(Closed) Guests Give Gifts for Second Wedding?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 4
3276 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I would say it is not expected for his family to give a gift since technically they have already given him a wedding present. If I were the extended family member (not mom,dad,sibling) and had already bought a gift at the last wedding I would just bring a card and congratulate them. 

Post # 5
2517 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I have heard this as well.  I think its ridiculous.  I never begrudge the happy moments in life.  If someone is having a second wedding I genuinely hope they have found someone that makes them happy.  I will happily attend the wedding and shower with a gift and wish them both well. 

If it was a 4th, 5th, 6th wedding I might feel differently.  Then I might not, it would depend on the circumstances. 

Post # 6
2375 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

 My family and I give gifts even if it’s not the first wedding. Divorce happens, and there’s no reason to punish someone for it.  Admittedly, my Mom got a bit grumbly after my cousin’s 4th wedding, but in all fairness, his exes took most of his stuff!

Post # 7
1251 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

This will be my FI’s second wedding and my first. No one has hinted that they begrudge attending his second wedding or giving us a present. Everyone just seems really happy that he has found happiness after his first wife cheated and left him 8 months into the marriage. 


i wouldn’t think twice about giving someone a gift who is getting married for the second time. If it was their fourth wedding I may start getting twitchy though, haha.

Post # 8
7340 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

A wedding gift traditionally is meant to help the couple set up housekeeping. That’s why registries have all sorts of linens and kitchen items and household goods and not stuff like skis.  Since your husband has already been married, he theoretically should have his household furnished.  He’s not a fresh young 20-year-old moving out of his parents house. Hence, many people who are very traditional would not give a gift.

Same goes for couples who have been together for a fairly long time, live together, and have their household set up.

A card or perhaps a bottle of wine would be appropriate but the expectation and social requirement of a gift for a second or later wedding is not as strict.

Post # 9
8610 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I would still give a cash gift for a second wedding.

Post # 10
12247 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

I was once at a wedding where a millionaire was marrying his 4th wife (it was her 3rd husband).

People still gave gifts! (Despite that they clearly didn’t want/need anything, and both had weddings before)

I can’t think of why I wouldn’t give a gift just because it’s someone’s second wedding.

Post # 11
5064 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2014

If that couples marriage is new & ‘their first’ together then the gifts should be new imo. People don’t marry for gifts anyway they marry for love, but regardless it’s good to honour them. 

Post # 12
2890 posts
Sugar bee

Honestly it would depend on my relationship with who’s getting married. 

Edit: arrg, for some reason I hit the post button before I was finished. So yeah, either I would go and cover my plate as it is the custom here, but I would not add another gift on top like I would normally. 

Post # 13
7679 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@freshflowers:  All guests should give a gift. He’s hosting them at a second reception, so guests bring a second gift. And in my experience people usually make a “loss” on the wedding anyway, i.e. the gift rarely outweighs the cost of hosting. Of course it’s not about the money, but like you say it’s the principle: you don’t come to a party empty handed.

I will say though that you don’t get extra gifts, like a bridal shower (for a woman remarrying), or a gift-giving engagement party (for cultures which usually do gifts at the e-party).

Post # 14
302 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I don’t think people should go to a wedding if they’re not going to give something to the couple, it’s RUDE! I know gifts ‘should be’ a blessing and not an obligation, but weddings&food are expensive and everyone knows this-it’s only right to show up with a gift of some sort. Any gift is better than nothing.

Post # 15
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

If i was a guest at your wedding I would bring you a gift EVEN IF I’d attended your FIs first wedding and given a gift then. I did not give a gift at the wedding of someone who was on her EIGHTH marriage because by that time it’s become farcical and you know it’s not going to last. 

Post # 16
1696 posts
Bumble bee

 @paula1248: No guest is ever required to give a gift. Especially, gifts of any substantial nature should not(!!!) be associated with accepting someone’s hospitality or attending their party. Anything that smacks of compensating the hosts or taking into consideration the expense they are laying out on your behalf, treads on the dangerous ground of turning a social virtue into a tawdry commercial transaction. In fact, standard etiquette says that it is improper to bring gifts to a formal party; and that at an iformal party if you do give a gift, it should be small enough to be handed discreetly to the hostess with no other guests noticing.

Wedding presents should be sent to the bride’s home. That is more convenient for her and more discreet for you; and it also separates the two events of gift-giving and reception-attending so that there is no suggestion that you are trying to pay off the hostess for her generosity. Other gifts that cannot be delivered discreetly (like large bouquets of flowers) should also be delivered to the hostess’s home prior to the party, or accompany your bread-and-butter note after the party.

@freshflowers: “Disrespectful” is an interesting word to use. Present-giving has little to do with respect per se. Present-givinng is a love-language; and those who give presents are supposed to be motivated by a *desire* to give, generated by their love for you. It is true that traditional etiquette discourages present-giving for second weddings. That has more to do with not embarrassing the bride by doubling her (social, not monetary) indebtedness to the giver. It is a rule meant to restrain the overly-generous hearts of your loved ones, not to justify the miserly hearts of unloving guests.

You will probably find that some number of your guests do not give you presents. You will also, perhaps, receive presents from people who are not your guests. Enjoy the opportunity you had to be hospitable to the first ones: that in itself is a blessing. Enjoy the generosity of the second ones and do not make their generosity tawdry by feeling obligated to invite them — a simple “thank-you” will suffice.

As for your panicky future family-member-in-law: love her and shower her with hospitality. Perhaps her small heart will grow three sizes that day.


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