Author Topic: BWW after a decade of living together...  (Read 11654 times)

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NyaChan

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #75 on: July 22, 2013, 06:52:21 PM »
Perhaps my opinion is a product of my own life experiences rather than any knowledge of how things are generally, but for myself, I think of gift giving differently when it is for people starting out than for more established people. 

For example, my cousin got married and neither her nor her husband was living independently.  After getting they were going to live with his family (culturally not weird) until they had the money to set out on their own.  Keeping in mind that they wouldn't have anywhere to put or use household goods, my family gave my cousin a piece of jewelry as is traditional and money so that the couple could spend as they needed or wanted.  When my mother's uncle remarried at an older age, as in had an adult child of his own, we still gave a gift.  The purpose of the gift however, was more along the lines of what he and his wife might want for entertainment rather than their needs, because they already had the means to establish themselves and were in fact well settled.  Giving them a toaster would have been superfluous, but giving them something sentimental or money to choose what they want to buy was a better bet.   

Now the end result may be that both the fledglings and the established couple get the same thing, but I'm not going to be thinking, as a practical matter, about the established couple's household needs.  If there was a shower for the established bride, I'd be more likely to give her something fun for her and/or her future husband, because I wouldn't want to give her something she likely doesn't need.  For the fledgling bride, I'd give something that she might need, perhaps along with something fun if I was close to her.  Ultimately, the wedding gift is to show that we are excited for them and the occasion is something worthy of celebration, but the ones who are just starting out get the additional layer of, "Hey they might need some help at this stage of their life."

Aeris

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #76 on: July 22, 2013, 06:54:31 PM »
The question that I have is does anyone actually make a profit from a BWW? In my experience the wedding costs about 2-3 times what the gifts received cost, so if the couple were really interested in money/ gift grabby, surely it would be better for them to marry at a courthouse , spend the thousands they save buying stuff for themselves and sending out wedding announcements on the off chance that non-guests would send them stuff.

This is true. I agree with you.

But I think there is such a thing as "attention-grabby." Not so much a balance-sheet ROI sort of thing, but an desire (sometimes sensible, sometime avaricious) for intangible things.

And some of that is very understandable. We all want to feel that we're important to the people around us, that our exciting milestones are viewed as exciting by the people in our lives.

I think that's actually part of my own personal problem with the big, splashy wedding after such a long, well-established life together. It's not an exciting milestone anymore. It's an important and solemn occasion--just as it is for the ingenues. But it's not a "fizzy" milestone anymore. If someone is 45 and marrying without having a decade or so of cohabitation, and children together, etc., that's pretty damned fizzy to me.

The BWW/wedding hooplah in this couple's case is just a different form, to me, of the young bride who expects everyone to show up for all their wedding-related events, etc.  It's an out-of-proportion expectation of emotional involvement.

My own personal solution would be to simply be as emotionally involved as I want to be, and no more. (Which is actually what I would do with the ingenue couple's wedding, to be honest.) And to not spend a huge amount of time thinking negatively judgmental thoughts.


(I'll also say, the three showers are being thrown by somebody who IS all "fizzy" about this wedding, and the scale of wedding celebrations are often influenced greatly by MOBs and MOGs, etc., so I'm not personally quick to assume that the couple is the factor creating all the froth. But I still wouldn't really participate in it all that terribly much.)

And 'not participating in it all that terribly much' is completely and perfectly fine. That it doesn't fit your personal preferences is fine. But it's not okay to act as though the HC is somehow behaving *inappropriately*, in terms of etiquette/social rules/etc.

There's nothing whatsoever *inappropriate* about a big frothy, fizzy, BWW for people who have been living together for 10 year. The moment is clearly "fizzy" to them, and there is nothing at all wrong with that. It doesn't have to be "fizzy" to everyone else on the planet, but there's nothing wrong with it being "fizzy" to them.

To that end, there's nothing wrong with having the BWW with all the fixin's and hoopla and "fizziness".

Curious Cat

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #77 on: July 22, 2013, 06:58:07 PM »
Some posters seem to be getting "I don't like it so it's rude" confused with "rude by the standards of etiquette."

If it offends you (general, not just the OP) so much decline the shower and/or the wedding.  I'm sure they would much rather have guests who are sincerely happy for them attending than those who feel obligated for some reason or another. I know I would.

