Saturday, February 7, 2009

Second Weddings Etiquette?--HELP WANTED

Even though I have my own thoughts on this, a friend of mine (Mary) wanted me to solicit my blogging friend's thoughts on this one.

Mary's brother is getting married (for a second time) to a woman that has never been married -so, the bride's first wedding.

Because my friend Mary had been to her brother's first wedding that was a weekend in Palm Beach, Florida (10 yrs. ago, without children, paid for expense hotels, airfare, etc.), she is a little angry about participating in the second wedding to Mary's former babysitter-long story. Here are her questions to you:

1) Is $140 too much to send on a junior bride's maid dress for Mary's daughter and her sister's daughter for a second wedding? Mary is not in the wedding but her husband and son have to rent black tie too. Mary can afford the dress but it will never be worn again.

2) Mary's daughter (who is 12) is suppose to play in a junior national field hockey tournament--only once a year, the same weekend as the wedding. This tournament was planned a year in advance and her daughter could play in it next year. Mary's daughter tried out for the team Olympic Future's program (which is a big deal) and is practicing all spring for this once a year tournament. Do you think Mary's daughter could miss the wedding? It is a two day tournament in PA (8 hours away).

I have my own thoughts on this but wanted a reality check. Anyway, please let me know what you think.

22 comments:

Good Gals Inc said...

I think $140 is totally too much!!! Plus I think the tournament thing is really big deal!!!! I mean that was scheduled earlier and is important to Mary and her daughter. This is mean but the bride would get over it. Hope this helps!!

Katie Lake said...

Hmm my first question is how long ago was the first wedding? If nothing else the daughter is absolutely allowed to miss the wedding for the field hockey tournament.

Preppy 101 said...

My opinion: I def think the daughter who has the opportunity to play in a national field hockey tourney should be allowed to miss the wedding without any "guilt trip".

Now about the dresses - I prob. wouldn't ask the daughters of my future hubby's sisters to be in the wedding in the first place {did I get that connection correct?} I mean how old is the couple anyway? I would be thinking small, intimate ceremony. . . But that was not the question and I hope I haven't offended you with that comment. I do not want to offend you ;-) That part is really none of my business anyway. The Q was is that too much to spend? Well, my PD has been in 10000 weddings and $140 is VERY INEXPENSIVE. Even considering the fact that it is a Jr. Bridesmaid's dress, that is inexpensive. All these wedding party dresses are so ridiculously pricey! xoxo

Duchess said...

I firmly believe that the daughter should be allowed to play in the tournament. I am torn about the dress. It is the brides first wedding and that is actually a pretty good price for any type of bridesmaid dress. My flower girl paid 150.00 for her dress. So without knowing the nitty gritty details I would say buy the dress.

Wait,does Mary have two daughters? Because if the Jr Bridesmaid and the tournament girl are the same girl then the tournament wins out. This tournament is a once in a lifetime deal and well this is her uncles SECOND wedding. I am so bad:-).

Ryann said...

I think the daughter should decide about the tournament herself. And she will probably decide on the tournament. But it seems to be a huge deal!
But I think this wedding should be considered a first wedding, because it is the brides first wedding. While weddings are all about the love the couple share... generally speaking the bride does put more into it.
But as far as the dress, do you know what it looks like? Bride's maids dresses aren't what they used to be, and generally can be worn again. I know in my wedding I will choose a color scheme, but generally speaking allow my brides maids to choose their dress styles that suit them best. I'll be the one that everyone's eye are on, but I don't want them to look like crap, I want them to be happy as well.
Anyway, good luck to her!

Prep in the Big Apple said...

The tournament totally wins out. In terms of dress -st, it's a pretty reasonable price, I have a friend who spent $400 on one of her bridesmaids dresses. You can guess how happy she was about that. If anything, tell Mary to look around on ebay and do some online searching to see if she can find it cheaper.

Pink Maple said...

Well, I don't know if this helps, but the J Crew flower girl dresses average $150.

Such tricky etiquette when it is the first wedding for one and second wedding for the other.

Gracie Beth said...

