ARCHIVE: Winter 2007 Edition
Winter 2007 Edition
Welcome to the winter edition of encore bride magazine.
In this issue we will explore the idea of a winter theme
wedding, as well as other topics pertinent to encore brides.
In each issue we attempt to address something of
relevance to merging families, step parenting, and other
real life issues facing encore brides after the ceremony.
In this issue we discuss step parenting for encore brides
and their grooms Also in this issue, more ideas for gown
shopping, and of course, the groom's column, where we
look at blending families of a whole different sort: your
Congratulations! We hope you find this edition of encore
bride helpful in planning your encore wedding
To Theme or Not to Theme
by Susan Polyot
Winter is a perfect time for a theme wedding. The
holidays make a pre-decorated backdrop for an encore
An encore bride is often looking for an elegant, but
smaller setting for her wedding. Christmas, New Year,
and Valentines Day make for an easy theme to
incorporate such a setting. Many hotels, resorts and
bed and breakfast inns are beautifully decorated for the
holidays. It makes planning your encore wedding
decorations no muss, no fuss. It is also a great budget
boost. The decorations already in place allow you to
spend virtually nothing extra on room decorations.
The idea of a theme wedding is something first time
brides may shy away from, wanting to pick a theme, or
colors for her wedding that may not lend itself to a
holiday motif. For encore brides who may want
something less traditional, a winter theme may offer
just the right ambiance. A holiday themed wedding can
be a celebration of family and friends already gathered
for the holidays. Often, an encore bride may not feel
she can ask people to incur the expense of travel if
they have family and friends out of town. Encore
brides typically have family and friends with job and
family commitments different than the first time bride
in her twenties. Family and friends often return home
for the holidays, making it an ideal way to include
people you would like to.
If you are considering a holiday theme, this is a time of
year when off the rack formal wear is in abundance.
There are many choices for a dress in a multitude of
colors, from winter white to reds. Styles are also in
abundance from shorter, informal wear to long evening
style gowns. There are many pant ensembles in styles
and colors very fitting for an elegant encore bridal look.
If you have children who will be participating in the
event, there is also a wonderful selection of children's
wear available at a fraction of the cost of bridal salon
prices. Some are even in available in non holiday
colors, a good time to look for children's wear even for
an upcoming wedding later in the year.
A simple bouquet of white roses with sprigs of holly
makes a wonderful choice for a holiday or New Year
wedding. For do it yourselfers, it is also an easy
bouquet to assemble. For a February, or Valentines
Day wedding, a bouquet of a single red rose with white
ribbon is understated and beautiful. There are many
flower choices available in red and white, a perfect
color combination for a holiday wedding.
The holidays make it easy to have a beautifully
decorated table at minimal expense. If you are
planning a sit down meal for your reception, ask the
function manager to use gold plate chargers and plain
white place settings. It adds instant color, with a festive
feel. Red, green and silver chargers are in abundance
in discount stores if you want to add more of a holiday
theme. Silver is a great choice for a new years
wedding. The red chargers are especially fitting for a
valentine's wedding. If you are planning a February
wedding, often red chargers are available at deep
discounts right after Christmas. A good time to
purchase for your upcoming wedding. They can be
used for each guest, as accents at a buffet table, or for
From right after Thanksgiving to New Years,
Poinsettias make a beautiful centerpiece. They are
available at many florists, but can also be purchased at
your local grocer for a fraction of the cost. Placed in a
basket, or decorated pot, the grocery store poinsettias
are just as beautiful a centerpiece as the more
expensive florist poinsettias. Poinsettias can be a fussy
plant, so ask about transporting to be sure they arrive
at your reception in top shape.
Holiday themes also offer many wedding favor
choices. Encore brides looking for less traditional
favors will find many ideas to compliment a theme
wedding. There are many specialty chocolates available
in both Christmas and Chanukah themes. Christmas
ornaments make a great favor and are available in any
price range. Ornaments can be an extension of the
holiday theme, or a theme of their own. For example,
if you are getting married at the ocean, consider a
beach themed ornament. Local historical societies or
attractions often have locally themed ornaments
available as fundraisers, and often discounts are
available when buying in bulk. Again, even if you are
not planning a winter theme wedding, local ornaments
make a great, non traditional favor for encore weddings
at any time of year. This is the time to inquire about
availability and discount pricing for a future wedding.
For February weddings, heart shaped candy is in
abundance and can be packaged at home for beautiful
favors, or table accompaniment.
There is an abundance of venues to choose from
during the holidays. Inns, bed and breakfasts are often
a good choice. Many are beautifully decorated, and
have function rooms large enough to accommodate a
small to mid size encore wedding. Many resorts are
open through the holidays, and some offer discount
pricing through the winter, ideal for the February bride.