I also agree with the posters that prefer a longer registry.  Besides the excellent point that the HC might get a discount on any items that aren't purchased I prefer to have as many options as possible.

And something else to think about - many long term couples hold off on having a wedding because *they* not their parents or some fairy godmother are the ones paying for it.  If that is the case they almost certainly have not been "upgrading" things as they go, but putting that money aside for their special day.

Edited to clarify that I was speaking of the general "you" not just the OP. 

Eeep!

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #78 on: July 22, 2013, 07:11:03 PM »
Some of this, I think, comes from the idea that wedding gifts are supposed to be used to set up a new couple in a new household. The nature of society has changed drastically and very few people go from their parents' home to their wedded home. I think you'll be much happier if you just regard wedding gifts as simply a gift in celebration of a happy event, rather than to meet some specific societal need that no longer exists. If you don't feel comfortable giving a gift simply in celebration of a major life event, then you probably shouldn't be attending the wedding.


I totally agree with the above.  And I think the way NyaChan discussed choosing gifts is how I do it.  Because it all boils down to the fact that I am buying my friend/family member a gift because I want to celebrate their event.  As such, I will put some thought into why I am buying that particular gift, and of course that will be influenced by what I know of where they are in their life.  That said,  I also find long registries awesome.  It sometimes gives a bit of fun insight into someone to see what they register for. And I'm all for more options!  And, I have to say, I have never ever seen a potato peeler or crock pot on someone's registry and thought "Oh ho ho - they certainly are gunning for the big gifts!".

To the particular issue at hand.  I do admit it would give me pause that they decided to do this whole event so late into their relationship situation. But what do I know about their reasons why they didn't before and decided to now? Probably not enough to make any sort of true judgment call. Maybe the kids have been begging for it. Maybe their financial situation changed in some way. Maybe they made some important realization in their relationship.  Who know? I sure probably don't!  And because of that I would much rather just make the decision to say Yay for them!
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

TootsNYC

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #79 on: July 22, 2013, 08:15:24 PM »
re: "rude by the standards of etiquette"

There's rude, and there's "not good form," and etiquette *does* cover "not good form."

In the past, etiquette quite specifically frowned on a BWW for a 2nd wedding (the bride's 2nd wedding). I think the remnants of that are part of my own reaction.

I do think a big, splashy BWW for a couple that's been together for 10 years and has 3 children is bad form. Of course, you can end up with "big" just by virtue of who you're related to. And "splashy" to one person can be "the bare minimum" to another.

But I do think showers for a couple *that* well established are bad form.


Poppea

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #80 on: July 22, 2013, 08:23:18 PM »
If I were the OP I too, would have a problem with a "shower" after 10 years, 3 kids and a house. 

The purpose of a bridal shower is to help a couple trying to establish a household, not to help upgrade one.  That why many look down on baby showers for a second or third child, the baby stuff has already been set up.

It feels like a gift grab because it is one.

So, showers are inappropriate for anyone who has lived in their own home? After all, they've already "established" their household, and anything new would merely be "upgrading" it.

What about someone who has lived on their own from 18 to 35. They've clearly 'established' their own household - no shower for them when they marry?

What if you've only lived on your own from 22 to 25? Is that enough time to 'establish' a household, such that you are no longer allowed to accept a shower someone else offers to throw you?

If you've lived in your own home for 10 years you really don't need a "shower" for crockpots.  My friends that married in their 40s (none of whom had produced any children) had different sort of parties.  A Christmas themed shower where everyone brought an ornament.  A "stock the bar" party.  the sense of upgrading just wasn't there.

I would have absolutely no interest in attending a bachelorette party for a couple that had cohabited and produced 3 kids either.  In that case I'm sure the bride knew what to expect on her wedding night and had long said goodbye to "singlehood".  I'd happily attend a girls only dinner though.

Just as second babies can politely have a "meet the baby party, but not a shower, a bride that is new to the title but not the functions of a wife can be feted, but it is more tasteful in a different form.

Aeris

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #81 on: July 22, 2013, 08:26:03 PM »
If I were the OP I too, would have a problem with a "shower" after 10 years, 3 kids and a house. 

The purpose of a bridal shower is to help a couple trying to establish a household, not to help upgrade one.  That why many look down on baby showers for a second or third child, the baby stuff has already been set up.

It feels like a gift grab because it is one.

