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Bridal Gifts for Second Marriage

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr, studioD

Weddings where either the bride or the groom has been married before are becoming more and more common, notes the Census Bureau. For U.S. citizens 15 years or older in 2009, 15 percent had married two or more times. You probably have friends who are marrying for a second time and might wonder about what gifts to give them. Some "encore couples" request no gifts, and if you gave a wedding gift to one member of the couple for their first wedding, you may be off the hook this time. If you do need a gift, however some direction could be beneficial.

Check with the couple or family members to see if the couple has requested no gifts or if they are registered somewhere. If they have been living together for a while, they might have all they need as far necessities are concerned. If one or the other of the couple is still reeling from a divorce, they could need items for their new household. Ask to be sure.

Decide if you want to give a gift. Although a second marriage gift is not technically required if you gave a gift the first time, notes Emily Post’s Etiquette Daily, many friends and family do give gifts to celebrate the bridal couple. Check the bridal registry if you plan to give a gift or ask a family member if there is a fund to help offset the cost of the wedding or honeymoon. Cash could benefit some couples a great deal.

Consider giving a small gift for children of the bride or groom instead of a gift to the bridal couple if they have requested no gifts. With all the attention on the bride and groom, a kid could feel a little jealous. A small gift could help smooth some of the angst of blending the families and make the occasion a little brighter for the child. If there is no child, give a gift in honor of the couple to their favorite charity. Most non-profits will send a notification card to the couple letting them know of your gift.

Determine if a gift of service is the best option if you have a skill the bride and groom could use. Perhaps you bake and decorate cakes, have great photography skills or could watch the couple’s child while they take a few days off for a honeymoon. You need to offer these services early, before the couple makes other arrangements. Do let them know that they won’t hurt your feelings if they say “no” or already have the need covered.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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