General chatter - What should I buy my brother for his 2nd marriage?




frustrated mom
05-02-2009, 09:15 PM
So, my younger brother (now 30), is getting married for the 2nd time, and I'm not sure what to get them for their present. We went to his first wedding, and they were married for 5 yrs. He has been living with his fiance for 2 yrs now. Are you even supposed to buy gifts for the 2nd wedding? This is her 1st marriage. I'm just feeling a little taken advantage of by them wanting gifts. Am I being selfish? I have been married to the same person for 13 1/2 yrs, and I only got one present from him. I know everyone has some good advice for me. We already have to drive 13 hrs to go the wedding, and then back 13 hrs to home, and then we have to pay someone to run our business, and then also a motel night, food, etc... Shouldn't he just be happy that we are coming?


nelie
05-02-2009, 09:26 PM
If it was me, I'd be happy you are coming :) My husband has been married before and this is my first (and only) marriage. For our wedding, we asked for no gifts although that didn't mean we didn't get any. I was very touched by some of the gifts we got. If you'd like, you can give a small gift or a card with your well wishes/thoughts.

GradPhase
05-02-2009, 09:33 PM
If it were me, I would still get them a gift. A cheaper, but good, positive gift.

Do you know the bride? If this is the true love of his life this time, would you feel bad thirteen years from now for not doing it? I know I would. But I'm big in to gift giving and celebrating stuff anyway. What about an engraved little photo album? I bought one from a kiosk in the mall for a baby shower for only 35 dollars I think. Something similar maybe?

Hopefully other people have better advice!


bargoo
05-02-2009, 09:41 PM
The photo album is a grest idea , I was going to suggest a siver picture frame.These would not be expensive and would be a meaningful gift.

flatiron
05-02-2009, 10:58 PM
Don't be a cheapskate! They are family so buy them a gift! You don't have to spend a fortune and that don't mean you only spend $9.99 on their wedding gift either! :D

I like the idea someone had of somethng sentimental like a very nice silver picture frame or something like that.

You may end up close friends with your new sister -in-law for the next 25 years who knows. :)

frustrated mom
05-02-2009, 11:19 PM
Thanks! I will look for a silver picture frame. Since we live so far away, I have only seen his fiance about 4 times in the 2 yrs that they have lived together, and I haven't really gotten to know her. If she is the Love of His Life- I don't know, except that she is a lot different than his 1st wife , in a good way.

kaplods
05-02-2009, 11:33 PM
I think when close family decides not to send a gift or sends an obviously second-rate gift for a second marriage (or any marriage), it sends a huge message of disapproval. If you don't want the message to be "I hate your guts, and your second wife, too. You're a loser for not staying married to your first wife, and your new wife is a loser for marrying you," I would give a nice gift. A nice gift says "I hope you and your new wife are very happy together," which is the message I hope you would want to send.

If you expect gift giving to be "fair," then I'd advise you to never give a gift to anyone ever, because gift-giving is rarely perfectly reciprical. Some people are better at choosing gifts than others and some people have better resources and or the ability to use them. If you need it to come out "even" in some way, you'll always be disappointed.

I had two aunts who was always tallying the value of gifts they received in comparison to others in the family, and it was a nightmare. One felt that her Christmas gifts should be bigger, because she didn't have kids, and the money that would have spent on her hypothetical children should have been spent on her, instead. The other felt her children were often short-changed, if for example someone bought group gifts for the kids (one year my brother and I got a game and my cousins got the same game and auntie complained that we got a "bigger" gift because we only had to share it two ways, when her children had to share it four ways).

I'm not saying that you're anything like my nightmare relations, but I think not sending a gift in almost any family would be an enormous message of disapproval. That being said, you don't have to spend a lot of money to give a nice gift, and there are many great gifts that are hard to put a pricetag to. My husband and I received many gifts that we had no idea (and no care) as to what the giver spent (and personally I preferred it that way). Some of the cheapest gifts were the nicest (when it was obviously the person took the time to make the gift special and meaningful to us).

glitterducky
05-03-2009, 12:04 AM
A relationship book on how to make a marriage work.

...
I said it. I went there.
That would be rather jerk-like of you to do so.

Glory87
05-03-2009, 12:41 AM
Did they register someplace? I would get them something off their registry.