For the encore bride looking toward a smaller, more
intimate setting, consider having a home wedding.
Your home is likely decorated for the holidays, and a
buffet is an easy set up for your guests. This is a time
of year when party platters and food selections are
widely available. Consider a caterer for a small
gathering in your home. The price is usually consistent
with that of a fine restaurant. If you are having a home
wedding, consider hiring a professional cleaning service
for both before and after the event. It allows you to
relax, and enjoy your event. Many encore brides who
plan home weddings find the task of getting the house
ready, and the cleanup the most stressful part of the
Often encore brides do not opt for a traditional
reception. A dessert and champagne reception is
perfect for the holidays, and can be accommodated
either in or out of the home. If you want a home
reception, but don't have the space, holidays are a
perfect time for an open house dessert reception. It
allows people to come and go throughout specified
times, and allows you to have a private exchange of
vows ceremony separate from the reception, often a
choice of encore brides.
The holidays can be a perfect time of year for an
encore wedding. The decorations are in abundance, the
theme is established, and family and friends are
gathered. It can also be ideal for the encore bride on a
budget, since many of the decorating is in place, and
the dress selection is varied and widely available. If
you're an encore bride looking for a non- traditional
setting, this may be just what you are looking for.
by Susan Polyot
The question for many encore brides isn't "Will we or
won't we have children?", but "What do we do with
the ones we have?" Encore couples ask, "How will
having another adult in the home affect our children?"
and "How will children affect our marriage?"
Being a stepparent or having a stepparent enter your
children's lives is a challenge. How involved the new
stepparent will be depends on several factors, including
the age of the children, the relationship with your co-
parent, and how involved the stepparent wants to be.
Any time one is entering a relationship where children
are involved, it is assumed the children are a priority.
It is unrealistic to think otherwise. If you have visions
of long, uninterrupted romantic days and nights, step
parenting may not be for you. If, on the other hand,
you have visions of stolen minutes, sometimes hours,
occasionally days, and rarely weeks of uninterrupted
time with your loved one, you are on the right track.
Children may welcome a stepparent or resist the idea.
Some of this depends on how this person was brought
into their life. If children view the person as the reason
mom and dad are no longer together, they may try to
sabotage the relationship. If they view the new
relationship as the reason to lose hope of reconciliation
between mom and dad, they also may resist. On the
other hand if a stepparent is introduced gradually over
time to the children, they may have an easier time of
getting used to the concept of a stepparent. It is a good
idea to talk to your children and give them a chance to
express how they feel. One thing to keep in mind with
children (as with grownups!) is they don't always say
what thy really mean. You may have to listen, observe
behavior, and watch for inconsistencies. Often,
children are afraid of having a new parent in the home,
not sure of how it will affect them. Offer reassurance
that it won't make them any less important, and then
Stepparents can take an active or inactive role in
discipline, again often depending on the age of the
children. The younger the child, the more immediate
discipline needs to be in order for it to be meaningful
and appropriate to the infraction. In cases of young
children, waiting for the mom or dad to address a
situation may not be an option. In these situations, a
stepparent may need free access to discipline in ways
consistent with those of the parent, whenever needed.
Younger children need immediate discipline so they
can connect the discipline to the event. Their cognitive
thinking and memory skills are such that delayed
discipline does not have as profound a meaning.
Stepparents may also need to be granted at least
limited decision making power in the absence of the
parent. Big decisions should be discussed with all
concerned including the stepparent (s) and both
For older children—those preteen and older—
discipline can often be postponed until such time as a
discussion involving all parties takes place. For older
children, discipline is often related to a household rule
violation and can wait until a later time.
If you have sole responsibility for your children, you
have a different step parenting relationship than in
cases where there is a shared parental responsibility
with a co-parent. Stepparents are not replacement
parents, but they can act as an extension and support
of the parent in the home. And they can certainly play
a role in helping to establish family rules and
Some rules for stepparents:
• Never ever speak badly in front of the child
about the child's other parent (no matter what
you may think.)
• Always respect the relationship with both parents
and extended family.
• Don't expect to be called mom or dad.
• Treat all the children equally—yours, mine and
ours. No child is more or less important than
• Respect the child's need for alone time with
his/her parent, and don't always insist on being
included in day-to-day activities.
• Respect a child's need for his or her own space.
This is especially important in stepfamilies.
• Always keep conflicts about children a private
discussion; don't fight about the kids in front of
• Make opportunities for family activities that are
If you are becoming a stepparent, or marrying
someone who is, having a discussion about family
expectations, parenting beliefs and discipline methods
prior to the marriage is critical. Too often, this is
something encore couples assume will fall into place.
Not the case! Knowing where you both stand will
avoid conflicts down the road.
