And, if you're a wedding guest who has spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on travel, gifts, attire, etc for a friend's first wedding only to have to do the same thing several years later; do you really have to get another gift? Experts disagree on this one. Rebecca Black says, "No, you're not obligated to. A congratulatory note would suffice." But, Kathleen Murray of "The Knot" says guests have to "grin and bear it." "You can spend less on a second-time gift, if you want, but you should act like this is the one and only wedding because for one of them, it might be."
One very popular route many encore couples are taking is also a big crowd pleaser. Increasingly, couples request that their guests make a small donation in their name to a charity. With "The I Do Foundation", guests can donate a lump sum to a charity or donate through purchases made in the couples' names at several partner stores, like Target or Linens-N-Things, which then donate a portion of the cost to a charity. "Already have a fondue pot?" says the foundation's web site, "Give your guests the option to donate to your favorite charity."
The American Cancer Society also offers personalized scrolls that couples can order in memory of a loved one who died of cancer. The scrolls are then left at their guests' place settings at the reception in lieu of favors.
Another popular encore wedding registry option for encore couples is to ask guests to chip in for their honeymoon costs. Lorrie Ines and Chris Hinton did just that, registering with www.honeyfund.com, one of the few sites that doesn't charge a fee, say Ines. After their July wedding, the newlyweds will head to Hawaii for a weeklong honeymoon where some of their guests may have already picked up the tab for things like massages, a dinner cruise, an ATV excursion and even happy hour cocktails, all things they registered for through the site. "You don't want to ask for money," says Kathleen Murray of "The Knot", "so it's about being creative in getting what you want."
Theresa DiMasi says once-untraditional wedding gifts are becoming a very popular trend for older and second-time married couples who don't need more flatware. "You can register for like golf clubs or photography equipment. Things that are lifestyle items that are a reflection of a couple's lives together." Wine and camping equipment are also popular items.
Untraditional weddings and untraditional wedding gifts, all becoming traditional as more and more brides like Lorrie Ines head down the aisle. "I don't know who makes up all the rules and who decides that some rules no longer apply", says Ines, "but its all working out fine with me."