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07/08/2014

Top 10 Wedding Gift Rules You Should Know

This summer, all over the country, people will be visiting an online John Lewis wedding gift list to buy one of a pair of cappuccino towels (because it’s the only thing left for under £50). Selecting a gift for the bride and groom is as traditional as cutting the cake or watching the first dance, but it’s also one aspect of weddings that’s a political minefield. It isn’t just the wedding guests who vex about gifts; the happy couple also worry about whether or not it’s polite to specify what they want or what should and shouldn’t be expected of their guests.

The etiquette surrounding wedding-gift giving and receiving has somewhat shifted in recent years, but at the root, there are some unbreakable dos and don’ts that underpin good manners and politeness. With the help wedding buying and selling website WedBay.co.uk we’ve compiled a list of 10 essential wedding-gift rules for the benefit of brides and guests alike.

1. If you’re invited to the actual wedding ceremony, give the bride and groom a gift. No ifs, no buts!

If you’re invited to the evening reception, or a party after the actual ceremony has occurred, you may or may not wish to give a gift, but many people do anyway. If you attend the ceremony, it’s the pit of bad manners not to give a gift. Even if the bride and groom insist that they don’t want a gift, give one anyway.

Top 10 Wedding Gift Rules You Should Know
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Clair Hart from wedbay.co.uk said “One of my married friends warned me ‘not everyone will buy you a gift, and you’ll be acutely aware of who didn’t for the rest of time’. I thought it sounded extreme, but post wedding, when writing down names next to gifts, ready to start penning 150 thank you cards, the absent names of some close friends were as disappointing as that engagement ring sized box containing a fridge magnet I was once given.” In a pole conducted by WedBay.co.uk, 98% of users said that you should provide a gift if you’re invited to the wedding ceremony.

2. What if the bride and groom specify ‘no gifts’?

It is not the done thing for the bride and groom to be to specify gifts on an invite, but you should still buy a gift. If the invite specifically states that you should not buy a gift, this is not your get-out clause. Clair says “You’ve been invited to the wedding because you are important to the people getting hitched, so you should want to buy them a token or gift to help send them on their way into married life.”

3. Should a bride and groom specify what they would like on the invite?

Traditionally it is not polite to specify what gift you would like on an invite (including a gift list or asking for cash into a honeymoon fund). However, times are shifting and the average age of newlyweds is getting older, so people look to avoid ending up with sixteen toasters. Many couples are taking the lead of other cultures and are asking for cash or donations to that holiday of a lifetime.

Clair says “Although it is never acceptable to openly request gifts or money, sometimes a polite poem or hint is enough to inform people that you’d welcome a donation rather than a gift… if you feel that is absolutely necessary.” If an invite suggests that guests should not feel obliged to bring a gift, don’t take it literally. Interestingly, 61% of the Wedbay.co.uk poll said that you should clarify what you would like as a gift, whilst 39% said that it’s bad manners.

4. Making a journey to a wedding does not count as a gift!

Destination weddings can end up being pricey for guests. Even non-destination weddings can involve a reasonable amount of travelling. Accommodation, transport, time off work, and other expenses can all add up, often stretching guests to the limits of what they can afford. However, this does not mean you get off scot-free. Clair adds “You can spend a lot less on a gift, which is fine, but it is still customary to provide some sort of token.

Obviously if you have financial worries, the bride and groom will understand if you don’t buy a gift, but you should discuss this with them when accepting the invite.” 64% of the Wedbay.co.uk pole said that a gift should be provided even if a guest has travelled a reasonable distance to get to the Wedding.

5. How much should you spend on a wedding gift?

Yes it’s a crass question, but it’s one that many guests toil over. Too little and you seem stingy, too much and you end up looking like a show-off, or you spend money that you can little afford. Clair recommends “I always advise that you should spend what you’d reasonably expect to spend on a night out. You’ll be fed and watered at most weddings, so if you feel that a meal and drinks would typically cost you £60, that would be an appropriate amount to spend on a gift.”