Thighs Be Gone
05-03-2009, 01:07 AM
Check TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or whatever for a nice piece of crystal--something classic. Are they Christians? What about a family Bible with names engraved--Mr. & Mrs. XXX and the wedding date perhaps? If you have pics of them you could always preprogram a digitial picture frame w/their own photos.

I know you are paying a lot for the drive, motel running, etc. but a thoughtful gift doesn't always entail spending a load of money. Do they have children? You could also slip in a coupon for a weekend babysitting arrangement sometime.

I have to go to another level here and tell you something. When offering a gift it should be done with a gracious heart--not with one keeping record of what you will receive or have received in return. Give w/a happy face and heart and with no other concern or wish other than your brother's happiness.

frustrated mom
05-03-2009, 10:54 AM
Thanks for the info. I guess I was going to buy them a gift anyway, but then my feelings got in the way, because we have lived in 2 different states in the past 9 yrs, and he hasn't ever came out and seen our family. I always go out of my way to re-arrange my schedule to make sure I visit him, when we go back to where I grew up ( that is where he still lives). Sometimes I just get sick of being the bigger person. And, No, I dont want his wife to be to think that I don't like her. Have you seen the movie Fireproof? I was thinking of getting her the book Love Dare for part of their present. I read reviews on it, and it was suggested as a gift for couples getting married. What do you think about that? You know another thing that upsets me also- his first wedding, he didn't have my older brother, or myself help with the wedding at all, and at that time- I lived in the same area as him. He isn't having my older brother or myself helping at all in this wedding either, and my older brother should have been the best man, or at least an usher in both weddings. I guess there are just hard feelings, that I try not to let bother me, and try to be the bigger person, I just need support, I guess. My younger brother is just a very selfish person, and I guess that I just need to try to not let it bother me.

flatiron
05-03-2009, 11:14 AM
I think when close family decides not to send a gift or sends an obviously second-rate gift for a second marriage (or any marriage), it sends a huge message of disapproval. If you don't want the message to be "I hate your guts, and your second wife, too. You're a loser for not staying married to your first wife, and your new wife is a loser for marrying you," I would give a nice gift. A nice gift says "I hope you and your new wife are very happy together," which is the message I hope you would want to send.


I had two aunts who was always tallying the value of gifts they received in comparison to others in the family, and it was a nightmare. One felt that her Christmas gifts should be bigger, because she didn't have kids, and the money that would have spent on her hypothetical children should have been spent on her, instead.


My husband and I received many gifts that we had no idea (and no care) as to what the giver spent (and personally I preferred it that way). Some of the cheapest gifts were the nicest (when it was obviously the person took the time to make the gift special and meaningful to us).

Very well put kaplods, just what I was thinking but too inarticulate to put it into words! LOL!

And your aunts sound insane! LOL! Obviously they have never heard it is better to give than recieve!

Also I agree it doesn't have to be an expensive gift to mean something it is the thought behind it. Sometimes the simplest gift is the most cherished.

:D

sprklemajik
05-03-2009, 03:29 PM
My favorite wedding gift was made by a professor of mine who made handmade jewelry. She made me a set of wine glass charms, they are personal and lovely and although I doubt it cost a fortune they are great.

Maybe something with a personalized touch would be easier... I'm sorry that your brother has hurt you. Some times things like that happen. But all and all he's family, and bravo for you to continue to take the high road.

techwife
05-03-2009, 04:10 PM
Your brother is putting the past behind him and making a fresh start with a new wife. Your gift should reflect your acceptance of your brother and the courage he has in putting his mistakes behind him and improving his life. As his family, you should put judgement aside, showing him your support with an appropriate gift. As someone that SUFFERED through the world of dating idiot after idiot for at least two decades, I was under constant scrutiny of my sister, who met her first and only husband in high school. She always made me feel like I was less than her because I dated and dated, trying to find the right man to marry. When I finally got married at age 37 for the FIRST time, my sister showed her disapproval by buying me a candle for a gift. A $35 candle that she left the price tag on so I could see how little she paid for it. My sister is massively rich. I would have thought that me, being her only sister and knowing the struggle I went through to finally find the right guy, would justify a celebration and a "Wow! You finally found the right guy for you!!" But because I didn't get married before I was 25 and live my life exactly like she did (not that I didn't want to, it just didn't work our for me that way), she showed her disapproval with the gift she gave me. It wasn't the price, but the message that stung. She disapproved of my life, my husband choice and her little sister, in general. We didn't talk for many years.

