Cousin Renewing Wedding Vows in Church, do I bring a gift?

I know people do this all the time (renew their vows), but this is the first time I’ll be attending the church wedding and have no clue whether it’s appropriate to bring a “wedding” gift, if so, what??? My cousin and her husband have been married 24 yrs!

No gift. The idea behind wedding gifts is to help a couple who is establishing a new household get started. A couple that’s been together for 24 years is already established.

Otto, thanx! I was thinking the same thing (by now they should have everything they need). I’ll feel weird though, if others show up with presents! I know my mom has already purchased a gift, after I told her not to until we get clarification…darn it and I’m driving her to the wedding too :dubious:

A renewal of vows calls for a completely voluntary gift: if it’s a couple who is very special to you, you give a small memento as an acknowledgment of your good wishes. Otherwise no gift is expected or etiquettally required.

I’m only nit-picking ever so slightly; gifts are never “required.” A required gift is a bribe.

I hardly know my cousin and her husband; different age bracket and we lived in dif states most of our lives, BUT they’ve been sorta close to my mom and that means a lot to me, so more out of respect for my mom’s relationship with my cousin, I want to do the right thing.

Not to nitpick your nitpick but a bribe is payment for an extralegal service. It is neither required nor a gift. A required gift would probably be called a tribute, or some kind of extortion, perhaps.


Talk to your mom, seriously. I would find it very odd for a couple renewing vows to expect (in a non-binding way, of course) presents.

I read up a bit and saw on person on a wedding forum who did the quickie civil ceremony and waited 6 years to have a “real” wedding. In that sort of case, I would personally be more inclied to give a traditional wedding gift, since the couple didn’t have a traditional wedding in the first place. A wedding expert commenting on a different question had this to say about vow renewals in general

Moderator interjection:
The forum called “Cafe Society” is for questions/discussions about arts and entertainment. While weddings can certainly be entertaining, I think this question more appropriately belongs in the forum called “IMHO,” soliciting opinions about various questions.

The wedding itself isn’t a place to bring gifts, is it? I know of some few who have had a gift table at the wedding reception, but many people around here use the wedding shower to give the gifts. Or, sending them to to the bride’s parents home (or the couple’s home if already living together.)

Etiquette is so confusing, tho. Just be happy for them and do what feels right to you. If that includes a gift, great. If not, don’t sweat it.

To continue our hijack of pace’s thread for one more round, note my coined adverb “etiquettally” which was intended to be a significant modifier. Certainly unless it’s 500 AD, you’re a petty king living in fear of an invasion by the Vandals, and the wedding in question is that of Gaiseric King of the Vandals, no wedding gift is a mandatory extortion.

But it was my intent to describe what was a valid expectation under the rules of etiquette (a gift is expected at a first-time wedding) vs. what was a completely free gesture (give something if they’re your best friends; otherwise nothing is expected).

I think it’s kind of expected, sure. Weddings, birthdays, graduation parties, they all say ‘come celebrate my special moment, and since these special celebrations cost money, please contribute to cover my cost of inviting you.’ Hence, a token gift.

It’s this line of thinking that I take offense at. You’re inviting someone to share in your special day. Why should an invited guest have to cover their cost of being “invited”?
I’ve known brides who add up the (supposed) cost of their gifts and compare it to the outlay of the wedding and then try to figure out if they ‘broke even’ or not.

A gift is just that - a gift. It comes from the heart, and is given freely.
A gift that is given because it’s expected to cover the cost of a meal isn’t really a gift now, is it?

To me a Renewal of vows would count as a fancy Anniversary party.
Something like a picture frame, a nice ornament or something similar would be called for if I was going to buy a gift. Nothing OTT.

I agree Bibliocat, but that is what a lot of people do. It ain’t right, but there it is.