ARCHIVE: Winter 2008 Edition
Winter 2008 Edition
swirling outside, threatening to dump 15 inches of winter upon us. An appropriate
time to dream of far off, sunny places with 80 degree temperatures. Or a winter
wonderland ski vacation. Whatever your preference, a destination wedding may be
an ideal option for an Encore Bride.
This edition will explore destination weddings as an option for encore
A destination wedding can eliminate many of the concerns for encore brides about
who is on the guest list, gifts, and how to afford both a wedding and a honeymoon.
A destination wedding can be anything from getting married in Vegas by an Elvis
impersonator, to a small intimate beachfront ceremony at sunset. Whatever your
taste, or your interest, a destination wedding spot can be found.
Congratulations and happy planning!
by Susan Polyot
Marketed as a wedding and honeymoon with one-stop convenience and a beautiful
location all rolled into one package. As with many products in the bridal industry,
they are often marketed as a "paradise" wedding to first time brides. A perfect
beginning to a perfect life. As an encore bride you know that may not quite be the
case. But, can a destination wedding be a good option for an encore bride?
Absolutely. Destination weddings can offer an encore bride a number of great
Encore brides often worry about who should (and shouldn't) comprise the guest
list. Planning a destination wedding can ease that worry. A destination wedding
can include just the two of you, and either one or two close friends and family, or
no one. Most places that offer destination weddings also provide witnesses for the
ceremony, if needed.
If you are planning a honeymoon, getting married at your honeymoon site offers a
one stop planning option. You deal with one person, one place, and one source
for all of your planning. A great option if you don't have a lot of time to devote to
planning. Encore couples often feel conflicted about what their wedding should be.
Small or large, what venue, and how many guests. A destination wedding can
answer many of those questions. By traveling to a far off locale, you are deciding
that your wedding will likely be a small intimate affair. You eliminate the question of
do we invite Aunt Millie to another wedding, do we include office mates, and other
questions related to the planning.
The term destination wedding often conjures up tropical locations, beachfront
weddings with an ocean backdrop. While that can be the case, a destination
wedding can include anyplace you and your groom would like it to. Maybe the idea
of a ski vacation honeymoon really appeals to you. A destination wedding can be
at a mountainside chapel just as easily as at an Oceanside resort. Or maybe you
have always dreamed of a Paris honeymoon. Most places you can think of will
help you plan your wedding, and often provide a few extras such as champagne
and a small cake, and often a room upgrade.
There are some things to consider when planning a destination wedding. First,
make sure you know what documentation you will need from your home state, and
from the destination. Usually this is not cumbersome, but can be a major hassle if
you do not have the required documentation upon arrival at the destination. You
may have to arrive a day or two early to get the necessary papers in place,
especially in foreign countries. Also, be sure to ask what travel documents you will
need, such as a passport, in addition to wedding documents. If you are planning a
cruise wedding, contact the cruise company directly.
Always ask about fees. There may be government and administration fees of $500
or more, depending on the destination. Sometimes these are waived by the resort if
you are staying seven nights or longer. Ask. If you are planning a honeymoon
anyway, often the added fees for the ceremony offer significant cost savings over
planning a more traditional wedding and reception, even for a small (50 people or
Destination weddings are most often civil ceremonies, so if a religious ceremony is
important to you, you may not opt for a destination option. A religious ceremony
can be done, but may require a little more planning and research on your part. And
be aware that getting married in a foreign location doesn't allow you to skip the
religious requirements. A catholic wedding, for example still would require you to
undergo pre-cana counseling, which can be done where you live. But, you would
be required to show proof of this from your priest, and show proof of your previous
Pick a place that appeals to you and your groom. Make sure the place you are
going offers the activities you want, and has the amenities you want. If children will
be accompanying you, chose a resort, hotel or cruise that is not couples only.
Many resorts that market destination weddings, especially in the Caribbean, are
couples only, and children are absolutely not allowed. For tips on including you
children in your honeymoon, see archives.