Please, be a family member. Just because your brother isn't living his life in an exact mirror image of the way you're living your life, doesn't mean his way of living is wrong. Be accepting and gift give appropriately. If you have something to say, say it with words, but be a sister and give him a nice gift. Something nice for the bride from her new sister-in-law would really send a nice message of family to her...especially since this is her FIRST marriage. Even in you disapprove of your brother getting married for the second time, this is her FIRST marriage and she's going to be family now.

Good luck. I like the frame idea...with a nice check or $100 inside. Give generously. It may be your brother's last wedding!!! LOL

Chelby29
05-03-2009, 04:16 PM
Frustrated Mom, I feel your pain! It 'sux' having to be the big person every time! Venting here is going to make going to the wedding easier, without causing hate and discontent with the family. So, vent! Then buy a present, go to the wedding, and be thankful you don't have to buy and wear an ugly bridesmaid's dress. :D

kiramira
05-03-2009, 04:20 PM
Hey, take the high road and give him and his new bride a nice gift. I understand about the younger brother being selfish -- I send a gift to my brother for Christmas every year, and he NEVER returns my calls nor emails. Unless he wants something. Like for me to do something for him. It is a tricky situation.
But put yourself in his bride's position -- she would be hurt not to be recognized, and it would be a gracious thing to do.

With respect to Ms Kaplod's experience...man oh MAN! I am in a similar situation in a way -- my parents always give generous gifts to my sister because she has children (she's a lawyer! her husband is a lawyer!), and generous gifts to my brother because he is the youngest and he "needs our help" (he's a lawyer! With the government!) It used to bother me because I feel, well, left out. I asked about this once, years ago, and was told that when I had kids, I'd get presents too. And my brother isn't married, so he needs someone to give him presents. I am married but unable to have kids. And the gift-giving to dear sis and dear bro continues. So it does kind of hurt. But I don't mention it or discuss it, because it is my parents' money to do with as they like. I make enough for myself, and I'm just fine.

ALL this to say, sometimes it isn't the gift, it is the thought BEHIND the gift, and it would mean alot to your future sister-in-law if you were gracious...
JMHO
Kira

kaplods
05-03-2009, 04:37 PM
My own brother has always been a bit of a jerk. Once he went into the navy at 17, we were lucky to hear from him twice a year. He married a woman who isn't big on keeping track of family birthdays and such, and their children weren't taught to send thank you notes, or even a phone call acknowledging gifts. My parents and one sister continue to send them gifts each year.

My husband and I don't send gifts to my brother or his family. They didn't send a gift for our wedding (but they weren't able to attend either). I didn't take it as a negative message, because he never gives gifts ever. However, if they had made the trip from Washington state to attend the wedding and not brought a gift, I would have wondered if they were trying to tell me something, and I know if I had not brought a gift to their wedding (which I attended) it would have sent a negative message (my brother actrually may not have even noticed, but I'm sure his wife would have). In fact, if I chose not to go to their wedding (it was in another state), I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have noticed - but to attend the wedding and not bring a gift, I think speaks louder than not giving a gift if you don't attend.

I just wanted to put a context to my prior advice. If I went to the wedding I CERTAINLY would give a nice gift, because otherwise it's a bit obvious that I'm sending a judgemental message. For birthdays and Christmas I stopped sending gifts, not primarily because they weren't reciprocated or acknowledged, but partially so. I knew my brother and his wife often had financial problems (personally, I believe they overspend, but really that's not my business, and they do live in an expensive part of the country), and I sort of figured that sending them gifts when they felt they couldn't or wouldn't reciprocate, might be making them uncomfortable. So, I don't send Christmas or birthday gifts to them or their kids. My mom and one sister send gifts every year for both Christmas and birthdays, but then complain about not getting any gifts or acknowledgement in return.

I did send Christmas gifts and care packages to my brother when he was in Iraq to him in Iraq and his family in Washington. I didn't expect to get thanks, but I wanted to show my support. Ironically, those were gifts that were acknowledged. It made me feel really good to know for sure that they appreciated the gifts - and made me a lot less resentful of all the prior laziness. When it really mattered, they stepped up. I'm not excusing their lack of gratefulness during "regular" Christmases, but I can't regret doing something nice when I knew they could really use it.

I do regret that my brother and I aren't closer, because we were really close when we were kids (in that love/hate relationship siblings can have). He can be a bit of a turd, but he's my little brother. He's going through a lot too, though as he came back from Iraq with a bunch of medals and a severe case of PTSD.