(Closed) Just had my bridal shower and need etiquette advice

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 31
39 posts

I’m going to agree yet disagree with most of the PPs here, although that’s based on a cultural thing. I’m from the UK and as far as I’m aware people don’t usually give gift receipts as returning something someone gives you is seen as rude and ungrateful. <br /><br />That said, I live in Spain and have done for a good few years now, and every single present I have ever got, be it for my bday or any other occasion, has been given to me with a gift receipt. Here it isn’t seen as a rude thing to want to return a gift, at all, and I think that’s how it should be. There’s a reason people ask for certain gifts and register, and it’s exactly for the reason you said OP, so that they’re not wasting their money and this awkward etiquette situation doesn’t come up.<br /><br />I do agree with the PP who said that if they didn’t give you the gift receipt then they’ll probably be iffy about you changing it, so I wouldn’t say anything. But in my opinion it’s their problem – I certainly don’t see it as rude on your part to wish to change something you didn’t ask for. If you think the people who gifted you the things would be offended, I wouldn’t ask them and I’d try to return the gifts as other PPs have mentioned. But I certainly see no problem with asking to return presents in itself, and if I’d gifted you something you asked me about returning the only thing that would make me feel bad would be that I had been thoughtless enough to not include the gift receipt and put you in that position.

Post # 32
978 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016 - Blue Hound Farm

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clattarulo626:  I agree with you, as a gift giver, I would much rather someone have something they like, than keep something they hate bc they are afraid to hurt my feelings. I mean really, why do we give people gifts? For their benefit or ours? If I’m giving someone a gift, it’s BC I want them to be happy. And a gift sitting in a closet somewhere is money thrown down the toilet. 

But it seems based on other people’sresponses, that my views are in the minority. In fact, the only people I feel comfortable being honest about gifts with is probably my mom and my SO. In your situation, I would try to figure out where the gift could have come from and try exchanging it. If you have to try a couple of places, so be it, no harm no foul. My guess is though that there’s a reason why these people are choosing to not purchase off the registry and not offer a gift slip unasked, which is really kinda rude to begin with. It’s possible they could be regifting these items, or have been purchasing them at a heavy discount and don’t want to look cheap. 

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  cherryiice.
Post # 33
3031 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast

I would thank them for it and not say anything to them. 

I think your options are:

1. Keep it. Display it?

2. find a local store that sells it and try to return it for store credit. 

3. Re-gift it to someone. 

4. Sell it.

Post # 34
4889 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

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clattarulo626:  We received items like this as well… and even if you don’t like you – you NEED to act like you do in your Thank You cards. You can be very generic with it. I know I found a site that had all sorts of gift scenarious, and one of them was “I don’t like the gift”. Check those out for wording.

It was mainly the shower that was put on by DH’s side that we got crystal and more decorative items that were not from our registry. DH’s Grandma was one of the buyers, and the crystal bowl was lovely. Thankfully, we have a hutch for items like this and that is where it went. We also received a couple holiday platters that are cute (from local stores), but nothing I would have bought for the holidays – and didn’t get a receipt to return.

For the wedding, we ended up with 2 crystal items. One was a crystal bowl shaped like a peacock, and the other was a crystal 2-tier platter that was very weirdly shaped. I know I google searched like heck to see where the peacock was from and found nothing, and the other thing is probably still sitting in the box.

So, it happens. We may end up dontating the things we won’t end up keeping over time, since it cannot be returned. No one says you have to go off the registry.

Post # 36
7508 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Here’s the thing: as a gift recipient, you don’t get any say into what the gifter gives you. The decision to give a gift at all and, if so, what gift, is solely with the gifter. You or I may feel strongly that we want to give something that the recipient wants, and so we stick to the registry or include gift reciepts. But different people have different giving styles and different motivations and our way of sticking to the registry is no more correct than Aunt Tilly’s way of browsing the mall and investing a lot of energy till she finds The Perfect Gift.

OP you need to keep that in mind with these unwanted gifts because any mention of the situation to the giver will have you coming off as spoiled (at best) or hurtful (at worst) and ungrateful (regardless). (Aside: it’s not overreacting for the giver to re-think attending your wedding if they interpret your comments as being selfish and hurtful, btw. You may think it is a matter of practicality and not wanting the crystal candlesticks to rot in your closet, and Aunt Tilly may recieve the message as you being only interested in her money and gifts. Tread lightly and don’t dismiss other people’s feelings.)

Sell it on craigslist, try to find the store where it came from and get your money back, donate it to the local goodwill and get a tax writeoff, rent a table at the community flea circle, barter it with a friend or neighbor.

Post # 37
679 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

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clattarulo626:  We got quite a few crytal frames and knick knacks that we didn’t need or want.  I think our parents’ generation likes giving those kind of things!  I just thanked the people for the items and never mentioned not getting a gift receipt or wanting to return them.  I actually was able to return a couple of things to Macy’s and the others I gave to my mom and sisters.  I personally always give a gift receipt and I’m not offended if someone returns my gift for whatever reason, but a lot of people would be upset. I wouldn’t mention it to your guests at all.

Post # 38
833 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I definitely would not ask for a gift reciept…honestly I would just try to return the gifts from the store you think they came from. Bed Bath and Beyond takes back pretty much anything without a receipt and macys is pretty good too. I got some things I didn’t register for and couldn’t use but was able to return without the receipt.

Post # 39
431 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - Winery

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clattarulo626:  Yet you’re getting offended by opinions you elicited yourself by posting on an internet forum.  

Be gracious and send a thank you note; do not mention that you don’t like the gift because you didn’t register for it. To do otherwise would be incredibly crass and rude. Try and see if you can exchange the gifts for something more to your taste. 

Post # 40
1245 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

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clattarulo626:  Yes, that is bonkers rude. No, it is not more rude to let an unwanted gift collect dust in the interest of allowing the giver to feel warm-and-fuzzy feels about having helped a young couple build a household. (Especially since people who went off-registry probably thought they were going the extra mile to come up with a special heirloom. Whether they predicted your reaction correctly was not the point and they would likely be mortified to know you feel this way.)

My advice would be to write gracious thank-you notes that mention each gift specifically. Then garage sale ’em, eBay ’em, take ’em back to the store and beg for mercy, whatever you’d like to do. But for the love… do not let on in any way to your well-meaning relatives that you think they “wasted money.”

Post # 42
2838 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Write a thank you card for the gift, then sell what you don’t want to keep. That’s what we did.

Post # 43
2570 posts
Sugar bee

If they wanted you to be able to exchange or return their gift they would have included a gift reciept.

Post # 44
9773 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Try to return it for store credit or suck it up and keep it. It’s very rude to ask for the receipt and even worse to suggest it was a waste of money.

Post # 45
47380 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think you can ask for a gift receipt, but you need to phrase it in a way that is not offensive to the giver. For the crystal, you could say “We  love the wine glasses, but  are collecting a different pattern and would you mind if we exchanged them?”

You do run a couple of risks here.

1.They may have purchased them at a discount store like TJ Maax or Ross, or online at Overstock or Ebay, and not want you to know that. Try finding a store online (to get a store credit) that carries the item before you contact anyone in person, so you can avoid that uncomfortable situation.

2. Aunt Bertha may now decide to gift you with the aforementioned pattern on every gift giving occasion in the future. Make sure if you mention a different pattern, that it is something you like.

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