Tracking Down the Perfect Gown
by Susan Polyot
Perhaps the number one issue facing encore brides in
planning is the lack of suitable dresses available for an
Traditional bridal salons stock primarily first time bridal
looks. If a suitable dress is not jumping out at you as
you peruse catalogs and salons, consider having one
made. This is a great way to capture the look you
envision as an encore bride, and often a cost effective
solution to buying a near miss and having it altered and
remade to work for you. There are a beautiful array of
fabrics available, and a plethora of patterns to choose
from. Find a reputable seamstress in your area and ask
for ideas. The advantages are numerous to having a
dress made for you. First, it fits. You can choose a
style appropriate for an encore bride, and one that will
be flattering for your body shape and size, whether you
are a size 6 or a plus size bride. Second, you can have
the color you want. Many encore brides opt for
something less traditional than white or ivory. With a
custom made dress, you can choose the color that best
suits you, your venue and the time of year. Fabric
choices include not just color selection, but material as
well. Lace can be a beautiful accent, or main fabric in
many colors beyond white and ivory. You are limited
only by your imagination and your seamstress if you
choose a custom made gown!
Other good options include checking the special occasion
section at your local dress or department store. Don't
eliminate the mother of the bride section at bridal salons.
While many dresses are just what they sound like,
mother of the bride, many options and colors exist that
are quite appropriate for an encore bride. If you are
choosing to have a dress made, there are good style
ideas available in this section, which with a little
modification would be a good bridal dress.
Check online sites such as talbots.com, nordstroms.com
and neimanmarcus.com for an assortment of special
occasion as well as bridal dresses. For budget conscious
brides, chadwicks.com has a new bridal selection in
many styles and sizes suitable for encore brides. Be
aware that many on line bridal sites have strict no return
policies once an order has been placed, so be sure of
size and color prior to placing an order.
Being an encore bride no longer means showing up at
city hall in a suit for the exchange of I dos. Look
around, experiment and choose a dress that is a
reflection of you and of the event.
Pets: The Basics
by Larry Tyler
I knew a young man who was sitting in the living room
with his fiancé, busy planning their wedding, while his
wolfhound was in the kitchen, eating her shiatsu. I'm
not saying it was that incident alone that doomed their
marriage, but I believe it was—as they say—a
significant contributing factor.
Since pets can raise plenty of troubling conflicts in a
new marriage, conflicts around intimacy, discipline,
boundaries, priorities, and money, it makes a lot of
sense to take a preventative look at the wedge that a pet
(or pets) can drive in an otherwise sound marital
I suppose some of the conflicts can be resolved by
things like compromise, planning, and open discussion.
But not everything can be cleared up that easily,
especially if we've deceived ourselves into believing
we're more easygoing and accepting than we really are.
When the day comes that you finally utter the first
gentle criticism of your wife's pet, the next words
you're sure to hear are, "But I thought you loved
Fluffy!" The only direction the conversation can take
after that is downward. While the pet sits in the corner,
contentedly eaves-dropping, you find yourself locked in
an argument that is veering wildly into all kinds of ugly
tangents. Don't try to tell me pets don't have some
mystical power that wills that kind of scene.
We all tend to adopt a "love me–love my pet" attitude
regarding our animals. To our mind, it's impossible for
anyone not to fall in love with a creature that so clearly
worships and admires us. (Who couldn't love an animal
so discerning and intelligent?) The problem is we can
be blinded by Rover's unconditional love for us and can
start to miss the little things, the disgusting habits,
unsettling health problems, and periodic, unexpected
lunging attacks that always slip past our attention but
are easily identified by others. That means, when we
hear our fiancé say things like, "Make your dog stop
chewing on my mother's arm," we need to set aside our
bond with man's best friend and decide, once and for
all, whether our significant other is going to be a human
or a canine. At times like that, you can't mediate
between your wife's family and your dog. You have to
So, it comes down to negotiation and renegotiation.
Does the pet come along on all your outings and
vacations, or does it stay in doggie lock-down? If that's
a tough decision for the two of you to make (by the two
of you, I mean you and your fiancé, not you and your
dog) maybe you could try a brief test run of kenneling
the pet. Try a weekend away without the third party.
Start adding the cost of the kennel—and a check-in call
or two to the kennel—to your vacation expenses.
Does the cat stay in the cellar when Aunt Flossy with
her cat allergies comes to visit? Are the animals
allowed on the new couch?
Whatever your opinions were at the outset of the
relationship regarding your pets, you need to realize
those opinions are subject to change as you settle into a
new living routine. New couches tend to create new
And there's no reason your pets shouldn't be taught that
they may have some adjustments to make as well: Love
me—love my fiancé, for example.
They can start working on that right away.
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