(Closed) How to politely decline overly generous gifts?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
8735 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

There is no way to politely decline. They are doing these things for you because they really want to.

Be thankful you have such wonderful and generous friends. Make sure to thank them a lot for their very generous gifts.

You can say things like, “Please you don’t have to do that.” Or “You really shouldn’t have done that, it is way too generous.”

But there really is no way to turn down a gift without coming across rude.

Post # 4
18628 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I’m sure that they know that they don’t have to.  I would assume that they are able to afford what they are giving you as gifts.  I know it’s hard but just thank them, it would be offensive to tell them no to their gift that they are giving you out of kindness and love.

Post # 5
2738 posts
Sugar bee

Wish I had that problem Innocent Honestly, it would be churlish to refuse them. It’s your wedding and they want to go all out for you. It’s not like you asked them to. Enjoy it and look at it as a testament to the kind of person that you are. Even though folks don’t ‘have’ to, they are willing to help you without your asking. That speaks loads about you Smile

Post # 7
5976 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
@fishbone:  Honestly…it sounds like you guys have been extremely generous with friends, and they’d love to pay you back for it. This is their way of doing it, so I would write them and extremely nice thank you note at the end of all of this and just accept their gifts. It sounds like you’re very good friends to have…and you have some very good friends. Just enjoy each other :o) 

Post # 8
451 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

You really cant say no to the gifts. But you CAN ‘pay it forward’, or back to the giver in the future. The photographer friend- give him a special christmas or birthday present. Take your sister out to a nice dinner and night on the town, or away for the weekend.


Then you can enjoy your wedding and everyones generosity, and have an excuse to spend more time with these people who obviously love and cherish you both.

Post # 10
1046 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

The photographer would bug me too in that situation.  Is there any way you can smuggle a very generous gift back to your friend?  Something he really needs and won’t buy himself?  You can’t talk people out of giving money, I’ve discovered, it’s the strangest thing! 

Post # 11
1547 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I don’t think there’s really a way to say no to these gifts. I would just graciously say thank you. It sounds like many of these BIG gift-givers are established in the careers etc so this may not be a financial strain for them and they truly want to give you something you can use. The photographer may be getting a discount, with both of them being in the same industry, it could be a favor that will be repaid later. The food gift is very nice as well. You have some great friends in your life. People wouldn’t give these types of gifts unless they really want, they must think very highly of you and want to do something really nice, try to enjoy it!

Post # 12
619 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Well.. it feels good when you give something special to someone. Would you deny that to others by refusing a gift?

I think most of us are more comfortable being the giver and not the receiver. But keep in mind that sometimes accepting a gift is a way of recognizing the status and generosity of the giver. You can make your friends feel good about themselves by accepting these gifts.

Post # 13
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

if these people love us as much as their actions show they do, then I am missing out by NOT creating an excuse to get together!” — I think this is exactly the reaction you should have. These people are fully aware of what they are spending and are doing so because they love and care for you and your Fiance. We actually benefited by being on the receiving end of this. DH is the last grandchild (by far) to get married in his family. Because his parents had been so generous for so long, his family was incredibly generous to us with their gift giving. We truly appreciated it because we were in a position where we needed things and money, but now we know we have to do the same for the next generation. It’s just how it works. Be thankful, gracious and enjoy the love!

Post # 14
5654 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2012

Just be extremely grateful. That’s what they want.

Post # 15
3618 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Unfortunately, there’s no way to politely decline a gift. You just have to let it go and understand that if someone is giving it, they are okay with that amount.

Post # 16
153 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I would find gifts to give them that are somewhat meaningful to you and your generous friends. They don’t have to be particularly expensive, but meaningful – especially the friend paying for the photographer. One of my FMILs friends owns a salon, one of our friends is a notary who has officated weddings, and another friend has a band and hosts karaoke nights at bars and clubs. They have all volunteered their services as gifts, and I am making sure to buy them something meaningful that we know they would like. 

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