6. Give the gift on the day (or a few days before).

Tradition suggests that you should send a gift within a year of the wedding, but these days, many couples rely on cash gifts to book their honeymoon. Clair advises “Giving a gift on the day will allow the bride and groom to send you a ‘Thank You’ card straight away, avoiding any awkwardness.” 76% of the wedbay.co.uk poll said that the gift should be given on the day of the wedding.

7. Bride and grooms should send ‘Thank You’ notes within three months.

The bride and groom should always acknowledge the gift by sending a ‘Thank You’ note or letter. Clair recommends “This should be done within three months of getting married, and certainly within six. It’s not only polite to acknowledge a gift, but many guests will be wondering if theirs ever arrived, especially if they bought it through a gift list provider.”

A resounding 96% of the wedbay.co.uk survey said that a bride and groom should always send ‘Thank You’ notes to acknowledge a gift.

8. Even if someone didn’t send you a gift, you should still give one in return when they get married?

Even though only 54% of the wedbay.co.uk survey agreed, it’s time to be the bigger person. Clair adds “You should do the right thing and provide a gift, even if that person didn’t give you anything on your wedding day. You don’t need to spend a fortune, but you’ll feel more comfortable within yourself.”

9. Should you provide a gift for a ‘renewing of wedding vows’ or for second marriages?

If you are attending a second wedding, or a vows renewal, and you were at the original ceremony, you are not obliged to buy another gift. Clair says “You’ll have to weigh up the circumstances, but most second weddings are slightly more ‘low key’ and renewals are usually for the benefit of the couple, rather than a celebration of their lawful marriage.” 70% of thewedbay.co.uk poll agreed that you should not be obliged to buy a gift for a second wedding or renewing of vows.

10. If the bride jilts the groom at the alter, or vice-versa, should the gift be returned?

Should the wedding not happen for any reason, or the marriage only lasts a matter of days or weeks, the gifts should be returned without exception. If the wedding is delayed for something like a medical emergency, it may be acceptable to hold onto the gift until the postponed date, but you should inform the sender of your intentions. Oliver suggests “To avoid any unnecessary discomfort, don’t open gifts after the wedding has taken place. It’s easier and less embarrassing to return gifts unopened!”

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06:26 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

05/08/2014

Church faces legal challenge after blocking job offer to married gay priest

The first priest to marry his same-sex partner is to issue a legal challenge to the Church of England after his offer of a job as an NHSchaplain was withdrawn when his bishop refused the necessary permission.

The Rev Jeremy Pemberton, who married Laurence Cunnington in April, was informed on Friday that Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS trust had withdrawn its offer of a job after Bishop Richard Inwood had refused him the official licence in the diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.

The Rev Jeremy Pemberton (left) and Laurence Cunnington on their wedding day
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"It this is not challenged," Pemberton said on Sunday, "it will send a message to all chaplains of whom a considerable number are gay and lesbian. This is an area of law that has not been tested and needs to be."

Anglican clergy are allowed to enter civil partnerships, but the House of Bishops has forbidden them to marry their same-sex partners, at least until a two-year discussion process within the church has been completed.

But the legal process for disciplining clergy who do so is unclear and has not been tested. Supporters of gay marriage claim it is a doctrinal issue, which is cumbersome and difficult for the church to prosecute. Opponents claim it is merely a matter of conduct, for which a simpler legal process exists.

Pemberton's case suggests that some bishops hope to deal with the matter by ensuring that no one who marries their same-sex partner will ever find another job.

"It is tragic and disappointing that bishops think they can get away with this," Pemberton said. "I have not been through any disciplinary process."

The matter is complicated because Pemberton, who lives in Southwell and sings in the minster there, already has a job as a hospital chaplain in the neighbouring diocese of Lincoln. He had been hoping to move his work closer to home.

The bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Rev Christopher Lawson, has made no moves against Pemberton.

