Post # 1
Three years ago, a very good friend got married and used a friendor for photography. It is a very long and tragic story, but in summary, the photographer friend sadly passed away a few weeks after the wedding. Her family has been unable to locate any thumb drives or CDs or folders on the computer with my friend’s wedding images and they are not on the camera. So my friend has no wedding pictures and is still terribly upset three years later (understandably) and posts occasionally on facebook about how sad she is that she will never have these special photos, and how they don’t have any formal pictures of them and their family. She enters all these “free photo shoot” drawings and shares photographer pages and so on and so forth.
My friend is broke basically all the time. Her husband has a hard time keeping a job. As they couldn’t even afford a photographer at the wedding in the first place, a re-do shoot later in her dress and his tux was never an option. When she got pregnant with her first child, because I felt so sad about her wedding photo situation, I bought her a very expensive baby shower gift. On top of the generic baby shower gifts, I purchased her a $200 gift certificate for a photographer who did my family’s portraits, whose facebook page she had liked (so I assume she likes this photographer’s work). This would have covered either a couple’s maternity or newborn session (whichever she preferred) as well as a whole-family portrait. When she opened my gifts, she sobbed and sobbed and everyone told me what a thoughtful and perfect gift it was.
My friend never used the gift certificate. I am honestly really bothered by this. I purchased this gift while I was waiting tables in college and $200 was a LOT of money to me at the time. Every time she posts something on facebook about how she needs to get professional pictures done, or how she wishes she had nice family photos to put on the wall, I get upset.
This happened two years ago and she has not acknowledged the gift certificate ever. I feel like it’s not appropriate to ask about why she never used it. I’m afraid that she lost it or something, and if that’s the case, it may be reparable if I contact the photographer, but I feel like it’s rude to ask someone about why they did not use my gift.
Do I just suck it up or do I bring it up with her? Any advice?
Post # 2
If she’s such a good friend, you should feel comfortable to just straight up ask her why she hasn’t used the certificate for the photos she wants.
Post # 3
I think you are well in your rights to ask her why she didn’t use the giftcard as a close friend. Like you said, it may be salvagable if she just lost it, so you could be doing her a favour.
I don’t mean to sound harsh as it’s never happened to me and I don’t know how I’d feel… but 3 yeras sounds like a long time to be mourning those photos to the point of writing facebook statuses about it all the time. Didn’t she have any guest photos? It also seems like a long time to not be able to afford a simple photography shoot, or she could have gotten any friend to take some photos of them in their wedding attire afterwards. Not professional and not ideal, but it’s at least something. I hope she isn’t a friend who love using the “victim card” they can really suck the life out of you.
Post # 4
nessdawwg: When I say they are broke, I really mean it. Her husband has had a string of part-time jobs but always gets fired and she stays at home. They have a couple guest photos but only like 4 that are halfway decent. Because she is so devastated about the pictures, not only did I buy this certificate, but I actually had my uncle (who is very tech savvy) sit down with her wedding video and make a CD full of stills from it that she could print. She hasn’t done that either.
Every time she posts her tragic wedding photo story for a photography session contest, I seriously fume and that’s so not good! I need to just talk to her about it but I feel like there is no way to do it that isn’t completely awkward and rude and I don’t want her to feel bad about it …
Post # 5
208bride: Well your post was about the certificate and not about your friends personalities so I won’t get into that, I was just saying perhaps tone down on expensive gifts for them in the future as it sounds like they don’t appreciate them. If one of my friends did such a nice thing for me, I would appreciate it sooo much and use it first chance I got! It sounds like she’s trying to use the sob-story to get a highly expensive package, like your efforts weren’t good enough or something… which they totally were! You went above and beyond the call of duty to your friend and it sounds like she’s not being a good friend back.
Post # 6
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
I would straight up ask her why she hasn’t used the gift certificate. And every time she posts about it on FB I would comment “But I got you the gift certificate, why didn’t you ever use it?” Every time.
Post # 7
208bride: I think it is OK to ask why she never used it – perhaps she misplaced it?
Perhaps she is waiting for a special occasion, but never actually follows through with making an appointment.
Next time she says something or posts a status – i would just casually ask if she ever got to take advantage of the gift certificate and when she says no – ask why not.
It isn’t rude at all if she keeps bringing it up. It is not like walking into someones house and asking them why they are not using the fancy salad bowl you gave them at xmas.
Post # 8
This might sound harsh, but I wish she’d spend as much time mourning her friend as she does her photos. At the end of the day they’re just photos. My parents (1960s) only have a couple of photos because that’s all that was done then. A friend only has guest photos because the photographer mixed his dates up. Things happen. Get over it. The death of the friend was a much bigger tragedy.
I’m not a fan of asking people if they’ve used gifts, but I think it is appropriate in this case, if she brings photos up. So next time she posts about photos, gently ask (by private message or some other private way), “what about that photo package I bought for you?”.
Post # 9
208bride: You don’t do anything. You gave a gift and that is where it ends. Is it unfortunate that she didn’t use it (are you absolutely sure they didn’t use it) but there is nothing you can do about it.
I also think that wedding pictures are different to a family portrait. Do I think grieving lost photos for over 3 years is a bit much, yes I do but it could also be tied into her grief about her friend.
Post # 10
208bride: I don’t think its rude to bring it up with her if you approach it in the right way. If it were me i’d say (very politely/nicely) something along the lines of ‘It makes me so sad to read that you’re still upset about your photos! did you ever use my gift certificate??’ and gently ease in to it that way!
I wouldn’t want that kind of money going to waste either!!
Post # 11
j_jaye: j_jaye makes a good point. Are you 100% sure she hasn’t used it? Maybe she used on something silly, like pet photos. (No offence to people who do that, it’s just silly if wedding/baby photos are more important to you). Maybe she sold it on ebay because she needed the cash. That’s why if you bring it up you would need to bring it up privately, gently, and only when she’s complaining about lack of photos.
Post # 12
If she posted again about it, I would straight up post, ‘Hey, you could probably still use that certificate I got you a couple of years ago. Do you want me to check and see if it’s still good?’
Normally I’d let it go, but I’d be livid if I kept seeing those posts after how much you spent for her (considering, too, that was no drop in the bucket–especially if you were waiting tables at the time).
(And I’m going to be super McJudgy Judgerton here, but she probably should stop focusing on FB and lamenting her photos from *years* ago and start looking for a way to save some money for her kid. If they’re always broke and he’s always getting fired, that should be the least of her worries….)