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Annie Lane: Split ceremony wedding gifts — when to give

Dear Annie: What’s the correct etiquette for giving gifts for “reverse order” weddings? I have seen several times where a couple will first have a small civil ceremony to get married without the immediate expense of a formal wedding. Then, about a year later, they will have a formal wedding and reception, with the wedding shower being held before that date. This actually has had to be done by many couples where weddings had to be postponed because of the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 shutdowns. Most likely you’ll not be invited to the civil ceremony but are invited to the shower and wedding. What is the etiquette for gift-giving for these three occasions? Should you give the couple a now and later wedding gift as well as a shower gift? The civil ceremony will be the couple’s official wedding date.

—  Friend of the Bride and Groom

Dear Friend of the Bride and Groom: One gift is A-OK. No reasonable couple that has a “split ceremony” (as I’ve heard them called) expects double presents. Mail your gift and card to their home. You can send it around the civil ceremony or wait to send it around the larger wedding reception: Either is appropriate.

Dear Annie: My boyfriend and I were long distance for about a year. We met online and only spent a handful of days together in person during our relationship. Eventually, it became too much for him, and he broke up with me last year because of the distance.

I still have intense feelings for him. And I’m flying to his town later this year to tell him that I still love him, but I am afraid that he will reject me.

Even though we never spent much time together in person, we had talked about our relationship being serious and committed. But by the end of our relationship, he just didn’t show any interest in me. He wouldn’t text me or return my texts. I know that he still loves me, but I’m wondering if he might be embarrassed to see me if I show up in his town unannounced. Please tell me what to do.

—  Longing for My Long-Distance Lover

Dear Longing: To paraphrase Maya Angelou, when someone shows you how they feel about you, believe them the first time. Spare yourself the airfare and additional heartache: He’s not interested —  or at least, not interested enough to make this work, and that’s what counts. The truth hurts, but it shall set you free. Once you accept that this is over, you can begin to move on and work on loving yourself. You deserve to be with someone who wants to be with you. And with healthier self-esteem, you’ll come to realize that.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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