spent on
everyone, including the stepchildren. Some of this
largely depends on your living situation, and whether or
not the children live primarily with you. It also depends
on whether both of you or only one of you have
In my own situation, my stepson lived with his father
and me for a large part of his school age years. Our
family finances were combined, and we made no
distinction between what I paid for and what his father
paid for. We felt that our family was best served by
having joint finances in that regard. We did not receive
child support from his mother (a decision all parties had
agreed upon) and there were no other children involved;
all of which are factors in making a decision about
money matters. Because we talked about this before my
stepson arrived, we eliminated fears of conflict and
resentment about this subject.
While each family situation is different, there are some
common denominators for all blended family situations.
If you are choosing to marry someone with children,
with that comes expenses. There are always unplanned
expenses, such as school activities, mall outings, movies,
etc., and to think that your income will not directly or
indirectly be impacted by those things is unrealistic.
Many arguments and resentments that surface in
marriage are tied to unrealistic expectations. Money can
be the root of many of those conflicts so talking about
how family finances will be handled can ease future
Whatever decisions you make, make as many as you
can before you become a stepparent so your transition
into a new family situation will be as smooth as possible.
Some factors to consider:
• Where do the children spend the majority of their
• Do you receive or pay child support?
• Do you both have children, or just one of you?
• Do you plan to have more children together? (In
this case, finances should be as equitable as possible
with all children to avoid future conflicts).
• Have you discussed both day-to-day finances as
well as special occasion finances, such as vacations,
college, or other non-routine expenses?
Remember that talking about these issues ahead of time
avoids a lot of potential conflict later. If you are already
married and struggling to sort this out, step back as a
couple and review the expectations that you both
brought into the marriage. Because people can have
strong, possessive feelings about money—especially in
encore marriages—you should try to keep emotion out
of your discussion so you can be less defensive and can
keep in mind that your discussion is about financial
decisions, not a personal statement about the children.
And one other thing: Keep your discussions away from
the children. You need to be honest with each other
about your feelings and opinions. Children do not need
to know if there are disagreements about money issues,
especially if it relates to them.
Becoming a stepparent can be a rewarding and fulfilling
undertaking, but sharing your clear expectations to each
other is vital. Congratulations, and enjoy your new role!
by Larry Tyler
Budgets are like fingerprints: no two are alike.
Everyone has different income levels, and different
expenses. Everyone has different tastes and
priorities. But the main reason budgets are unique
is that budgets are never governed by logic and
common sense. Whenever we have any amount of
money our rules for spending it are based on a
formula that is both intricate and inconsistent. It
includes factors like Necessity (which isn't always
our overriding consideration), Whim, Passion,
Guilt, Obligation, Generosity, Habit, and probably
a bunch of other factors that don't immediately
come to mind. We make our choices, pull out our
wallets, and make our purchases. When we do, the
things I choose to buy can seem foolish to you, and
the things you buy may not make any sense at all to
Case in point: On a recent shopping spree, I went
out and bought 4 quarts of motor oil, 1 oil filter,
and 1 gallon of windshield washer fluid. Total cost:
$12.57. I went out to my driveway and changed the
oil, and while I was doing that, the kid up the block
who mows our lawn showed up and began mowing.
We finished at about exactly the same time. My
wife came out and asked me why I go to all the
trouble of changing the oil myself when I can pull
into a Jiffy Lube and have it done in about ten
minutes for about twenty bucks. "Because I can
save eight bucks," I told her. "But it takes you a
half hour to do it," she said. "Isn't your time
worth anything?" "Eight bucks is eight bucks," I
explain to her. It feels good to save eight bucks.
The kid shows up at that point and I hand him $20
for the lawn work. It feels good to not have to mow
the lawn. Money well spent.
Now, it's hard to pull any logic from decisions like
that. All I know is that it felt right to change the oil
myself, and it felt right to pay twenty bucks to have
the lawn mowed, even if the whole transaction put
me about $8 in the hole. I ended up feeling good
about my decisions and you can't put a price on
that. Well, yes. I suppose you can. I just did, after
all, didn't I. But my point is, any time you can
spend money to help you feel a little better, that's a
good thing. For me, it's motor oil. For my wife,
it's eye cream. She's happier than a gold
prospector stumbling onto the mother lode when
she scores an eye cream bargain online. I don't
understand it. I try not to judge it. I just try to
accept it. And when she sees me outside, crawling
under the car, scraping my knuckles, and swearing
at a stubborn oil filter, well, I guess she just accepts
that too. I suppose it's all part of that fascinating
partnership: marriage. You get married, you start
pooling your budgets, and you end up not only
puzzled by your mate's spending habits, but you
start questioning your own decisions as well.
I still don't get the thing about the eye cream
~ Encore Bride ~ LETTERS
My boyfriend's son is getting married. He has been
estranged from his wife for over 10 years-- long
complicated situation. Now, his wife has agreed to
behave during the wedding. What we would like to
know is, where do we sit during the wedding, and what
about pictures? He does not want to have his picture
taken with her, their son and his son's new wife. He
feels he should be in the picture with his son and me,
and she should be in one with the son also. What do
you say is the right thing to do? Would you be able to
answer these questions? Thank you,
These situations can be awkward for everyone. The key
is for all of the parent's to remember the day is about the
bride and groom, not them, and to put any differences
aside for a few hours. While that is sometimes easier
said than done, it will make for better memories later.
As far as seating is concerned, all parent's and his/her
significant other, such as yourself should be in the front
If that is not possible, sit the mother in the front(sorry,
tradition says mother gets top billing), with you and the
father directly behind. Ideally, all should be front and
Pictures should be done however the bride and groom
want them. It would appear there may be a lot of conflict
between mother and father, so together in the same
picture would not be the preference, that's fine. A picture
with the mother, and son (and the new wife) and a
separate one with his father is appropriate. Your
inclusion would be dependent on your relationship to
both the father and the groom. How long have you been
dating, do you live together, are you engaged, etc would
all be considerations. Do you get along with his son,
etc. If you are in a non live-in relationship, or a
relationship with an uncertain or undetermined future,
you would be best served to either bow out, or have a
picture with you included, and one without.
Please remember this is a day for the bridal couple. You
may have to swallow a few distasteful moments, but
taking the high road is always best for future relations
between all parties.
Thank you so much for visiting Encore Bride.
|Encore Bride Magazine Thoughts, Reflections, Suggestions, & Opinions for re-wedding brides