Work with a travel agent. While many travel plans and wedding plans can be made
via the internet, working with an experienced travel agent can be a big help in
choosing the right location for your personal preferences. Travel agents often
know the reputation of places you might be considering, or know of a great
property that has everything you want, that you may not be aware of.
What if you really want your best friend at your wedding in Barbados?
Certainly you can invite others along for your trip. It is not an obligation for them to
attend, however. You may think this is a great idea – a shared vacation with one or
two other couples. Always let people know it is an option. It may not be how they
choose to spend their vacation funds, or their vacation time. Saying no is not a
slight to you; it is simply a choice for them. Be careful about putting too much
pressure on friends to attend, friendships shouldn't be strained because someone
doesn't opt to spend a significant amount of money on a vacation they didn't
choose. If it is very important to you to have someone special there, either offer to
pay for at least a portion of their expense, or opt for something other than a
Pack your bags and have a great time!
Step Parenting: The Eleventh Hour Bombshell
by Susan Polyot
You are about to become a stepparent (or you have children who will be getting a
new stepparent) and everything is in place for the wedding. The kids have been
happy and excited, and they get along great with the new partner…until now.
The wedding is approaching and all of a sudden your kids are finding fault with
everything your new partner does. All of a sudden they decide he is awful. All of a
sudden, the whole wedding is in turmoil.
Don't despair, but keep this in mind: What is a happy, exciting new beginning for
you is an ending for your children if they have been holding out some hope Mom
and Dad will reunite.
While they were once happy with your new partner, kids can be conflicted about
their feelings as the wedding becomes a reality, revisiting feelings of grief they had
when you and your ex first divorced. They may feel that it's disloyal to their other
parent if they act overly happy, or participate in the wedding, or even show their
You should recognize these feelings are quite normal and appropriate. Don't
personalize them. Help your new partner understand that the children are not
really unhappy with him; they are merely reacting to the situation. If at all possible,
have a family meeting with your children and your ex to communicate openly that
the new marriage is okay. Often, children just need reassurance from both of their
parents to feel positive about the changes in the family. Reassure your children
that you are not replacing the other parent—you may need to reassure your ex of
the same—and take time to discuss how the change will affect them directly.
Children's adjustment to a new marriage depends on many factors: their age, how
well the other parent handles the news of the marriage, and how well the children
get along with the new partner. But, even if you haven't seen any evidence of a
problem, it's best to expect the unexpected. Children may create a pre-wedding
crisis in an effort to force you and your ex to pull together and focus on them. They
may tell you that they want to change their living arrangements, or let you know
they no longer like the stepparent to be.
While you do not want your children to be in charge of the family, it is important to
let them have a voice, and let them know you appreciate and acknowledge their
feelings. Don't pressure them into participating more than they are comfortable
with. You can help by involving them at each step of the planning and talking about
their feelings along the way.
Resolving these feelings now will avoid a lot of behavioral issues on your big day.
by Susan Polyot
How do you travel with a wedding dress? It can be done with a few
considerations. First, is a dress the right attire? For some encore brides, getting
married on the beach in a bathing suit and sarong is their idea of perfection. If this
is your plan, don't wait until you arrive at your destination to choose your attire.
You may assume that because it is a beach destination, choices will be abundant.
Maybe, but not always, and not always something that fits your vision of the look
you want. Shop ahead of time, and be sure fit and style work for you.
For those choosing a less casual option, again shop ahead of time. Chose a dress
that is appropriate for your destination. If you are planning a Caribbean destination,
that can be anything from a sundress to a more formal tea length gown. Decide
what you would be comfortable in, and plan accordingly. Have any alterations done
ahead of time, and ask for your dress to be prepared by a professional for travel.
