Etiquette Hell

Wedding Bliss and Blues => Gifts, Registries and Money => Topic started by: mj on January 20, 2014, 11:00:56 AM

Title: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: mj on January 20, 2014, 11:00:56 AM
One of my family members is already married, had 2 receptions (one thrown by my family and one by the married in members family) - they are throwing another one to celebrate their churchs blessing of their marriage.  It's white dress, everything like a new marriage.  Bachelorette/Bachelor parties, showers etc.

My question is do I buy gifts?  I've already done the whole thing once, so I'm confused if I'm supposed to now.  It's unlikely that I'm going to the ceremony, reception or any of the parties since I'm very long distance, but I have no idea the protocol on all this. 
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: English1 on January 20, 2014, 11:01:47 AM
Nope. You don't get two weddings to the same person, lol.

*Modified - of course sometimes there are reasons couples have two ceremonies. By 'wedding' I mean the whole shebang!
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Twik on January 20, 2014, 11:05:24 AM
I can understand a church wedding if they feel that is important spiritually. However, they have already had their reception, parties, showers, etc. Those they don't get a do-over on.

I would send them congratulations, no more. You do not have to whip out the charge card every time someone says, "We want to be even MORE married!"
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: JenJay on January 20, 2014, 11:11:43 AM
Are they having another ceremony, this time in a church (it wasn't the first time?), or are they having a reception/party and getting dressed up in their wedding clothes again? I don't understand a 2nd round of bachelor/bachelorette parties because... they aren't single?!

Personally I wouldn't do anything, not even cards. You already send cards/gifts for the appropriate occasions the first time. A person can throw themselves as many "celebrate me!" parties as they want, doesn't mean everyone else is obligated to play along.  ;)
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Jones on January 20, 2014, 11:14:37 AM
We did a church wedding years after our secular union. No bachelor parties, no showers, just an intimate gathering of our closest family members followed by lunch. I would frankly have been confused if anyone had given us anything; the extra parties definitely sound Over the Top
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: mj on January 20, 2014, 11:18:16 AM
The first time they had a JOP and did it quickly with only giving folks a couple weeks notice.  We were also under the impression that they didn't want guests, they didn't do invites or anything.  Just called us up and really didn't invite us, just let us know their plans at the time.  And their parents threw receptions a few days later and the weekend after.  Those were short notice too, and just small affairs at the parents homes.  But they did have a good show up from local family & friends to the receptions.  And we sent a gift for the wedding and also sent one on their honeymoon to the hotel.  They had parties with friends, but again, we weren't really invited just knew about it. 

They are calling this one "their big day" and being very formal about it, so I know it has meaning to them.  But I feel strange about it.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: SCMagnolia on January 20, 2014, 11:22:34 AM
POD to what JenJay said.

I, too, am raising an eyebrow over the bachelor/bachelorette party thing.  And just how many weddings/receptions does a person need to celebrate being married?  Once the I Do's are said, you don't get much more "married" than that.  They already had their "big day" when the JP did them the honors.

The only time I'd consider an exception is if a couple wanted to renew their vows for a milestone anniversary (say 25th or 50th.)  Then a small token gift or a card expressing your best wishes would be appropriate if you so wish.  In this case, though, I'm having a hard time not viewing this couple as attention hounds at best and serious gimme pigs at worst.

I say skip the gift.  I'd skip the wedding, too, but that's just me.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: TootsNYC on January 20, 2014, 11:29:28 AM
You're totally fine to react the way you are thinking. A gift for this "big day" is not appropriate--the gift is not for the party, but for the life change (or milestone, in the case of a vow renewal, esp. if tied to an anniversary). This isn't a life change; that already happened, and you acknowledged it.

I personally wouldn't even send a card, necessarily; and I probably wouldn't attend, unless I were really, really close to them.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 20, 2014, 11:35:39 AM
I can understand a church wedding if they feel that is important spiritually. However, they have already had their reception, parties, showers, etc. Those they don't get a do-over on.

