(Closed) Divorcing after 11 months. They should return the wedding gifts and cash…

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: If your marriage lasted 11 months, would you feel guilty about keeping all the gifts and cash?
    Yes, and I'd return as much as I could. : (43 votes)
    14 %
    Yes, but I wouldn't return any of it. A gift is a gift. : (56 votes)
    18 %
    No. : (40 votes)
    13 %
    Like I'd have time to worry about that crap. I'd be worried about my divorce. : (169 votes)
    55 %
  • Post # 3
    1814 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013 - Pavilion overlooking golf course scenery, reception at banquet hall

    From the outside looking in, I’d say “a gift is a gift”.

    From the inside looking out (God forbid), I’d say I wouldn’t have time to figure out who gave what toaster/blender/hamper that I’ve been using and dirtying and damaging for the last 11 months – I’ve got one of the most difficult emotional and legal battles of my life ahead!

    edit: If I even had kept track of who gave what in the first place. It’s just an all-around not fair thing to ask of someone. If you had a feeling it would happen, $600 is a LOT to have gambled with.

    Post # 4
    1157 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @__always:  I would just cut my losses and move on.  Make a personal note that in the future don’t go above and beyond for people who clearly have issues like these two had.  

    Post # 5
    10453 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 2014

    I think once you’ve given a gift, it’s gone. I would never expect it back. Maybe if they split up like a WEEK later, but not a year. 

    Post # 6
    12247 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I want to say that I’d donate the wedding gifts to Goodwill and send appology cards stating all the gifts were given to Goodwill, but I’d probably be too much of a mess to actually do it!


    Post # 7
    5660 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Yeah I think a year later is a bit long to expect gifts back. It’s also kind of petty to give a gift and say if you get divorced under a year I want it back. Maybe they are hot messes, but you spent the money, and bought the gift, and that shouldn’t come with the expectation that you’ll get it back. Maybe if they made it like a month but not a year.

    Post # 8
    3671 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    @__always:  Why blow $600 on a couple you had doubts about anyway? 

    If I gave a gift to a friend and they divorced I would be less worried about what I gave and more worried that my friend was struggling! My gift wasn’t an investment so I expect nothing in return for their falling out…

    Besides, when would they find the time to give back? They are probably struggling enough to decide on what is to be spilt between them! 

    Also, at what point is it considered acceptable to expect something in return? Had they lasted over a year would you feel better about the $600 that you spent?


    Post # 9
    394 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    @__always:  A year is too long to expect them to return money/gifts especially since it sounds like you had an idea from the beginning that this was a volatile/unstable relationship when you decided to spend the money on their wedding. I agree with PP that maybe if it was a week or something then, yeah, returning gifts would be appropriate. 

    Post # 10
    9954 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Ettiquette Snob here… lol

    The rule of thumb is that ALL GIFTS should be returned if there is a Broken Engagement (so a Wedding NEVER took place)

    If the Marriage happened and it wasn’t immediately annulled then the Gifts are the couples to keep (idea being that all the items now would have been used)

    11 months is certainly a short time…

    So ya if I was in your shoes, I can certainly see the “annoyance” (part of the reason that once upon a time Second Weddings were smaller more intimate affairs, and there was NO OBLIGATION for anyone who went to the Bride’s First Marriage to give a gift second time round)

    — — —

    To be sure if I was a Bride and my marriage ended within a year, my conscience would get the best of me and I’d be calling folks up to make an “attempt” to give back some of the gifts etc.

    Lol, but in this situation where the Bride “stepped outside of her marriage” so early on, I’m gonna guess that propriety and conscience isn’t something she’s very familiar with.

    So ya, don’t count on seeing your Wedding Present showing up on your doorstep any time soon.  (sorry)

    Lesson learned… skip her next Wedding… or go and don’t bring a gift

    (lol you’ll be etiquettely appropriate and can maybe make back some of your investment Surprised ) JOKING… kind of


    Post # 12
    11271 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: April 2012

    @Payless:  Why blow $600 on a couple you had doubts about anyway?   good point.

    Post # 13
    2934 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: March 1996

    @__always:  Honestly, I doubt in the middle of a divorce I’d even be able to remember who had given us what as wedding gifts, or how much $$ people had gifted.

    Post # 14
    400 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    Makes me think of the episode of Big Bang Theory where Sheldon had his gift to Howard and Bernadette engraved with “In case of divorce, please return to Sheldon Cooper.”

    Post # 15
    2783 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    They’re probably a little distracted  by the pain and embarassment of getting divorced after 11 months to have time to worry about returning used kitchen appliances and china.

    Post # 16
    2565 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    A gift is a gift. Unless you send something before a wedding that never happens you can’t demand to have it returned. It’s like asking for a birthday gift back because someone died.

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