Author Topic: Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?  (Read 8411 times)

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LadyL

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Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?
« on: January 20, 2014, 12:43:45 PM »
LordL's brother and his girlfriend eloped secretly over the summer. It was a legal thing necessary because they were buying a house. They (kindly but unnecessarily) hid their marital status from everyone until after our wedding so as not to detract from it. They announced over Christmas that they were married already but would be having the wedding in the fall. We're all happy for them as they make a good team together and everyone was hoping for an engagement announcement, we just got a bit more than we bargained for!

We were thinking of sending a housewarming gift, but now we're not sure if we should do that, or send a congratulations gift, or wait until it's closer to the wedding to send a "wedding" present (they are putting together a registry right now). My guess is that any/all of those options are etiquette approved but which would you do? And also, is it typical to refer to it as a "wedding" when it happens so long after getting legalled? I'm not sure what terminology is appropriate.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 12:55:46 PM »
Because of an international job assignment and immigration issues, my niece and her fiance had to marry about 6 months before the actual wedding they were already in the midst of planning. But we knew they were marrying in their new country at a courthouse so I just sent a congratulations card and then a gift for the actual wedding.

Since they've already been married for almost 6 months, I wouldn't do anything now but wait for the wedding they are planning. I'm assuming since they kept the first one secret they plan for this second one to be their "official" wedding.

SamiHami

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Re: Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 12:57:46 PM »
I think you send a wedding gift now. They are married, they have had their wedding. What they are having is a vow renewal since they've had the wedding already.

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Teenyweeny

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Re: Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 12:59:57 PM »
Personally, I'd just get them something off their registry and leave it at that. I might get a smaller housewarming gift as well, if I felt like it. If I was only buying one gift, it'd be a wedding gift.

I'd also call it a wedding. I know some people have strong feelings about whether or not it's a wedding if it's not at the same time as doing the legal paperwork, but I don't at all. Sometimes you have to do paperwork at a different time. Your wedding is separate from that, in my opinion. Maybe that's because we had to get legally married the day before our wedding because it was a same-sex union.

I'd feel differently if they'd had a small wedding, followed by a bigger wedding. However, taking care of paperwork with the minimum of accompanying 'fuss' isn't your wedding, unless you want it to be. I didn't feel like the day that I signed my civil partnership papers was my wedding day. My wedding day was my wedding day.



cheyne

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Re: Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 01:39:37 PM »
I would send a gift now.  They are married and own a home together, why wait until the "wedding" to send something?

Library Dragon

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Re: Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2014, 01:42:28 PM »
Because of an international job assignment and immigration issues, my niece and her fiance had to marry about 6 months before the actual wedding they were already in the midst of planning. But we knew they were marrying in their new country at a courthouse so I just sent a congratulations card and then a gift for the actual wedding.

Since they've already been married for almost 6 months, I wouldn't do anything now but wait for the wedding they are planning. I'm assuming since they kept the first one secret they plan for this second one to be their "official" wedding.

POD. DS2 and DIL had to do something similar due to Army timing. The courthouse wasn't their wedding it was legal paperwork.

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Texas Mom

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Re: Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2014, 03:12:38 PM »
They announced over Christmas that they were married already but would be having the wedding in the fall.

This your BIL & his wife.  They sound like courteous, kind people with their hearts in the right place.  They kept things quiet to keep the focus on Lord L & you during your special time.

Is the way they are doing things proper from a strict etiquette standpoint?  No, no and no

Do you want to use this opportunity to "teach" them proper etiquette or make a point?   Don't.  Wait until you have received the invitation for ceremony in the fall & buy whatever price range gift you would normally give.

There's a saying around here "safety trumps etiquette."

A good rule to remember, especially when dealing with non-toxic family is "kindness trumps etiquette."

auntmeegs

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Re: Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2014, 03:19:25 PM »
Personally, I'd just get them something off their registry and leave it at that. I might get a smaller housewarming gift as well, if I felt like it. If I was only buying one gift, it'd be a wedding gift.

I'd also call it a wedding. I know some people have strong feelings about whether or not it's a wedding if it's not at the same time as doing the legal paperwork, but I don't at all. Sometimes you have to do paperwork at a different time. Your wedding is separate from that, in my opinion. Maybe that's because we had to get legally married the day before our wedding because it was a same-sex union.

I'd feel differently if they'd had a small wedding, followed by a bigger wedding. However, taking care of paperwork with the minimum of accompanying 'fuss' isn't your wedding, unless you want it to be. I didn't feel like the day that I signed my civil partnership papers was my wedding day. My wedding day was my wedding day.