I would send them congratulations, no more. You do not have to whip out the charge card every time someone says, "We want to be even MORE married!"

This.  I'd look at is as a vow renewal ceremony and I wouldn't gift for that.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: camlan on January 20, 2014, 12:02:08 PM
I would acknowledge the occasion with a card or a little note. Because this is family, and not recognizing the occasion could be seen as a slight, or a slap in the face or a whole host of other things you'd rather not deal with. While you do not have to do anything, congratulating them will cost you little and most likely keep the peace.

Beyond that, nothing is required.

Although the pedantic side of me is coming to the fore and wondering how you can have a bachelor party if you are no longer a bachelor. And I have to admit that the parties and the showers really do seem like a gift grab.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: cheyne on January 20, 2014, 12:19:36 PM
A card or note is appropriate.  These people had their wedding, two parties with family and friends and now they want a BWW?  Gimme piggish IMO.

I had a JP wedding.  DH and I were in the military at the time, and that's all we could do on the leave we had. That's my wedding, period. 

I am also scratching my head on bachelor parties and showers after one has been married for years.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Library Dragon on January 20, 2014, 12:28:32 PM
I don't know their denominational background, but for my branch a validation of a marriage does NOT include bachelor parties, showers, etc. IMO it turns a sacrament into an excuse for a party.

Now, I wouldn't say that to the couple, but I would just send them a card.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: TheaterDiva1 on January 20, 2014, 12:44:05 PM
Were you invited to both ceremonies?  My understanding is that a CEREMONY carries a gift obligation - not a reception.  And the first wedding was JOP with no guests?  And you gave gifts anyway?  That's nice of you, but I'd say you're done.  Just send a card.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: m2kbug on January 20, 2014, 12:56:51 PM
One gift is plenty.  Three receptions?  I understand having two celebrations in two locations for people that couldn't travel for the original wedding, but a third celebration specifically for the church marriage/blessings?  Shouldn't the first reception after the church wedding accomplished that?

Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Twik on January 20, 2014, 01:16:22 PM
I don't know their denominational background, but for my branch a validation of a marriage does NOT include bachelor parties, showers, etc.

This. If you want to say that your wedding is because of a spiritual imperative, including a stripper evening does not strengthen your position.

I think many people just like that "Queen (or king) for a day" feeling.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: mbbored on January 20, 2014, 01:21:07 PM
The only way I would be supportive of a big party following a religious ceremony a while after the legal ceremony would be if one or both of the couple are military and were unexpectedly about to deploy. However, in that situation I wouldn't give additional gifts nor would I attend any showers or bachelor/bachelorette parties.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: mime on January 20, 2014, 02:50:18 PM
My dearest friend had a simple civil ceremony several months before her big church wedding celebration. I was her witness/matron of honor in both. The church wedding was the more public celebration with guests, reception, etc. while the civil ceremony was a small affair with dinner afterwards.

I guess you could say she had a bachelorette party before both of them-- they were just more of a fun girls' night out for all of us; not really a 'look at meeeee' spectacle. This friend has always been a 'share my joy and I'll share yours' kind of person who will celebrate anything at the drop of a hat.

Gifts were all given at the time of the big celebration. I was the only person who gave a gift at both. Actually my gift at the time of the legal ceremony was just a personal gift from me to her, not to her-and-DH. Pretty much everyone questioned why I was giving a gift then since the 'real wedding' was to be later, so there clearly wasn't an expectation of gifts for both occasions. I just wanted to take the opportunity to get something special for her.

Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: JeanFromBNA on January 20, 2014, 02:52:53 PM
The only thing that you need to do is RSVP if you get an invitation to their party.  How many more times do they get to do this if they feel that this one didn't take?
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: BarensMom on January 20, 2014, 04:19:57 PM
This is overkill.  If you've already sent them a wedding gift, then you're done.  I wouldn't even send a card, because presumably I did that two weddings ago.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: GeauxTigers on January 20, 2014, 06:28:29 PM
This is overkill.  If you've already sent them a wedding gift, then you're done.  I wouldn't even send a card, because presumably I did that two weddings ago.

