Author Topic: How to have a wedding while discouraging gifts?  (Read 3562 times)

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kareng57

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Re: How to have a wedding while discouraging gifts?
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2013, 04:25:11 PM »
To answer a question: Yes a fair amount of time (3 years) has passed since the original ceremony and now. We intended to have a religious ceremony earlier, but between the two of us (two busy overscheduled people who hate planning things like weddings), it just never happened. Nope, not exactly a traditional approach.

PS If there is a more appropriate place for this thread, can the mods please move it? Sorry to post it in the wrong area.


Then what about calling it a "blessing ceremony" as opposed to a wedding?

Katana_Geldar

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Re: How to have a wedding while discouraging gifts?
« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2013, 04:28:50 PM »
Several family members are coming from across the country and will incur significant cost to be a part of our ceremony.

Is everyone aware that you've been married for 3 years?
 >>SNIPPED <<

And does everyone include your officiant? What does the religious institution you are having the ceremony in call the occasion?

I assume he does and as the OP is from the UK (I think) then things are done a bit differently. My understanding its perfectly normal there Tongans two ceremonies as there are restrictions ehete it can take place and who it can be performed by.

Perfect Circle

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Re: How to have a wedding while discouraging gifts?
« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2013, 04:38:27 PM »
People in the UK don't generally have two ceremonies as religious ones are legally accepted. There are some European countries where that is not the case, but that's not the norm across the continent.
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wolfie

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Re: How to have a wedding while discouraging gifts?
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2013, 07:07:15 PM »
Several family members are coming from across the country and will incur significant cost to be a part of our ceremony.

Is everyone aware that you've been married for 3 years?
 >>SNIPPED <<

And does everyone include your officiant? What does the religious institution you are having the ceremony in call the occasion?

I assume he does and as the OP is from the UK (I think) then things are done a bit differently. My understanding its perfectly normal there Tongans two ceremonies as there are restrictions ehete it can take place and who it can be performed by.


As far as I know the OP is not from the UK - she just said since it was okay there then it should be okay here. Although i think even in countries where two ceremonies are acceptable there is usually not 3 years between the ceremonies.

blarg314

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Re: How to have a wedding while discouraging gifts?
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2013, 09:22:00 PM »

I like the idea of calling it a blessing ceremony, or religious solemnization.

Personally, I find the "vow renewal" party to be a thinly disguised do-over for the wedding that fools no-one. The places where that makes sense are when a couple has been through a rocky patch (separated for example) and has a reason to speak the vows again, or for a couple that's been married 50 years, and is saying "I'd do it all over again". And in both those cases, its more of a private thing than a redo of the wedding.

Calling it a wedding is misleading, and is definitely going to sound like a gift grab. A few days or even weeks between the legal and religious ceremony makes sense. Three years between simply doesn't work from an etiquette perspective.  For people in places where the religious ceremony is not legal, it tends to be a few days between the two ceremonies.

And make it about the religious part - a religious ceremony with the officiant and witnesses, in nice, but normal clothing. If you do the big white dress and decorations and attendants thing, you *will* be having a wedding do-over. And that's not acceptable from an etiquette point of view, even if the reason is that you wanted to get married right away, but were too busy or disorganized to plan the party until a few years later.

As a bonus, if you don't call it a wedding people are less likely to buy presents. Tell your families "We've thought about it, and we don't feel comfortable having a big wedding to-do when we've been married for three years already.  If you want to have a big party when we visit, that's great, but make it about visiting with family, not a third anniversary." That should take care of it.

As an aside - I live in Taiwan, and here there are three official parts to a wedding. The legal part is the paperwork at the Household Registration Office, which legally must be done in the groom's registered home town (often different from where he lives), during office hours. There is also the engagement party in the bride's hometown, and the wedding, usually held either where the couple lives or the groom's home town.  The three events may be separated by a couple of months.

That sounds closer to the OP's situation, but even there, the time scale is a few months, not a few years.

Lynn2000

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Re: How to have a wedding while discouraging gifts?
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2013, 10:52:21 PM »
To answer the title question, "How to have a wedding while discouraging gifts?" I think, as others have suggested, one big way is to not call it a wedding (or the gathering afterward a "reception"). I can see where this might make for some awkwardness with relatives who know you had a legal ceremony three years ago but don't really totally completely consider you married yet because you haven't had the religious ceremony. But, I think changing the name of the event is an easy "PR move" that could help a lot in getting the "no gifts" message across in a polite way.

Also, enlist other relatives to discourage gifts on your behalf. You two personally should accept all gifts graciously, of course, and try to see them as expressions of love given voluntarily, that it would be hurtful to rebuff. You are doing people a kindness by accepting the gifts they want to give you to celebrate this occasion.

I know it's not easy to stop worrying, but I think you should stop worrying about whether people will spend too much to attend your wedding, plus give a gift. They are adults and, I think it should be assumed, will not spend more than they're comfortable with. However, depending on the arrangements for this ceremony and party, you might be able to make choices that will reduce the costs of all guests (holding it someplace with lots of low-cost hotels, for example, or in a city with a large airport they can fly directly to). For the guests you really, really want to be there--Grandma, maybe--you could take a special interest in making sure they have cost-effective options available, but ultimately it's their choice how much money to spend.

And anyone who tries to make you feel guilty about that is the rude one.
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