My aunt set a date for her wedding (her first, her husband's second) less than 6 weeks in advance during the week in which my parents had planned their annual vacation and had already paid for it. My father refused to go, and did not make my brother go either and I myself wish I had not gone because my aunt was a total bridezilla the entire time and was the other woman and the reason her husband got divorced in the first place.

Running In Stilettos said...

The tournament wins out, and I am sure her uncle will understand.

The dress is pretty cheap. Heck, I can't find a spring dress at my local mall cheaper than that.

It is a tough situation, given that the bride has never been married before. Every woman deserves to have a dream wedding her first time, if she wants one. If it were a second wedding for both...this would be a totally different story.

Hope the daughter does well in the tournament!

Pink Julep said...

I think weddings are always important and should always be treated the same as a first. Just because his first wedding didn't work out as planned doesn't mean this one will. However, as I'm getting married this June, I'm a firm believer that if someone doesn't want to be a bridesmaid, can't afford it or is busy or whatever, it is their place to kindly and respectfully decline! Being a bridesmaid is an honor to be accepted, not an obligation. But seeing as how its the brides first (and hopefully only) wedding I think she deserves to have what she likes!
On another note, my parents were only married for 10 years sadly. But they both remarried and those marriages are still going strong and probably will until they die... the second wedding in some cases is MORE important than the first. Good luck to your friends!

Mom x 2 said...

Yes, the other daughter should be allowed to miss the wedding in favor of her tournament. She should be able to go with another family so Mary's family doesn't have to miss the wedding.

As for Mary, if she wants to be supportive of her brother and she can afford the dresses, she should buy the dresses and be quiet. It's gracious behavior that won't get her in any trouble. She can gripe to you about her future SIL, but she needs to suck it up and be supportive of her brother.

Since it's not the bride's second wedding, the bride should have some leeway here (not knowing the full story of how they got together).

Magette's & Musgrove's said...

It seems to me, and I could totally be misinterpreting this, but Mary is punishing her brother for something that happened between her and the new fiance'. She should think if the roles were reversed, if she was getting married for the second time, would she be upset if her brother didn't come to her wedding b/c of a tournament? If she explains to her brother that this is a (even though she could play in it next year) once in a lifetime experience, if their relationship is good, he should be able to understand without issuing a guilt trip.

As far as actual etiquette for second weddings, the only thing I have found is that the bride shouldn't wear a veil if it is her second wedding. Other than that, everything is free game. The truth is, dresses for weddings are expensive, no matter if you're a flower girl or the bride. Perhaps you could find the same dress from another distributor or something? There are so many options.

I was married once and so was my boyfriend. When we get married again, we will have a wedding and reception and honeymoon. He basically eloped the first time and didn't take a honeymoon. I don't see why it matters how many times a person has been married anymore. We are a society of starter marriages. This summer I helped with a friend's wedding where it was both their second wedding. The bride's mother made a comment about "she had done the showers and stuff before, so what did it matter if she was there for this one?" Personally, I would have been insulted and crushed if a member of my family took on this attitude. They didn't do anything fancy, a small garden wedding with about 25 guests. My point is, just because it's the man's second wedding doesn't mean the other half of the equation should be punished. We are a generation of starter marriages!!!!

Magette's & Musgrove's said...

It seems to me, and I could totally be misinterpreting this, but Mary is punishing her brother for something that happened between her and the new fiance'. She should think if the roles were reversed, if she was getting married for the second time, would she be upset if her brother didn't come to her wedding b/c of a tournament? If she explains to her brother that this is a (even though she could play in it next year) once in a lifetime experience, if their relationship is good, he should be able to understand without issuing a guilt trip.

As far as actual etiquette for second weddings, the only thing I have found is that the bride shouldn't wear a veil if it is her second wedding. Other than that, everything is free game. The truth is, dresses for weddings are expensive, no matter if you're a flower girl or the bride. Perhaps you could find the same dress from another distributor or something? There are so many options.

