(Closed) Is it okay to return monetary gifts?

posted 7 years ago in Gifts and Registries
  • poll: Was it rude to return the check with a thank you card and should I apologize or leave it alone?
    Yes, it was rude and you need to apologize : (82 votes)
    53 %
    Yes, it was rude but just leave it alone : (43 votes)
    28 %
    No, it was the right thing to do but you should still apologize to smooth things over : (22 votes)
    14 %
    No, it was the right thing to do and you should leave it alone : (5 votes)
    3 %
    Other (please specify) : (4 votes)
    3 %
  • Post # 3
    18643 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    I do agree that it isn’t your place to comment on their finances.  If they believe they can send you a gift, then you shouldn’t tell them they can’t.  I might have just forgotten to cash them and see if they asked me about it later.

    Post # 4
    541 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I voted for the second choice.  If she thought that she couldnt handle it, she probably wouldnt have written the check.  I prob would have at least called or returned it for a gift card and sent it as a birthday or hoilday gift.

    Just my two cents.

    Post # 5
    7771 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    I would apologize.  That will likely relieve the awkwardness and THEN let it go.  It could be in a letter.  I would ackowledge that you should not have presumed to be involved/ judge their situation. 

    Post # 5
    9029 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I think it was a faux pas to return the checks. The wrote those checks inspite of their financial situations, the best thing to have done was not to cash it at all and wait and see what would happen but to actually send them their check back is a bit unheard of for me.

    Post # 7
    2161 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    I think I would call and apologize.  Explain your reasoning and be prepared to hear her out.   She may understand more if you explain why you did that.

    Post # 8
    1920 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: March 2012

    If i was the cousins I would probably be offended too. I understand that you were just trying to make a nice gesture but I would probably see it as a slap in the face. I would apologize and try to explain your honest intentions. I would probably say something to the other cousin as well because just because nothing has been said doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking it.

    Post # 9
    550 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    If I were one of the cousins, I would be embarassed and hurt. Hurt that I put aside some money for my wonderful cousin because she deserves it, but she won’t even take it. Embarassed because she called such attention to the fact that I was broke. I would apologize. It really is none of your business if they can afford a gift for you or not.

    Post # 10
    3639 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    I would have just “forgotten” to cash the cheques. They probably worked hard to save up and be able to give you that money. If I was them I would be hurt and embarrassed. Why send the actual cheque back?

    Post # 11
    3982 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    @Everdeen: I agree. I would have just not cashed the checks and saved their embarrassment

    Post # 12
    3871 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I don’t know if I would call it rude, I would say you were being considerate. (?) There’s a good way of looking at it and the bad way.  I would see more people taking it the bad way then the good way.

    Now, personally, I wouldn’t do what you did with mailing the check back.  I can see why they were offended.  If I felt bad and didn’t want their money, I probably wouldn’t have cashed it. 

    I might be offended if someone mailed me back my check.  I would rather get a thank you note thanking me for the gift then feeling like someone refused my gift.

    Post # 13
    59 posts
    Worker bee

    As others, I understand your intentions were kind but the act of returning the checks was unwise.

    In the past, when I have had tight finances, I have budgeted in important ocassions/gifts that I would need to cover just like food and rent. For instance, as a broke grad student I still spent a decent amount of money on my grandparents 50th anniversary. I sacrificed money in other areas to make it happen and I would have been insulted and heartbroken if my gift had been returned.

    Post # 14
    1046 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2010

    Although you were obviously being extremely thoughful, I think the gesture probably came off as pretty rude. If they really didn’t think they couldn’t afford to give you a gift, they wouldn’t have (trust me, plenty of people at our wedding didn’t give gifts). I’m not sure whether I would apologize or not, just because it’s so awkward, and you might not want to keep stringing this out…But I think your cousins might feel that your action was a bit condescending, as if you pittied them or were too good for their money…

    Post # 15
    260 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    My FI’s mom is in her 80’s and still works cleaning houses to support herself.  She has very little, but she insists on being independent in every way possible, especially financially. She insisted to gift my Fiance and I money for our wedding during the wedding phase. We tried to say no, that we didn’t need anything. But she insisted and sent up chashier’s checks for $1000. We really felt bad “taking” from an old lady who has so little. But we had to come to terms with the idea that we weren’t “taking”… we were being given a gift that meant a lot to her for us to have and she had planned her days and weeks around earning enough to give us this. It is a form of love.

    I think to get a casheir’s check, the money is arleady spent, so not cashing it would be silly. So we used the money for photography just as my Future Mother-In-Law wished. We are going to beat her to the next few purchases, though… we are going to cover her plane and hotel. She might resist, but we will cross that road at that time.

    Perhaps the checks they sent are “thank yous” for all you do in addition to wedding gifts. Perhaps they are a form of love? Perhaps you can share what you were thinking and acknowledge the thank you/congratulations/love of their gifts and apologize for turning that away.


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