Etiquette for Second Marriage Wedding Gifts

a gift of love image by Pix by Marti from

Although at one time second weddings were quiet affairs, usually only celebrated by the couple and close family members, they have grown into larger affairs in the late 20th and early 21st century. The prevalence of second weddings can leave guests feeling confused about wedding etiquette, such as if they need to bring a gift.

No Gift Necessary

According to etiquette experts Miss Manners and Peggy Post, you only need to give a couple a present for their first wedding. It's not rude to skip the gift the second time around, especially if you gave either the bride or groom a gift the first time. Even though you are not obligated to give the couple a gift, you are free to do so if you wish. Family members and close friends in particular may find giving a gift appropriate.

The Couple Can Still Register

It's not rude for a couple to register for a few gifts. Creating a registry will make gift shopping easier for those who want to buy a present but won't create an obligation for those who'd rather skip the gifts this time around. Since many couples who are getting married for a second time are older, they may choose to register for smaller items, such as table linens, instead of the stand mixers and food processors often found on first time wedding registries.

Don't Mention the Gifts

With a second wedding, as with a first, the couple shouldn't mention their wedding registry unless a guest asks them about it. It may be more polite for a guest to ask the maid of honor or a family member about the couple's registry, instead of asking the bride or groom directly. The couple should avoid listing where they've registered on the wedding invitation. Under no circumstance should a couple mention that they'd like cash for their wedding.

When to Give the Gift

If you do decide to give a gift, mail it to the couple's residence a few weeks before the wedding. The gift could get misplaced if you bring it to the ceremony or reception, especially if it's a destination wedding or the couple is heading off on their honeymoon right after the wedding. You may bring a check or cash to the wedding, though. While some people claim that you have a year to give a gift after the wedding, it doesn't reflect well on you if you wait 9 or 12 months to buy a gift.