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Do You Really Need Wedding Gifts – Common-Sense Wedding Etiquette
Second and Third Wedding Gift Etiquette
There are over three million results when entering into a Google search “second wedding gift ideas”. This suggests that wedding guests are often at a loss of what to get a couple who have previously walked down the aisle. It might also suggest that millions of soon-to-be brides and grooms, twice and thrice, have taken to the internet to write about the gifts that they want. Okay, maybe not, but it could be true.
Wedding etiquette explicitly states that wedding gifts should not be expected by a bride and groom who have been previously married. Because wedding gifts are unnecessary, it is both greedy and rude if a couple registers for a wedding-gift wish list, whether it happens to be at Macy’s or at Target. This is the way it is, and this rule should always be followed. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Traditionally, wedding gifts are for the sole purpose of helping newlyweds get started on the right foot. Appropriate wedding gifts include flatware, silverware, cookware, bedding, etc. Most, if not all, couples who are walking down the aisle for the second time have no need for these items. Although they may desire new and updated household items, this is, again, rude, inappropriate and greedy.
It is appropriate for wedding invitations to state at the bottom: Please, no gifts. Not only is it appropriate, but this is something that should be made perfectly clear for wedding guests out of courtesy. This would be true whether a large, formal wedding is planned or a small, intimate gathering is planned.
For the same reasons, it is also inappropriate for a second-time bride to have a bridal shower.
Wedding Gifts for the Couple who Cohabitates before Marriage
Common-Sense Wedding Etiquette—Unauthorized
More often than not, couples live together before walking down the aisle. Sometimes couples live together for so long that they become homeowners before they become husband and wife and/or have children together before they finally decide on a date to tie the knot.
If you fall into the above circumstances, I’ve taken it upon myself to speak on behalf of some of your friends and acquaintances about this wedding thing you’ve got planned. Quite possibly, I am speaking for some of your family members, too, especially those family members you don’t see on a regular basis.
The same line of thought should be applied to couples who have cohabitated before marriage that is applied to couples who are marrying for the second time.
If you are planning your wedding and have been cohabitating with your soon-to-be spouse for a significant period of time, you should ask yourself if you have any need for wedding gifts—flatware, silverware, bedding, etc. If you don’t need these things, you should not register for wedding gifts, despite the desire you have to obtain new and updated household appliances and items.
Not many wedding guests will admit this out loud, but when a couple begins building their life together, years before the wedding, it is tacky, inconsiderate and greedy to register for wedding gifts. The time for wedding gifts has come and gone, and couples should seriously consider including on the wedding invitations: Please, no gifts.
The Money Dance
Common-Sense Wedding Etiquette—Unauthorized
Under no circumstances should second weddings or cohabitating couples include a money dance during the wedding reception. Again, this is tacky and rude. You might as well say on your wedding invitations: Please bring us money so we can pay for our honeymoon (even though we have taken vacations together before).
If money is tight, you should not count on your guests to provide spending money for your honeymoon. You should have planned a small, intimate wedding and reception, a court-house wedding with a reception afterwards or a court-house wedding and honeymoon.
The only time a money dance is appropriate is when the newlyweds are truly beginning their lives together with nothing to call their own.
Wedding Gift Ideas and Options When Attending Weddings of Rude Brides and Grooms
When invited to a wedding where it is obvious that gifts are expected and shouldn't be, the first option you have is to not attend the wedding, of course.
The second option is to attend the wedding, but not to bring a wedding present. Not many people would be willing to do this, however.
The third option is to attend the wedding but not the reception. It is sometimes easier to not bring a wedding gift knowing that nobody has paid for your food and drink.
The last option is to purchase a wedding gift that is very cheap, but extremely appropriate and still generous. These types of gifts are limited in number simply because there aren't many choices of appropriate gifts for a couple who already has everything they need: