Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
By all indications, Jennifer Aniston's upcoming wedding to actor Justin Theroux is happening soon – but let us not forget that her equally famous ex-husband, Brad Pitt, is also betrothed. (Perhaps you've heard of Pitt's fiancee, Angelina Jolie)
While media speculation says the two couples may be racing to the altar, we decided to ask the authority on American weddings what the correct protocol is, on the issue of "who goes first" and other aspects of a remarriage.
Anna Post, great-great-granddaughter of etiquette queen Emily Post, was happy to help omg! figure out the rules. For starters, she's OK with Jolie walking down the aisle first.
"If someone is together longer, I'd say it might be acceptable to go first," Post says. Pitt and Jolie famously got together on the heels of his 2005 divorce from Aniston, so they'd qualify as first-up couple.
"In some cases … if the man is being a gentleman, he might touch base with his former wife and offer to let her go first."
We doubt Brad and Jen keep in close contact, but that phone call is fun to imagine. No matter when they say "I do," Post has some sage advice.
"What you really want to avoid is getting remarried too close to each other. Then you're competing for the guest list," she explains. "You need enough space between dates to accommodate travel, especially. Otherwise you may force people to choose," she said.
"Also, having comfortable spaces in between would say both their lives are moving in separate directions in a positive way."
As for gifts, Post insists that anyone in attendance at either wedding, who was present at their first, can come empty-handed.
"Guests who attended a previous wedding do not have to provide a gift. A 'new to you' person, like Justin Theroux's guests, especially if it's his first wedding, should," she says. Take note Ben Stiller, Justin's rumored best man.
For Aniston's dress, she needn't worry about avoiding white. It's open season.
"First-time brides don't have to wear white!" Post shares, pointing to the bridal color trend stars like Jessica Biel and Amber Tamblyn have jumped on. "And as for staying away from it for your second wedding, the world has moved past that."
As for that time-honored cliche that a second wedding ceremony should be half as long as the first, while the party should be twice as long. That's not entirely true.
"Certainly a full religious ceremony should be enjoyed if the couple prefers, and I'm perfectly fine with that party length."
And as for the guest list, neither star couple should feel the need to keep it small just because their first marriage didn't work.
"It's a reason to celebrate when people commit to something so challenging and rewarding," Post says. "There's no room for any stigma at such a happy occasion."
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