Unique Etiquette Questions for
by Susan Polyot
Encore brides often have etiquette questions that
first time brides don't have to face: How to word
invitations, who to invite, registry issues, and other
questions of formality. There are many etiquette
books for brides available, and many of the topics
will apply to encore brides as well. This edition of
encore bride will attempt to answer some of the
specific dilemmas facing encore brides, and some of
the more common questions posed to us here at
Do I need to send an invitation?
Can I send e-vites?
Who sends the invitation?
A traditional invitation is sent by the bride's
parents, with a more contemporary version
including the groom's parents. Traditionally, this is
done because the bride's parents are hosting the
event. In an encore wedding, the couple is usually
hosting the event. They are financially responsible
for the event and assume most of the planning
details traditionally reserved for parents and
attendants. An encore wedding is still a special
event and invitations should always be sent if your
guest list includes more than immediate family. A
common question is how to word the invitation.
An invitation should come from whoever is hosting
the event. If the couple is hosting, as with most
encore weddings, it would read as:
Jane Doe and Robert Smith invite you to…or,
request the honour of your presence…whatever
wording you chose to follow. The brides name is
listed first, followed by the groom's name.
If the couples parent's are hosting, but you would
like to make a distinction from a first marriage, an
acceptable wording would be:
The Doe and Smith families request ….
If the groom's family only is hosting:
Mr. and Mrs. Smith request the honour of your
presence at the marriage of Jane Doe to Their son,
Robert Smith. The bride is still listed first.
Children should not be listed as hosts on an
Some encore brides opt for a private ceremony
followed by a reception. If that is the case, the
invitation should be clear about what guests are
being invited to attend. Such as: Jane Doe and
Robert Smith invite you to join them in a celebration
of their marriage at a brunch reception following a
private exchange of vows.
Again, whoever is hosting the event would be
identified as those who are extending the invitation
An invitation can be as formal or informal as you
would like, but the invitation should match the
event. If you are hosting a formal event, a formal
invitation should be sent. If the event is more
casual, a casual invitation would be appropriate.
There are a number of choices available through
both retail and on line vendors with many
selections appropriate for encore brides.
You may have done this before, but small details
can get overlooked when planning an encore
wedding. Make sure to order and include response
cards, and thank you notes. Encore brides still need
to know how many will be attending for planning
purposes, and thank you notes must be sent
The Guest List
Who should be invited?
All of the relatives came to a first wedding, do we
include them again?
Encore weddings are frequently smaller than first
time weddings. Some of this will depend on whether
or not your groom is an encore groom. If not, he
will likely feel a need to include friends and
relatives you may not be including from your side.
Do not feel obligated to match his guest list. Invite
those you think appropriate, and those who are
comfortable with your encore wedding. Sometimes,
encore brides feel awkward inviting extended family
to an encore wedding, especially if the relationship
is not particularly close, and they attended a first
wedding. It is appropriate to send an
announcement after the event, to inform them of
your wedding and new groom without including
them in the event.
Design your guest list to include those who are
supportive of your event, and the two of you feel
are important to share your day (see archives for
tips on including children).
Should we have a registry?
How do we let people know we are registered?
Registering for gifts is not reserved for first
weddings. Encore brides may opt out of registering
for gifts because for many the issue is eliminating
duplicates in combining households, not adding
more. A registry can, however, be helpful if there
are specific items you need for establishing your
new home. Traditionally, China and Silver
registries are not common for encore brides. If you
choose to register, register for gifts that are in
keeping with establishing a new home. As with any
wedding, enclosing a notice of registry with your
invitation is not in keeping with good etiquette.
You are inviting people to share in your event, not
inviting them to bring a gift. Family and friends
will pass the word of your registry, or people may
ask you directly if you have registered and where.
A plea for gifts via an announcement is simply
You can find other etiquette-related discussions in
the archived editions of encore bride.
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