This is where I stand too.  I'll never understand why people get all up in arms about a couple having a small civil wedding followed by a larger celebration.  If they want to call the big celebration their wedding, what does it matter to anyone else?
It's entirely up to you when you want to give them the gift.  Personally, I almost alwasy give money as a wedding gift so I'd probaby wait until "the wedding" to give it.  And maybe give a small house-warming thing now. 

lowspark

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Re: Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2014, 03:40:03 PM »
<snip>

We were thinking of sending a housewarming gift, but now we're not sure if we should do that, or send a congratulations gift, or wait until it's closer to the wedding to send a "wedding" present (they are putting together a registry right now). My guess is that any/all of those options are etiquette approved but which would you do? And also, is it typical to refer to it as a "wedding" when it happens so long after getting legalled? I'm not sure what terminology is appropriate.

I agree that any gift you send and any way you want to label it is fine. As for what I'd do, well, I'd do what I want. What I mean by that is, if I really wanted to get them a gift now and a gift later, I might just call the first gift "house warming" and the second gift "wedding". If I only wanted to get them one gift I'd probably just wait till the wedding and give them something small for the housewarming, like a plant or bottle of wine. On the other hand if I felt that the wedding was enough "after the fact" that I didn't want to give them anything, I'd give them the one gift now as a housewarming/congratulations and then maybe just do a card or small gift for the wedding.

In other words, it totally depends on what you feel comfortable doing. I really don't think you can go wrong.

mime

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Re: Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2014, 03:59:03 PM »
I'd follow the lead of the couple. They have choosen to have their big celebration in the future when (from what I gather) they will have all the trappings of a traditional wedding. I'd hold off on a gift for now, and present it at the time they have chosen to celebrate.

I'd probably send a card now to recognize their news, though. Probably with a message that says I'm looking forward to celebrating their marriage with them in fall.


m2kbug

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Re: Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2014, 04:09:39 PM »
I would probably buy a nice housewarming gift now just because they are so awesome and I'm happy for them, and provide a second gift for the wedding later.  Even if not married, I would want to buy a housewarming gift for them anyway for their new home.  Wait for the wedding to buy a gift if you only wish to purchase one.  You won't be making a mistake if you get them two gifts.  :)

As far as terminology, this is not a wedding, really, but more a vow renewal.  I wouldn't really trip myself up over the proper terminology, as this is their wedding, the one that is being shared with everyone.  It's just easier to say "wedding," whether it's etiquettely appropriate or not, and everyone already knows they're already married.  It's not really a big deal to me what the right word is.  If everyone referred to it as "the vows" or "vow renewal" (I keep wanting to type vowel) then I'd go with that terminology instead.   

petal

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Re: Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2014, 10:03:15 PM »
I would send them a belated wedding present now. 

Im one that believes in only one wedding.  IMO this next one is a celebration of the earlier wedding.

esposita

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Re: Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2014, 10:14:09 PM »
I'd follow the lead of the couple. They have choosen to have their big celebration in the future when (from what I gather) they will have all the trappings of a traditional wedding. I'd hold off on a gift for now, and present it at the time they have chosen to celebrate.

I'd probably send a card now to recognize their news, though. Probably with a message that says I'm looking forward to celebrating their marriage with them in fall.

Yep. If they are making a registry, that signifies the "proper" time to give a gift; after they have completed their registry, at the wedding. They sound like they are trying to proceed normally from here on out, so I'd go along with that.

Library Dragon

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Re: Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2014, 10:40:46 PM »
I would send them a belated wedding present now. 

Im one that believes in only one wedding.  IMO this next one is a celebration of the earlier wedding.

This depends on the couple. DH and I were "married" twice in the same day. We were married in Belgium and had to get married in the city hall to have a legal marriage.  This was immediately followed by our church wedding.  For us the church wedding is the real wedding.  The city hall was merely a stepping stone.

For some it separated by more time for logistical reasons.  As long as its not an excuse for a gift grab it is the couple's decision as to which is their wedding.

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MariaE

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Re: Already married but 'wedding' is in 8 mos. - when to send gift?
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2014, 03:01:17 AM »
I would send them a belated wedding present now. 

Im one that believes in only one wedding.  IMO this next one is a celebration of the earlier wedding.

This depends on the couple. DH and I were "married" twice in the same day. We were married in Belgium and had to get married in the city hall to have a legal marriage.  This was immediately followed by our church wedding.  For us the church wedding is the real wedding.  The city hall was merely a stepping stone.

For some it separated by more time for logistical reasons.  As long as its not an excuse for a gift grab it is the couple's decision as to which is their wedding.

I totally agree with this! I have a good friend who got married in secret because her husband-to-be was being deployed to Afghanistan, and it just made a lot of things so much easier if they were legally married. They had already invited people to the "real" wedding after he returned, and nobody knew about it other than the witnesses. We only found out because the phrasing of the wedding liturgy is different when it's a church blessing of a legal marriage.

They consider the church wedding their "real" wedding - this is the date they use for anniversaries. The legal wedding was a necessity due to unfortunate circumstances.

LadyL's BIL and SIL didn't make a big to-do about their legal wedding - quite the contrary in fact - so there's no gimmie-pig aspect to it.

LadyL, do you know which date they will consider their anniversary? To me, that would decide how I went forward with this.
 
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