Post # 1
Hi. We recently had our wedding and received gifts from almost all of our guests, which we were very thankful for. We are a humble couple and do not expect a gift from everyone, or certain amounts if it is a cash gift.
That being said, we received a gift in the mail from a family friend of ours who we see a couple times a year. The friend is very nice and has his own small business, but not financially well off, and he has struggled this year due to the economy.
The gift we received from him was a check for $1,000. He did attend with a guest, but all other couples gave us around $150-200 average, which we thought was very nice and appropriate.
I would feel terrible cashing this check, knowing for a fact it would cause him financial hardship. My best guess is that since he does not attend weddings much (not many other family or friends), that he just did not know what was a proper gift to give. Or maybe he felt bad that his gift was 4 months after the wedding (which we could care less about).
I feel it would be disrespectful to go back to him and tell him that we can not accept that much money, but I would feel just as horrible cashing the check.
Has anyone been in this situation before or know what to do? Thanks in advance.
Post # 3
I would send him a thank you card expressing how grateful you are. And then simply not cash the check.
Post # 4
@Meowkers: If they balance their checkbook they will know that the check was not cashed yet, and may feel uncomfortable until it is cashed because they are expecting that money to come out of their account.
@mwg569: This is a really rough situation. I’m not sure what to advise. I think it would hurt them for you to send back the check, but because of what I said above it’s also not great to keep the check and not cash it.
I’m interested to see what other bees have to say.
Post # 5
It’s more insulting that you mention in anyway that he couldn’t afford what he gave. And unless you have a hand in his finaicial planning, are you most certain he doesn’t have assets in which he can afford such a large amount.
But do NOT mention anything like thank you BUT… just thank him. Either cash it or don’t. (like the above poster suggested.)
Post # 6
I think you should accept the gift. It is their choice whether to give it, and say it was a household item that cost $1000, you wouldn’t return it and send them the money, would you? It seems to me that it is rude not to accept someone’s gift. You may not know the whole story behind their finances.
Post # 7
I’m leaving this one for Katyelle… no clue o.O
Post # 8
I would accept the gift. As the gift receiver, it’s not up to us to decide what someone can or cannot afford – that is up to the giver.
Post # 9
So long as you are certain that the check was meant to be $1,000, instead of $100, then I would cash it and write a very heart-felt thank you letter.
Post # 10
Write a very nice thank you letter and deposit the check. It is rude to presume you understand their finances better than they do.
Post # 11
I would definitely not just not cash the check. It drives me crazy when people hold on to checks and I keep checking to see if it’s been cashed yet. I also think it would be rude to return the check to him, to me that would be like telling him that you know better than he does what he can and cannot afford, and honestly I don’t think he would have given you the check if he couldn’t afford to do so.
Post # 12
Just had a brilliant thought- Cash the check, then for christmas send him a card with a really big check inside, like $500 😉
Post # 13
If his financial situation is as you described, not only would I feel badly accepting that money, I would also worry and wonder if the check was written incorrectly. I would assume he meant to write it for $100, and then I would be freaking out about cashing it. I’m not sure what to do either, but I wouldn’tw ant to offend him, or overdraft his bank account, OR assume that he was giving me that much money, when I know he has had financial struggles recently!! I’m trolling this thread to see what others suggest…
Post # 14
Thank you for the replies so far.
I agree that not cashing it would cause them to be uncomfortable and question why I sent them a note, but did not cash it. Kind of opens a new can of worms, I guess.
@vmec: Appreciate your comments. He even wrote in the card (as part of his message), that he apologizes for the gift being late, but that it was a slow year…
Post # 15
I’m not sure about the proper etiquette for the situation, but FWIW I don’t think it’s super rude to say something like “thank you SO much, but we simply can’t accept such a large gift!” I do think it’s rude to say “we know you can’t afford such a large gift!”
Post # 16
It would be impolite to tell him what he can/cannot afford. He is an adult and can choose what to give you.
While you may think it overly generous it may be his usual gift.
Do not presume to know more about his finances then he, and cash his cheque and send a lovely thank you.
Don’t mess with his finances by simply not cashing the cheque.