Lincoln is in the ecclesiastical province of Canterbury, and the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has let it be known that he will leave individual cases to the bishops involved. But Southwell and Nottingham is in the province of York, and the archbishop of York, John Sentamu, has been a vociferous opponent of gay marriage.

Inwood's statement said he made his decision after consultation with Sentamu.

The gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has threatened to out gay bishops, whom he accuses of being complicit in the persecution of other gay men. He last did so in 1994, naming, among others, the then archbishop of York, David Hope, who responded by saying his sexualitywas "a grey area". But negotiations between gay clergy groups and senior bishops were opened within days of Tatchell's demonstration.

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05:33 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

23/07/2014

Wedding Bells Ring: Law denies same-sex couples 'fundamental right,' says judge

A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 Friday, July 18 that the same-sex couples have the right to legally marry in the state.

In his majority in opinion in Bishop v. Smith, Circuit Court Judge Carlos F. Lucero wrote, "... Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage sweeps too broadly in that it denies a fundamental right to all same-sex couples who seek to marry or to have their marriages recognized regardless of their child-rearing ambitions. As with opposite-sex couples, members of same-sex couples have a constitutional right to choose against procreation."

However, Lucero noted, "Oklahoma has barred all same-sex couples, regardless of whether they will adopt, bear, or otherwise raise children, from the benefits of marriage while allowing all opposite-sex couples, regardless of their child-rearing decisions, to marry."

According to a statement Friday from Charles Joughin, a spokesman for the national Human Rights Campaign, "The state of Oklahoma now has the option to request an en banc appeal before the full bench of the 10th Circuit, which decides whether or not to grant that request. It may also bypass an en banc session and appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court."

In June, the same 10th Circuit panel also struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban. Utah is expected to appeal that ruling.

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Evan Wolfson, president of the national group Freedom to Marry, stated, "Today's ruling arises out of the oldest active marriage case in the country, filed in Oklahoma 10 years ago; and follows more than two-dozen favorable rulings for marriage in the past year. The legal consensus is clear: marriage discrimination is unconstitutional and inflicts concrete harms on committed gay and lesbian couples and their families. ... It is time for the Supreme Court to end this patchwork of discrimination and bring our country to national resolution as soon as possible."

Since June 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down California's Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban on a technicality and essentially killed the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited federal recognition of such unions, there have been numerous court rulings favorable to same-sex marriages.

Florida judge overturns marriage ban

A judge in Florida has struck down that state's same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional, but the ruling currently only applies to the county where the ruling was issued, which includes the Florida Keys, the national group Freedom to Marry says.

Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia, who was appointed by former Governor Jeb Bush, a Republican, made his ruling in Huntsman v. Heavilin Thursday, July 17.

"This court concludes that a citizen's right to marry is a fundamental right that belongs to the individual," Garcia said in his ruling, according to HRC.

State Attorney General Pam Bondi quickly appealed the ruling. In a statement, Bondi spokeswoman Jenn Meale said, "With many similar cases pending throughout the entire country, finality on this constitutional issue must come from the U.S. Supreme Court." The ruling was stayed until at least Wednesday, July 22.

HRC legal director Sarah Warbelow stated Thursday, "Today's court ruling in Florida is further proof that America is ready for marriage equality nationwide. Unfortunately, same-sex couples in a majority of states still don't have the right to marry, creating a confusing patchwork of marriage laws across the country. This is not only unsustainable, but it's also unconstitutional."

Same-sex couples can legally get married in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

Freedom to Marry's Wolfson stated, "Like an unprecedented wave of state and federal courts across the country this past year, Judge Garcia did the right thing in affirming that committed same-sex couples share in the precious constitutional freedom to marry the person we love."

Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, also took note of the national progress. In a statement to the Bay Area Reporter, Minter said, "The victories in Florida and Oklahoma show that the momentum for marriage equality is continuing full force, in both state and federal courts, and even in states that until recently have been among the most hostile to LGBT families. Every victory makes ultimate victory in the U.S. Supreme Court more likely."

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07:58 Publié dans wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)