This.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: sammycat on January 20, 2014, 07:02:30 PM
One of my family members is already married, had 2 receptions (one thrown by my family and one by the married in members family) - they are throwing another one to celebrate their churchs blessing of their marriage.  It's white dress, everything like a new marriage.  Bachelorette/Bachelor parties, showers etc.

My question is do I buy gifts?  I've already done the whole thing once, so I'm confused if I'm supposed to now.  It's unlikely that I'm going to the ceremony, reception or any of the parties since I'm very long distance, but I have no idea the protocol on all this.

That's utterly ridiculous. I usually shy away from thinking or labelling someone as a 'gimme pig' or assume that they're having an event primarily to get gifts, but this is one of those rare instances where I think the label fits. And anyway, how can a married person (still) be a bachelor?

In answer to your question, no, I wouldn't send a gift or a card. I doubt I'd even acknowledge it any way to be frank. These people seem rather self absorbed and I can't stomach that.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Promise on January 20, 2014, 07:14:43 PM
Even if you are invited to a reception or a party, you already gave a gift. Wedding receptions are a party thrown by the couple inviting their friends and family to celebrate, not give a gift. It would be like me throwing a Super Bowl party and expecting my friends to bring me a gift. Or if I invite my friends over to play cards to expect a bottle of wine. NO! If you are my guest, then you are my guest. Since presents for a wedding is a custom, then you've already met that tradition the first time and then again with the honeymoon. If the couple gets upset that guests don't "give" again, then these are people of whom you know where you stand.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: LifeOnPluto on January 20, 2014, 08:23:19 PM
Sounds like this couple want to have their cake and eat it too. They want the benefits (legal or otherwise) of being married earlier than intended (for whatever reason). But they also want the trappings and attention of a BWW years down the track!

Personally, I'd just send them a nice card, but no gift. I also would not attend any of the "bachelor/ette" type parties.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Yvaine on January 21, 2014, 09:36:43 AM
I don't know their denominational background, but for my branch a validation of a marriage does NOT include bachelor parties, showers, etc.

This. If you want to say that your wedding is because of a spiritual imperative, including a stripper evening does not strengthen your position.

I do think the couple is being ridiculous, but FYI, there are lots of bachelor/ette parties that do not include strippers!
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 21, 2014, 09:43:21 AM
If you have already given a gift(s) in celebration of their marriage, you are in no way obligated to give them another gift for this shindig.  If you are so inclined, sending a note or card would be fine.  I wouldn't, personally, because I'd have a hard time not being snarky.  No way would I send a wedding themed card - it'd be a 'vow renewal' card, which might ruffle feathers even more than not sending anything but a declining RSVP.

And even if going to this shindig were possible logistically, I still wouldn't go.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: TootsNYC on January 21, 2014, 10:09:54 AM
Were you invited to both ceremonies?  My understanding is that a CEREMONY carries a gift obligation - not a reception.  And the first wedding was JOP with no guests?  And you gave gifts anyway?  That's nice of you, but I'd say you're done.  Just send a card.

I disagree--it's not the ceremony, it's the life event.

and the reason you're only obligated if you're invited to the ceremony is because you're only really obligated if you're truly close; not being invited to the ceremony is an indication that you're not truly close. And so if you -get- an invite to the ceremony, that means they think you are close; accepting an invitation to a ceremony means -you- think you are close.

Being invited to only the party means you are sort of close-ish.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: White Lotus on January 21, 2014, 10:34:11 AM
They only get one gift IMO -- send a note of congratulations, but no more gifts.    But I don't see why there can't be as many parties as they want to throw. 
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: BeagleMommy on January 21, 2014, 11:02:07 AM
You are under no obligation to send a gift to this "wedding" (I'm using quotes because they already had their wedding when the JOP married them).

