(Closed) Are gifts supposed to be returned in a case like this?

posted 10 years ago in Gifts and Registries
Post # 3
49 posts

you are correct. the cut off is a year.

Post # 4
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Wow, than sad but true i deserve a lot of gifts back. I think if the wedding doesn’t actually happen in the first place is when gifts need to be returned not simply becuase they were lame and got married and decided within a year to split up.

Post # 6
1813 posts
Buzzing bee

I don’t know the etiquette, but I wouldn’t *expect* the gifts back if this happened to my friends.

Post # 7
29 posts
  • Wedding: September 2010

There is no actual etiquette on this (at least not that I can find.) Only that gifts are returned if the wedding itself is cancelled.

I think it would be polite to return any un-opened or unused gifts, as well as monetary gifts. I wouldn’t want back a coffee maker I gave them after they have used it for 2 months.

I wouldn’t expect to get your gifts back though, as this may not be top priority for a couple now dealing with the stress of divorce. Divorce can be very traumatic and returning wedding gifts will probably not be something they are concerned about during this process.

Post # 8
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I know LilaGrayce it sucks big time that you gave a gift to two people who obviously were not supposed to be married in the first place. I went to a wedding in Oct. 2006 and by Jan. 1, 2007 the divorce was final. I also went to a wedding last Nov. and their divorce to is final. And what about people who aren’t married for a year due to other incidents like death (Fi cousin lost her husband when he was hit by a car less than 24 hours after they were married) should i hit her up to get the wedding gift and shower gift back? No way. I think you should be greatful that all you are out is a gift and maybe some other expenses for travel to the wedding but they are the real losers here stuck in divorce court. 

Post # 9
37 posts

I also wouldn’t expect the gift to be returned  If you gave someone a housewarming gift and the house was foreclosed, would you expect the gift back? 

Post # 10
105 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I read somewhere that it is in good taste to return the unopened gifts (I think it was on indiebride.com in the Ask Elise section, but I’ve also seen it asked of Dear Abby).  How sad.

Post # 11
40 posts
  • Wedding: November 2009

I agree with most of the girls. I wouldn’t expect the gift back. It was a gift you already gave them, no matter what happened later. It must be very hard for them to face up a divorce and the last thing they would be thinking, is returning the gifts….  

Post # 12
235 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I got the impression the poster was simply asking a question about ettiquitte and not expecting her gift back. 

It sounds like your friend can decide what to do based on what is best/easiest for them. As far as a timeline, I would say if your friend hasn’t even written thank-you notes for the gift though, they should go back to the giver…

While I agree that I would not want a gift that had been used for a few months to come back to me, especially because the gifts I tend to give are things I already own and I give them because I think they are awesome.  If its already been a few months, they will probably be difficult to return.  I also think it would be really weird to return only some of the gifts and money…maybe you could suggest she donate the unreturnable gifts to charity and then explain in a thank-you note that the gift went to X place, which would at least mean the giver could take a charitable deduction?   


Post # 14
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

if its money, it seems like they should try to give it back.  But I have no idea re: etiquette.  

Post # 15
602 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

i wouldnt expect anything back. once u give it to them its theres to do what they want with it.

Post # 16
2 posts
  • Wedding: November 2011

My personal opinion is since it was a gift, you don’t expect it back. I was just in a similar situation; I got married and was already separated and filing after 6 months. People ask me for their gifts back occasionally with smart ass comments, which generally (and awkwardly too, especially when theyre your coworkers) brings me to tears. I would love to give gifts back just to avoid that, however, I paid for the wedding vendors and bulk of the costs I was responsible for with two credit cards…all of the gifts that we had received went immediately to those balances to pay them off. Regardless, it hurt my feelings no matter how our marriage ended, and I feel terribly guilty for not being able to pay anyone back. 

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