At some point in your life, you may find yourself a guest at a wedding in which one or both of the individuals are headed down the aisle for the second time. Regardless of circumstance, these are always joyous celebrations and guest etiquette should be reflective of the occasion. Yet, you may still find yourself questioning what you should do, say, or give when this isn’t their first marriage. We’re here to help.
Some guest etiquette experts suggest that giving a gift for a second wedding isn’t necessary, but we beg to differ. If you’re attending a celebration in which you’re wined, dined, and—most important—wanted, it’s only courteous to give the couple a token of your well wishes.
As with any wedding gift, give what you are comfortable giving, and perhaps something within a budget that reflects your relationship with the couple. For guests who have attended, and given gifts, for both a past wedding and a present one, you can also factor in timing. If the weddings are happening within a year or two of one another, you’re not really obligated to give as much as you did the first time, especially if you can’t afford it. If years, or decades, have passed, then give as you typically would. And keep in mind it’s not about the money, it’s the thought and sentiment that counts.
Steer Clear of the Drama
In a perfect world, the day would be about celebrating the present and the future, without mention of the past. However, it’s likely that you may hear a comment or conversation referring to the previous marriage. It’s best if you avoid partaking in any exchange that could be negative, or makes you feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable. It’s also important to avoid comparing this wedding to any past weddings, for good measure.
As long as you weren’t asked for any reason to avoid posting photographs or videos from the wedding, you’re in the clear. Proceed as you normally would, and post and tag to your heart’s content. Even if you’re connected on social media to one of the exes, it’s not your responsibility to keep things secret or under wraps, unless there are extenuating circumstances you’ve been made aware of.
If you’re honored with being a member of the bridal party, this too should be treated mostly as with any other wedding; however, there may be a few changes. Perhaps the bride will opt to not have a second shower, or will prefer a simple girl’s night out as opposed to a full-blown bachelorette. Follow her lead, and do what you can to respect her wishes while being a great friend.