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04.25.2002: Etiquette Schmetiquette
common-sense manners
for real-world living
1 2 3

wedding-related gifts ...
If you are invited to a Bridal Shower, Bachelorette Party and the wedding, are you required to buy a gift for each? DEBI

A: Between travel expenses and gift-giving, weddings have a pesky tendency to get expensive even when youíre just a guest. And while I hate the idea of gifts being required Ė Iíve said it before and Iíll say it again, knowing someone gave me something simply because it was deemed socially mandatory takes away just a little of the niceness of the gesture Ė I also understand that no one wants to look like a jerk because they didnít bring a gift when every other guest has. So hereís the lowdown on which wedding-related events dictate gifts and which donít Ö

Bachelorette party gifts are generally of the gag gift/saucy lingerie variety, but no one will blink an eye if you arrive with nothing to offer except your fun old self. Bridal showers, on the other hand, are pretty much thrown for the express purpose of flooding the bride-to-be with goodies, and since watching the bride ooh and ahh as she opens each present is generally one of the highlights of the party, itís definitely expected that you bring something.

As for whether youíre then required to give a wedding gift as well, my feeling is this: the showerís for the bride, but the weddingís for the couple, and as such, itís really not like youíre buying a second gift for the exact same 
occasion. And while I think itís pretty petty when I hear someone sniff about how a guest neglected to send a wedding gift Ė because a wedding is so not about material gain, folks! -- I also think that itís just plain nice for you, as a friend or relative of the bride, to present the happy newlyweds with another gift in congratulations for their wedding, even if youíve already gifted the bride at the shower.

housewarming traditions 
What is the significance of giving wine as a housewarming gift? I saw this in the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life" and cannot recall the reason given when presented to the new home owners. Thank you.

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