Depending on fabric, this means cleaning and pressing or steaming as needed,
and packing in a garment bag. At the airport tell the check in attendant what you
have, and ask that it be hung, rather than checked. If your dress is a more formal
gown, ask that it be boxed by the retailer, or alterations person. They will know
how to pack it appropriately with tissue and to fold with the minimal amount of
wrinkling. You may have to check the box depending on size, but again make sure
the check baggage attendants know the contents and can mark the box as fragile
and to handle with care. Plan to bring a portable steamer if your dress fabric can
not be pressed once you are at your destination.
For the groom, a suit may be appropriate and can be packed in a suitcase with
relative ease. Look for a bag with a "suiter" option if possible. This feature allows
you to hang the suit in your bag and fold minimally. Casual pants and shirt, or even
shorts may also be an option, depending on what the bride will wear. Match the
level of formality for each for you. And don't forget to pack shoes for whatever the
option. Flip-flops and a suit may not be the look you are going for, but shoes are
easy to overlook as you pack for the post ceremony vacation.
Plan your dress for your destination, chose a fabric isn't too fussy, and can pack
with minimal preparation. If you are planning a destination other than the
Caribbean, plan to chose a dress or other attire that fits seasonally with your trip as
well. Protect your dress from the contents of your bag by making sure all liquids
are in sealable plastic bags in the event of spilling.
by Larry Tyler
Probably that was a good thing for everyone involved. I had outgrown
any notion of taking the continent by storm, and was just simply curious about how
people in other cultures did things.
I had waited a long time to see Europe, and now, a great excuse for the
extravagant trip was upon me: my honeymoon. That is not to suggest the reason
for the marriage was solely to have an excuse to see Europe. Of course it wasn't.
Not solely. It was a nice bonus after months of wedding prep though,
and I had along with me my perfect travel companion, my new bride.
When I say "perfect" I don't mean to suggest that my wife and I always have the
same opinions about what to see and do on a trip, or the same level of
energy at all times of the day (I leap out of bed at dawn; she rises about the time
the sun starts to descend.) Perfect, in this sense, mostly means I had
someone to share the trip with who was perfectly patient with me.
We mapped out a plan that seemed like a reasonable compromise between a
stagnant and a frenzied itinerary, and I immediately began collecting language
aids. I was determined not to be so arrogant that I expected everyone to speak
English around me or so helpless that I couldn't convey my very basic needs in
times of distress. I gathered up my crib sheets and taught myself how
to find a bathroom, figure out whether my train was heading toward or away from
my planned destination, and keep myself from inadvertently ordering earthworms
off a menu. I mastered these skills in French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Croatian,
Italian, Danish, Hungarian, Norwegian, and Portuguese. We weren't planning to
visit all those countries, but I figured one mistake at a train station could easily
make a person wish they knew a little basic Croatian.
Turns out English was really all I needed. In fact, I never could figure out whether it
was more insulting for me to stick to my native tongue and make everyone speak
English to me or mangle their native tongue and cause them to wonder what those
strange sounds were, coming out of my mouth.
As for the customs from these nearly-parallel cultures that I was so eager to
observe, well I'm just simply glad I made the trip and was able to remind
myself that having an adventure means not always being totally in control. Things
weren't always done the way I was familiar with, or might have chosen, or
understood. Every culture, after all, has its share of quirks that defy reason. There
were a number of times when I asked myself, "What is the proper thing to do now?"
or "How should I respond to this?" or even "Why are they staring at me like that?"
But, as I said, it was supposed to be an adventure, and therefore, it wasn't
supposed to always be comfortable and familiar. As a matter of fact, that's what
made the trip such a thrill. That, and of course, my travel companion. I was able to
kick back and remind myself that I was on an adventure and therefore everything
wasn't supposed to be according to my rules.
Maybe that's why we take our honeymoons in unfamiliar surroundings. Not a bad
preparation for the marriage ahead.
|Encore Bride Magazine Thoughts, Reflections, Suggestions, & Opinions for re-wedding brides