Planning a “second time around wedding” looks a bit different. Yes, we want to celebrate love but what’s the current etiquette? For both the bridal party and guests there are a few things to consider. We tapped into Veronica Events — television expert, award-winning wedding planner, corporate event specialist, and publisher of Wedding Planner Lifestyle magazine to find out what we should know.

The first consideration for most couples is the budget. As we emerge from the pandemic we’re seeing prices, particularly in food, soaring to a never seen before high. For second time around weddings, Veronica tells us there’s definitely a trend to be mindful of budgets for everyone involved. For many, it also means considering a more intimate wedding with closest friends and family to keep costs in check. But as she and I discussed, food is an important part of the celebration.

Wedding parties are also injecting their own flare to their wedding day. Gone are the “cookie-cutter” predictability of weddings. Today, we’re seeing couples define their style by doing something more personal even if it’s a backyard wedding. For example, a signature cocktail created specifically for the couple’s big day.

wedding background - Thomas William for unsplash

Weddings we’ve attended recently have also extended beyond one day. Couples are now including pre-wedding day cocktail socials and post wedding brunches especially for destination weddings where guests travel in.

When it comes to bridal wear there are no hard and fast rules for the second time down the aisle. “Brides can, and should, wear whatever they want,” said Veronica. She explains that it’s acceptable for brides to choose to wear white.

But is there anything the second time around bride should think twice about?

“Sweetheart necklines are great for brides at any age but older brides should try to stay away from the whole Princess ballgown look.” That, she tells us is better suited for younger brides. For older brides, an elegant and sophisticated silhouette is much more flattering. Trends in bridal gowns continue to be cleaner and more refined and it’s okay to work in lace. A tasteful addition of embellishment is also nice if you want a little bling. A crystal belt might just do the trick!

Often the second time around couple considers a destination wedding to celebrate their nuptials. Veronica also mentioned that while it’s easy to go casual on the beach, just make sure the wedding party are on the same page. She said often all the concentration is on the bride’s gown but the couple should be on the same page. “You don’t want one to be elegant and the partner be in a casual outfit. They should actually complement each other,” said Veronica.

Veronica also strongly recommends carrying your wedding outfits with you on the plane and not pack them in checked luggage. That goes for both the wedding party and the guests. Minimize stress where you can and avoid possible mishaps.

If the bride wants to wear a veil, she recommends keeping it elegant and refined. Consider  a shorter veil or even a fascinator  rather than the long endless style. Veronica also recommends the same idea for the train of the dress — you don’t need it to be dragging five feet behind you.

When it comes to florals there is a trend on having what’s fresh, local, and in season. If the wedding is early mid-May or early June you may be lucky with local peonies or other spring blooms. A wedding planner together with a trusted florist will know what will hold up for the day to bring your vision to life. In the fall, consider the earthy harvest tones of the season. Or take advantage of faux flowers. Veronica tells us the options now in the market place today are seriously amazing in quality. Our editorial team has also noticed single colour, less variety of blooms and smaller hand-tied bouquets – again more refined and minimalist.

And what about venues? There are many great options in every city. Here in Toronto Veronica likes The Doctor’s House in Kleinburg or The Berkeley Field House downtown. We’ve been to a few lovely weddings at cool art gallery spaces in the Distillery District, the Bob Rumball Manor near Sunnybrook Estates, and the Arts and Letters Club on Elm Street offer something unique. We also adore Whispering Springs with its stunning outdoor “chapel” in the forest on their elegant glamping grounds just about an hour away from the city. Picton in Prince Edward County is also a favourite option of ours as the area is rapidly transforming — just try to plan your celebration during off peak season. Fall would be beautiful! The Royal Hotel on Main Street is gorgeous!

Also, choose your photographer wisely like you would for your hair and make up team. “It may be a second time around wedding but you still want to cherish the moments and trust them to capture the best of the day,” says Veronica.

Veronica Events Should you work with a wedding planner? Absolutely. Veronica tells us it’s much more common nowadays to hire someone to take care of all the details.  A well-connected wedding planner can help you achieve your vision and work with trusted vendors. They can also  save you from the bulk of decision making worries, keep on track with budgets while  offering the bridal party and guests a memorable experience.

And if the wedding couple is from different backgrounds? Veronica tells us it’s good to have a planner who understands the traditions and customs. She is from Guyana and being very familiar with different cultures is ingrained in her. This makes her a popular choice as she helps couples navigate and incorporate key elements from various ethnicities.

Also, she highly recommends getting wedding insurance for the day should something unexpected happen. We assumed that the venue had that insurance but she explained it often only covers the venue itself and not its contents  — think flowers, DJs, etc. It’s good to review what is covered and not be taking by surprise with added costs.

Want to connect with Veronica to learn more? Visit her site: veronicaevents.com