Post # 1
- Wedding: March 2012 - Father's Vineyard Church/ A Touch of Class Banquet Center
I was reading the paper on my break yesterday, when I came across this. I was wondering what ya’ll would do in this situation.
DEAR ABBY: A friend’s daughter was married several years ago. I attended the shower and her wedding, and gave gifts for both.
Two months after the wedding, I received a thank-you note in which a form letter was enclosed that read, “By the way, we are now separated and getting a divorce”! I was shocked not only by the news, but even more that my gifts were not returned with the divorce announcement.
This young lady is now being married again to a different man. If I attend the shower/wedding, am I obligated to give her another set of gifts? Or should I skip the shower and go to the wedding without giving another gift? What is proper in this case? — CONFUSED IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR CONFUSED: The rule of etiquette regarding disposition of wedding gifts when a couple divorces after a short time is that any unused items (preferably in their original packaging) go back to the givers. However, to return cookware, linens, china, glassware, etc., that have been used is impractical, so please don’t hold a grudge.
If you decide to attend the shower and/or wedding for your friend’s daughter, it is customary to give a gift.
Post # 3
Did the guest return the meal she ate at the reception?
She should definitely bring a gift if she attends either the shower or the wedding. I might skip the shower though; it sounds inappropriate for a second wedding.
Post # 4
I think it’s absolutely ridiculous to expect someone who is going through a divorce to give back their gifts. That’s incredibly materialistic and hurtful. I happen to tihnk that it is not mandatory to give a gift when going to a wedding if you feel you houldn’t/can’t. I think your personal feelings are more important than etiquette.
Granted, I have zero respect for Dear Abby (or Prudence, or whoever) columns. It’s jsut some chick telling everybody else how to live.
Post # 5
@Asia: To be fair, they ARE asking her to (tell them how to live.)
Post # 6
@Bebealways: roguefishfood wins the internet.
Post # 7
@Bebealways: That’s true. If you ask for it, it can’t be helped. 😀 I just wish they’d put their faith in someone else. 😀
Post # 8
I feel like we should buy gifts because we want to do something nice for a friend or family member to honor their special day. Not because it’s an obligation. This marriage may be her 2nd, but it’s still special to her and her guests. If you want to honor that but are still upset about the situation, make a small donation to a charity in her honor, or a small monetary gift.
Post # 9
If I didn’t support the second marriage, I wouldn’t even go. I feel like attending = wishing the couple well even if its their 5th marriage or something. Maybe a small gift or a gift card?
Post # 10
Agreed that unless the friends returned the wedding dinner that she ate, the gift should stay with one of the now-divorced couple.
And although I realize that the advice is that unused wedding gifts should be returned…who hasn’t opened their gifts 2 months after the wedding? I’ve *heard* of couples storing their gifts for years or whatever, but my gifts were open, in my cabinets, and in use about 1 week after the wedding (and that was even with the wedding being several states away from where I live). I’ve only been married 2 months, and I’ve used pretttty much everything, and even what I haven’t used is out of it’s packaging–and the packaging is thrown away.
Post # 11
I would’ve been upset, especially if I gave a check or gift card….I would have expected that to be returned. If it was linens or china or whatnot, I feel like the polite thing to do would be to ask if the giver wishes that it is returned. Of course I’d say no, but I’d appreciate the offer… When a divorce happens just months after a wedding, a small part of me sees it as a gift grab…
Post # 12
@BookGirrl: Actually, the majority of my boxed gifts are still in the packaging. It’s a point of humor with our friends. We’re looking to buy a house in the next year and since we’ve lived together for quite a number of years, there weren’t that many gifts that I needed desperately. I thought it would be easier to pack if I left them in all the original boxes/containers. I did open a few, but that’s because we needed to use them.
Post # 13
Although I wouldn’t ask nor expect my gift back, I wouldn’t give her another one for the 2nd marriage. If I got a thank you about their impending divorce I would assume we aren’t close enough for you to tell me in person. Dunno if that makes sense, just my opinion.
Post # 14
@lilbluebird: haha. You know that means you’ll have to return them all (and pay the massive shipping to get the boxes returned everywhere) if you divorce1 😉
Post # 15
@BookGirrl: That’s another incentive to not get divorced!
Post # 16
@Dialysate: Weddings are a huge expense, divorce costs are just as high, how can you truly think a divorce shortly after a wedding could even be a gift grab? I have never known a couple to ever recoup their costs for throwing the wedding in their wedding gifts, it would be ridiculously cheaper for the people to just purchase the things they want in the first place. I don’t know about you but spending $10k or more to get maybe $5k back in gifts seems like a really stupid move.
@Mrs. Doily: I wouldn’t expect my gift back, I think that since you give the gift for attending the wedding, which took place, you shouldn’t expect the gift to be returned. If you are giving a gift for the marriage, then send it a little bit after the wedding. I would not give the person a new shower gift though, but if I attend the new wedding I would still give her a wedding gift. Attending a wedding empty handed is tacky. Having a shower for a second wedding is also tacky.