Friendships, Lifestyle

Wedding Gift Etiquette and Ideas for Second Marriages

Second marriages can lead to questions on wedding etiquette: what should you give? How much should you spend? And do you need to give a wedding gift if you’ve already given one in the past?

Wedding gift etiquette and ideas for second marriages can be tricky to navigate, but we have advice on how to elegantly celebrate these special unions and unique love stories.


Second Marriage Gift Etiquette

As societal norms and the diverse nature of modern relationships have evolved, so have the expectations on second wedding gift etiquette. Whether a couple is celebrating their first or second wedding, it is an opportunity for you to show your love, thoughtfulness, and support. 

Changes in Traditional Expectations

Historically, there was a stigma attached to second marriages that led many couples to avoid celebrating. Whether the couple didn’t think their family and friends would support a second wedding or guests felt indifferent to the idea, it led to second marriages not receiving attention or celebration. But things have changed.

Many now understand that a second marriage is as meaningful and fulfilling as a first marriage. Couples and their loved ones are now celebrating second weddings with the same enthusiasm and joy as a first marriage. 

Today, second marriages are widely seen as a chance for new beginnings and an opportunity for individuals to find happiness and fulfillment — and that is a cause for celebration and meaningful commemoration.  

Factors to Consider When Deciding to Give a Gift

There are no iron-clad rules for wedding gift etiquette and ideas for second marriages, but the following guidelines can help you determine if you should give a gift, how much you should spend, and what you should purchase. 

Relationship With the Couple: If a couple close to you, such as a family member or close friend, is entering into a second marriage, it’s common to show your support with a gift. You may not need to give a gift or spend as much if the couple is a casual acquaintance such as a work colleague or distant family member.

Formality of the Event: The formality of the wedding can help guide you toward the right gift-giving decision. If a couple is having a small, casual gathering, you could show your love with a small, meaningful gift. If the couple is hosting a large, elaborate wedding with all the bells and whistles, consider matching the enthusiasm with a higher-ticket wedding gift.

Couple's Preferences and Wishes: In some cases, couples getting married for the second time may address gift-giving. The couple may recognize the situation and guide guests toward what they deem appropriate. Some couples may express a “no gift” policy. Others may create a registry, ask for contributions to a honeymoon fund, or suggest a charitable donation instead of a gift. If they mention a preference, it’s best to stick to their wishes.  

Related: Wedding Gift Giving: A Modern Wedding Gift Etiquette Guide


Gift-Giving Considerations

As you start shopping for a couple celebrating their second wedding, stick to traditional gift-giving etiquette, but also be mindful of unique considerations for second marriages. 

Navigating Registry Etiquette

As with all wedding gift buying, start with the registry. Couples create registries to ensure they receive items they want and will use. Buy directly from the registry, or use the items on the list to get inspired. The registry can help you get a feel for the couple’s style and aesthetic and lead you to a unique gift the newlyweds will admire, appreciate, and enjoy. 

Specific Considerations for Different Demographics

The demographics of couples celebrating a second wedding often look different than those entering their first marriage. Many couples entering into a second marriage are at a different stage in their lives, which leads to unique considerations for gift giving. 

Older Couples: Couples at a later stage in their life are less likely to need household necessities. Instead of buying standard household goods, choose elevated and lavish items, such as a luxurious cashmere throw, a charcuterie board made from high-quality wood, or a set of stunning crystal champagne flutes. For more ideas, check out our curated list of Wedding Gifts for Older Couples.

Blended Families: A second marriage isn’t always a union of two people. It is often a union of two families. If the wedding will result in a blended family, consider gift options that celebrate the entire group. Gift an in-person event the entire family can experience together. Or celebrate the merger with personalized artwork or a sentimental keepsake featuring each member of the new family.

Couples Who Have Lost a Loved One: Second marriages can sometimes come with emotional complexities, such as past losses and reminders of difficult previous relationships. As you choose gifts, consider the history of the couples and their families. Be mindful of avoiding gifts that could trigger difficult memories or diminish the significance of lost loved ones. 

Couples Who Have Everything: In many second marriages, couples come together and combine their households. They may already have most of what they want and need. For couples who seem to have everything, think outside of the box. Consider gifting a unique experience, an interesting piece of artful decor, or a thoughtful charitable donation. 


Gift Ideas for Second Marriages

Once you’ve considered wedding gift etiquette and ideas for second marriages, it’s time to get to the delightful act of shopping! Here are a few of our inspired ideas for wedding gifts for couples celebrating a second marriage. 

Household Upgrades

Use a wedding gift as an opportunity to elevate what the couple already owns. Gift the newlyweds something upscale and lavish that they might not buy for themselves. 

  • Bed and Bath: Turn their bed and bath into a relaxing sanctuary by gifting high-thread-count sheets, a plush towel set, or a luxurious throw blanket. Curate an at-home spa gift basket filled with soothing soaps, luxury bath salts, and natural candles.
  • Kitchen: Help the couple create a true chef’s kitchen with elevated kitchen accessories and tools. Gift a stunning edge grain cutting board that is useful and an elegant kitchen accent. A wonderful gift for wine lovers is a Coravin System that preserves the quality of an opened bottle of wine.
  • Hosting & Dining: Enhance the beauty of the couple’s tablescapes with high-end bar accents and serveware. A stunning cheese board, a set of beautiful and unique coasters, or a marble wine cooler are all lavish and useful gifts.  


Personalized Items

Go beyond ordinary off-the-rack items by personalizing a gift for the newlyweds. Make an item more memorable by customizing it with the wedding date. Consider framing their wedding invitation, commissioning a custom piece of art such as a print of their wedding location on a map, or personalizing an album and adding a few of your favorite photos. 

Experiential Gifts

Turn your gift into an excuse for the couple to spend time together and create new and lasting memories by giving them an experience. 

  • Date Night: Give the couple the gift of a romantic evening together. Choose an event or curate a gift they can use for a date night. Purchase tickets for a gourmet cooking class, wine tasting, or theater production. Or give a wedding gift basket gift with all the essentials for enjoying an at-home movie or spa night. 
  • Classes: Consider the couple’s favorite hobbies and give them a gift that allows them to explore their interests. Offer gift certificates for activities tailored to the couple's interests such as golf lessons, art workshops, or dance classes.  
  • Travel: Give a gift that helps the couple go on their next adventure in style and luxury. Choose a set of high-quality luggage for travel. Ideas include matching suitcases, weekender bags, or a personalized luggage tag set.

Cash & Donations  

When you can’t seem to find a gift that fits the couple’s needs and wants, you have another option. Cash is an often appreciated gift, especially if the couple plans to go on a honeymoon or are planning upcoming home improvements. Gift cards to favorite restaurants and shops are also acceptable and well-loved gifts.

Another way to gift money is through a charity donation. Donations are a generous and thoughtful way to celebrate a couple reluctant to receive gifts for their second marriage. Making a donation in the couple’s name allows you to celebrate their special occasion while honoring their wishes of no gifts. 


Appropriate Wedding Gift Etiquette and Ideas for Second Marriages

In many cases, second marriages are just as (if not more) meaningful than a first wedding. If a couple has invited you to join them in celebrating the start of a new stage in their life, show them love, enthusiasm, and support.

Help the couple commemorate the special time in their life with a gift that celebrates their unique love story and showcases your thoughtfulness and support.

For more ideas on inspired gift-giving, browse Fran Berger’s exquisitely curated collection of homewares and home accents. Each item has been hand-selected by Fran for its beauty, quality, and unique artfulness. Browse the shop now.



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