I was married once and so was my boyfriend. When we get married again, we will have a wedding and reception and honeymoon. He basically eloped the first time and didn't take a honeymoon. I don't see why it matters how many times a person has been married anymore. We are a society of starter marriages. This summer I helped with a friend's wedding where it was both their second wedding. The bride's mother made a comment about "she had done the showers and stuff before, so what did it matter if she was there for this one?" Personally, I would have been insulted and crushed if a member of my family took on this attitude. They didn't do anything fancy, a small garden wedding with about 25 guests. My point is, just because it's the man's second wedding doesn't mean the other half of the equation should be punished. We are a generation of starter marriages!!!!

Carolyn, Matt, Dean and Caden said...

I'm a new reader and love your blog. Sounds like your friend has an issue with the new bride. I was a 1st time bride to my husband who had been married before (a 1 year marriage that had been over for 8 years). If this is how my future sister-in-law treated my special day...then I would never forgive her and it would alway drive a wedge in the relationship and that affects the brother/sister relationship too. My Mom and I would have been crushed if we had people act this way during my dream wedding. Sorry...but don't we all as girls dream about our wedding day. Don't punish the new bride!

By the way..this doesn't apply to the daughters tournament. The daughter can go if she wants. I will say that I ditched out on my aunts wedding as a jr. bridesmaid when I was 13 for a state tournament and I feel bad now that I know how important family is but at the time the tournament was the most important thing in my world.

Jess said...

The best thing to do would be to discuss the tournament matter with the bride and groom directly. They most likely asked the niece to be in the wedding as a way to make her feel included. I am sure they will understand the importance of the tournament. This does not mean that Mary and her spouse should miss the wedding. They should most certainly be in attendance.

In terms of the bridesmaid dress, the dress choice is ultimately the brides decision. If you accept the honor of being a bridesmaid (there is a choice here, it is not an automatic duty), then you need to follow the bride's wishes. If you feel that you cannot afford the dress, you may need to discuss the matter with the bride and withdraw from the wedding party gracefully. She should certainly understand if there is a financial issue.

preppyplayer said...

Wow, this is a very relevant post to so many of us.
I agree with so many of the comments. I do believe that how Mary treats this wedding sets the stage for family relations in the future. Suck it up, buy the dress. The tournament? I think the daughter should go. There will be so many people at the wedding, one girl gone shouldn't impact the wedding!
Athletes have to sacrifice a lot of family events unfortunately.
My sister-in -law had all seven of us in her wedding.
Huge expense. And, trust me...bridesmaid dresses are not made for women in their mid forties. i did it and must admit bitched and moaned the entire time...but not to ANYONE in my husband's family :)

TCP said...

I've always thought that when it is the bride's first wedding, all the bells and whistles are allowed, even if it is the groom's second (or more!) wedding.

That being said, I think that the tournament is definitely the priority for the one daughter. And unfortunately, I think the cost of the dress is pretty average for such a thing these days. And even if she can't wear the dress again, maybe they can sell it on ebay after the wedding and make some of the cost back!

Grove Gals said...

I don't think $140 is too much, but think asking a 12 year old to give up something they have been working towards for a year is unfair...is the bride aware there is a conflict? If not I think your friend owes it to her to explain...after all they are going to be family. I dont really think you can blame the bride for wanting the wedding she wants...it is after all her 1st and hopefully only wedding...

Pink Martini said...

I would hope the brother would understand that prior arrangements were made for a very special event for Mary's daughter's life. I feel that's where Mary's priority should be because that's where mine would be.

Tickled Pink And Green said...

This is too complicated. You're causing my brain to work too hard. Lol.

Mom x 2 said...

PPPG - how did we do on the answers? I'd love to know what your thoughts were.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I agree that she should be able to play in the tournament. But I honestly don't think the dress price is outrageous. Lately I have been paying between 250 and 400 for bridesmaid dresses. But if she doesn't attend then I guess it doesn't matter. As far as being a second wedding...honestly its a wedding and that's all that should matter. And its not a second for the bride. Every bride deserves a dream day.

Now if the question were about baby showes for a child that is not your first...totally different. I could talk for days on that topic!