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Do I Have to Give a Gift for a Second Marriage if I Did at the First One?

by Candice Coleman

Family members and friends may have given graciously to someone's first wedding, only to wonder what to do when a second wedding invitation appears in the mail. Though gift etiquette may seem obvious with a first marriage, the etiquette of gift-giving can get blurry for a second marriage. Speaking with others can also give you an idea of what you should do.

No Gifts Necessary...

If you attended a previous wedding and gave a gift, you are off the hook for giving a gift for someone's second wedding, according to the Emily Post Institute. However, this etiquette rule can get blurry and feelings can get hurt if others in the family plan to give a gift, according to Emily Post's Etiquette Daily. Pitching in with other guests to purchase a larger gift or writing a thoughtful card can be another way to acknowledge someone's second nuptials.

Exceptions to the Rule

You may still be obligated to give a gift for your friend's second wedding, even if you gave her a gift for her first wedding shower. Usually, guests are expected to give a gift at both a wedding shower and a wedding, according to the Emily Post Institute. For that reason, if you gave a gift at the first wedding shower, but did not give a gift at the wedding, you may want to get a gift for the second wedding . If you attend a wedding shower, you should always give a gift -- even for a second marriage, according to The Knot. A gift may also be expected, if you did not attend the first marriage ceremony.

Second Wedding Considerations

The decision of whether you should buy a gift can cause unnecessary discomfort. In some cases, brides and grooms getting married for a second time may express that they do not want gifts by word-of-mouth or in their wedding invitations, according to the Emily Post Institute. If information is not included in the invitation, ask family and friends if they have heard what the marrying couple would like for their wedding.

Giving a Gift

You may find that giving a gift may prevent conflict with family, friends or the marrying couple. In those cases, it is acceptable to give something you own as a gift to the couple, as long as it is in good repair and could be something the couple would use, according to the Emily Post Institute. Choosing something within your budget off of the registry or purchasing another small token gift, like a bottle of wine, may also be appropriate for a second wedding. Offering help while the couple is away on their honeymoon, like baby-sitting their children, can also be a useful and different "gift" than the traditional.

About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.

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