So, showers are inappropriate for anyone who has lived in their own home? After all, they've already "established" their household, and anything new would merely be "upgrading" it.

What about someone who has lived on their own from 18 to 35. They've clearly 'established' their own household - no shower for them when they marry?

What if you've only lived on your own from 22 to 25? Is that enough time to 'establish' a household, such that you are no longer allowed to accept a shower someone else offers to throw you?

If you've lived in your own home for 10 years you really don't need a "shower" for crockpots.  My friends that married in their 40s (none of whom had produced any children) had different sort of parties.  A Christmas themed shower where everyone brought an ornament.  A "stock the bar" party.  the sense of upgrading just wasn't there.

I would have absolutely no interest in attending a bachelorette party for a couple that had cohabited and produced 3 kids either.  In that case I'm sure the bride knew what to expect on her wedding night and had long said goodbye to "singlehood".  I'd happily attend a girls only dinner though.

Just as second babies can politely have a "meet the baby party, but not a shower, a bride that is new to the title but not the functions of a wife can be feted, but it is more tasteful in a different form.

This sounds an awful lot like you're saying that Happy Couples who have slept together are not allowed the same kind of celebration as those who haven't.

JoieGirl7

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #82 on: July 22, 2013, 08:29:51 PM »
It seems that from previous threads that someone could not have a BWW if they were "already married" as in, went to the courthouse and did just enough to make it legal.

I think that couple that has lived togeher as man and wife for ten years is in the same position.  Tey may not have gone through the legal steps to get married, but socially they have been married for awhile and I don't think its in good taste to make a big deal out of finally doing it.

Poppea

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #83 on: July 22, 2013, 08:34:48 PM »
If I were the OP I too, would have a problem with a "shower" after 10 years, 3 kids and a house. 

The purpose of a bridal shower is to help a couple trying to establish a household, not to help upgrade one.  That why many look down on baby showers for a second or third child, the baby stuff has already been set up.

It feels like a gift grab because it is one.

So, showers are inappropriate for anyone who has lived in their own home? After all, they've already "established" their household, and anything new would merely be "upgrading" it.

What about someone who has lived on their own from 18 to 35. They've clearly 'established' their own household - no shower for them when they marry?

What if you've only lived on your own from 22 to 25? Is that enough time to 'establish' a household, such that you are no longer allowed to accept a shower someone else offers to throw you?

If you've lived in your own home for 10 years you really don't need a "shower" for crockpots.  My friends that married in their 40s (none of whom had produced any children) had different sort of parties.  A Christmas themed shower where everyone brought an ornament.  A "stock the bar" party.  the sense of upgrading just wasn't there.

I would have absolutely no interest in attending a bachelorette party for a couple that had cohabited and produced 3 kids either.  In that case I'm sure the bride knew what to expect on her wedding night and had long said goodbye to "singlehood".  I'd happily attend a girls only dinner though.

Just as second babies can politely have a "meet the baby party, but not a shower, a bride that is new to the title but not the functions of a wife can be feted, but it is more tasteful in a different form.

This sounds an awful lot like you're saying that Happy Couples who have slept together are not allowed the same kind of celebration as those who haven't.

Re Bachelorette Parties

A woman that has cohabitated for ten years and produced three children isn't my idea of a "single girl".  I think a bachelorette party for anyone that cohabitated is kinda weird too.  What's the point? 

You cant have it two ways- if cohabitating couples are considered a "social unit" and unmarried couples proclaim that their partnership is just as important as a marriage, whats the big deal about getting married?  Why do they want all they hoopla?

Re: Showers

I think there is a big difference between a couple with 3 kids wanting multiple showers and just about anyone else?  Slept together?  I'm too polite to speculate about that.  Live together?  Don't upgrade, but parties are fine.  Age of bride?  I couldn't care less.


thedudeabides

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #84 on: July 22, 2013, 08:48:04 PM »
Why do my girlfriend and I want all the hoopla?  Because we believe in the institution of marriage.  Why haven't we gotten married yet?  Because we're not ready to take that final step.  We want to set ourselves up to have the best possible start -- we've gotten over the hump of college, where we weren't even remotely mature enough to make that decision, and we've gotten our careers started, so that we can afford to save up for our wedding.  Because heaven knows that we don't come from families that can afford to pay for it for us.