I don't even believe in vow renewals (personal opinion).  When DH and I were married 25 years someone asked if we were going to renew our vows.  My response was "I meant my vows the first time I said them.  Why do I have to do it again?".  >:D
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Twik on January 21, 2014, 11:11:11 AM
I don't know their denominational background, but for my branch a validation of a marriage does NOT include bachelor parties, showers, etc.

This. If you want to say that your wedding is because of a spiritual imperative, including a stripper evening does not strengthen your position.

I do think the couple is being ridiculous, but FYI, there are lots of bachelor/ette parties that do not include strippers!

True. I was using it figuratively.

As others have said, if you are not a bachelor/bachelorette, going out and pretending to be one for an evening (whether involving raunchy entertainment or otherwise) isn't really appropriate, particularly if you already had such a party at the appropriate time.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Carotte on January 21, 2014, 11:40:11 AM
If it wasn't for the bachelor/ette party and shower I might have given them a pass.
We don't know the background, it's possible that they had, for whatever legal reason, to get 'legally' married years ago, but they sure didn't want to showcase it (not inviting people), maybe the two parties where sprung on them by their family and that's not what they wanted in term of celebrating.
Maybe they've finally saved enough now to have their BWW and also want to be 'church' married...

Anyway, as an invitation is not a summon, a gift isn't compulsory either.
You can put the accent on the religious part if you share their faith, just send a card or some sort of acknowledgment.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: JeanFromBNA on January 21, 2014, 02:47:23 PM
They only get one gift IMO -- send a note of congratulations, but no more gifts.    But I don't see why there can't be as many parties as they want to throw.
Sure, they can have as many parties as they'd like.  They just don't get multiple do-overs of the BWW without risking appearing greedy and ridiculous.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Julsie on January 21, 2014, 03:04:09 PM
Several years after getting married legally we had our marriage convalidated in the Catholic Church.  It was a small ceremony to which we invited two other people and then went out to dinner.

No gifts, parties or announcements.  Looking back, maybe we should have fleeced our friends and family for more stuff.   8)
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: RooRoo on January 21, 2014, 09:56:14 PM
LOL Julsie! DH and me too! Gawrsh, why didn't we think of soaking his family for gifts!  ::)

Back on topic... I can see having a BWW for a vow renewal, but only if you (generic) never had one and had really, really wanted one. But you do not get to soak your family and friends for gifts and money-spending. Bachelor/ette parties? You are married. Get over it.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Jones on January 21, 2014, 10:06:24 PM
^^^It never even occurred to me, but really we should have done the same.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: mj on January 22, 2014, 08:03:19 AM
OP here - we know we are definitely invited to the ceremony (I'm not sure what the actual name of it is in their religion, sorry) and to the reception afterwards.  I'm unsure on any of the parties, but they are telling us about them as if we are.  But I guess it doesn't matter, I'm glad to know I'm not so off base, it really makes me feel strange about it all.  And I don't know how to handle this in the family either, but I think I will just send a card and leave it at that. 
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Winterlight on January 22, 2014, 08:15:49 AM
I think that's wise.

And count me in on finding bachelor/bachelorette parties years after their wedding to be ridiculous.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Mikayla on January 22, 2014, 12:42:07 PM
If it would cause family drama not to even acknowledge this, I'd probably send a card and write a nice congratulatory note inside.

The honest me admits I'd see if I could find a card on sale.
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Drunken Housewife on January 22, 2014, 12:42:53 PM
Sadly people having a do-over and having a Big White Wedding after a small, justice of the peace one seems too common.  My husband had a close friend who did this.  They got married down at city hall and then later regretted not having had a big deal, so they threw a big, expensive wedding over a year later. 

Of course people are free to do this; the only thing I find off about it is that it does seem very attention-grabbing, gift-grubbing usually.   If you already gave a gift, there's no reason to give another.  Attend if you can, send a note telling them how happy you are for them. 
Title: Re: Wedding a few years later questions
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 22, 2014, 12:57:52 PM
If it would cause family drama not to even acknowledge this, I'd probably send a card and write a nice congratulatory note inside.

The honest me admits I'd see if I could find a card on sale.

Or get one at the dollar store.   ;)