ARCHIVE: Winter 2008 Edition

       Editor's Page
      Winter 2008 Edition
                        by Susan Polyot

    Welcome to the winter edition of Encore Bride. As I write this, a snowstorm is
    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!

           Destination, Anywhere!
                        by Susan Polyot

    Destination weddings have become increasingly popular in recent years.  
    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
    less) celebration.

    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
    marriage annulment.

    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.

    Destination Etiquette
    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
    destination wedding.

    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.


            Destination Dressing
                     by Susan Polyot

    So, you think a destination wedding is right for you. But what about the dress?
    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.

    Happy travels!

    Groom's Column
                    World Traveler
                        by Larry Tyler

    I finally made it to Europe...a bit later in life than I had hoped, but I got there.
    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