So, yes, we'll have lived together for an extended period of time before we get married, but we feel we do deserve as much "hoopla" as a couple that got married within some ambiguously shorter period of time without having had the temerity to share the same domicile for any stretch.  Because we're human beings and no less deserving of respect and love than anyone else.

TootsNYC

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #85 on: July 22, 2013, 08:51:11 PM »
If I were the OP I too, would have a problem with a "shower" after 10 years, 3 kids and a house. 

The purpose of a bridal shower is to help a couple trying to establish a household, not to help upgrade one.  That why many look down on baby showers for a second or third child, the baby stuff has already been set up.

It feels like a gift grab because it is one.


I would have absolutely no interest in attending a bachelorette party for a couple that had cohabited and produced 3 kids either.  In that case I'm sure the bride knew what to expect on her wedding night and had long said goodbye to "singlehood".  I'd happily attend a girls only dinner though.

Just as second babies can politely have a "meet the baby party, but not a shower, a bride that is new to the title but not the functions of a wife can be feted, but it is more tasteful in a different form.

This sounds an awful lot like you're saying that Happy Couples who have slept together are not allowed the same kind of celebration as those who haven't.

I think you're deliberately looking for that.

I sure didn't take that away from her comment.

Aeris

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #86 on: July 22, 2013, 08:55:17 PM »
It seems that from previous threads that someone could not have a BWW if they were "already married" as in, went to the courthouse and did just enough to make it legal.

I think that couple that has lived togeher as man and wife for ten years is in the same position.  Tey may not have gone through the legal steps to get married, but socially they have been married for awhile and I don't think its in good taste to make a big deal out of finally doing it.

I don't think you get to decide that a couple who *has not married* and *has not held themselves out as married* is now considered 'married', just because they lived together.

Living together, even as a couple, is not the same as "living together as man and wife". I'm living with my boyfriend right now. We most assuredly are not married, nor do we say that we are married. We are not "living together as man and wife".

Part of etiquette is respecting other people's relationship decisions. If a couple has lived together for 10 years and considers themselves 'not married', then they are not married.

When they decide to 'get married', that's when they are married. Not before.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 08:57:11 PM by Aeris »

Aeris

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #87 on: July 22, 2013, 08:56:13 PM »

If I were the OP I too, would have a problem with a "shower" after 10 years, 3 kids and a house. 

The purpose of a bridal shower is to help a couple trying to establish a household, not to help upgrade one.  That why many look down on baby showers for a second or third child, the baby stuff has already been set up.

It feels like a gift grab because it is one.


I would have absolutely no interest in attending a bachelorette party for a couple that had cohabited and produced 3 kids either.  In that case I'm sure the bride knew what to expect on her wedding night and had long said goodbye to "singlehood".  I'd happily attend a girls only dinner though.

Just as second babies can politely have a "meet the baby party, but not a shower, a bride that is new to the title but not the functions of a wife can be feted, but it is more tasteful in a different form.

This sounds an awful lot like you're saying that Happy Couples who have slept together are not allowed the same kind of celebration as those who haven't.

I think you're deliberately looking for that.

I sure didn't take that away from her comment.

I'm not sure how else to interpret "a bride that is new to the title but not the functions of a wife".

Hmmmmm

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #88 on: July 22, 2013, 08:57:57 PM »
Wait, so you're arguing that if a couple lives together or mates, their later wedding is somehow less special?

I'm not really *arguing* that. I don't think that my own *personal* reaction needs to be shared by anyone else.

But yes, it's not as exciting to me. I'm pleased for them, but I'm not going to join in the same giddy foofah that accompanies the marriages of people who are starting *out* married.

You must not get excited about very many weddings these days.

I haven't finished reading all the replies. But a quick comment.

Of the 4 weddings I've attended in the last 4 years, none were for couples who had lived together or had children prior to their marriage. And the youngest of the couples were 27. The 5th wedding I'm attending next month is also with a 30 yr old non-cohabitating couple.

It does feel different. And I feel the same as Toots. If you've already started your life together and started a family, I don't see the need for a BWW.  To me, a wedding is to say, come celebrate as we start our life's together. I don't know what a huge celebration after a couple of kids is supposed to say.

Edited to fix typo.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 09:39:38 PM by Hmmmmm »

LeveeWoman

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #89 on: July 22, 2013, 09:04:13 PM »
A new dining room suite?