Not everyone finds their Prince Charming the first time, or even the second time. For some women, three is a lucky number, and husband number three is the perfect man. Just as there is special etiquette for second weddings, third time brides will have their own set of rules to keep in mind. This is what you need to know to plan a beautiful and tasteful third wedding.
When you announce your engagement to man number three, you may find a slightly more reserved response from family and friends than you did the first two times around. Although you may well have found the man of your dreams, people cannot help but be a little cynical when they have already seen you through a pair of previous marriages. Don’t let the doubters take away any of your joy about your upcoming marriage, but do try to understand where they are coming from. Only time will prove to some people that your marriage was meant to be.
No one should be expected to shell out a lot of money on a wedding for the same bride three times. The absolute most important rule about third time weddings is that the bride and groom should pay for all of the expenses. Never ask for family contributions for a third wedding! Presumably, the two people are grown adults with established careers by this time, and they should have the wedding celebration which they can comfortably afford. Although it is normally considered to be in poor taste to write “No gifts, please” on an invitation, this is one time when it might be warranted. Your friends and family might be more excited about your third wedding when they realize that it is not going to cost them a bundle. Because gifts are inappropriate for a third wedding, a bridal shower is absolutely out of the question, although a dinner in a nice restaurant for the bride and her closest friends would be a nice gesture.
Think carefully when planning your guest list for a third time wedding. In general, smaller is better than larger. The people whom you invite should be your dearest friends, those who will be genuinely happy for you, rather than those who will say, “Here we go again!”. Family is a bit different, in that you should invite your immediate family to your wedding, even the cynical ones. The best thing to do is to remain gracious and upbeat, no matter what kind of attitude you may get from your relatives. If the bride and groom have children from previous relationships, they should definitely be included in the wedding in some way. Young children can serve as flower girls or ring bearers, while teens or grown children can be the bride and groom’s attendants. (It is really not necessary to have any bridesmaids or groomsmen beyond your children when it is your third time down the aisle.) Some couples also choose to include their kids in the wedding ceremony by reciting a special vow about how they are now a family or by giving a small gift, such as a unity pendant.
Most third time brides are going to be past the average age for first time brides of about 26 years old. As more mature women, they should dress accordingly. Please note, that dressing your age in no way means looking frumpy or conservative! It simply means that your wedding dress should be elegant, sophisticated, and stylish, rather than princessy or frilly. A chic sheath in a cream or champagne color with glamorous crystal wedding jewelry would be a gorgeous option for a third time bride. Nix the long train and veil, which are too much in this situation. Instead of a veil, wear a pretty hair ornament which complements your wedding jewelry, such as a crystal comb. The effect will be stunning, and you will look like a gorgeous bride, without looking like you are wearing a bridal ensemble which was designed for an ingenue.
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