Post # 17
@meowkers, I understand the setiment behind your suggestion, but if you send a thank you note, then he is expecting you to cash the check. If you leave it outstanding, he might get confused when managing his money if the future.
Are you certain he is not well off? Maybe he planned and wanted to give you that gift, however generous.
Could you talk with someone else that knows him (maybe in your family) that knows him a bit better? Maybe they have some insight?
You could always call him to thank him for such a generous gift and see what he says. You might be able to tell if he was unsure how much to give.
Post # 17
You should be able to tell how much he wrote the check for because you have to write out the words.
I guess I would just cash the check, but then, like others have suggested, get him a nice present or take him out to a fancy dinner.
Post # 18
I would just send it back. Write the best thank you letter possible with it and send regrets. Maybe something along the lines of:
We missed your company very much at our wedding and completely understand that you could not be there to celebrate with us. We recieved your generous gift and it is more than appreciated, it brings us so much joy that you think so much of us to show us such generosity. While we appreciate the enormous generosity, in these economic times, we just cannot accept. It would bring us such pleasure if you would invest this into a visit with us in the future, as your company is make our lives truely rich. Until we meet again…
Your humbled friend,”
Post # 19
Etiquette says returning/not accepting the gift is insulting.
Post # 20
Just to be clear – I would never say to him that I can’t accept it because I know he cannot afford it. I agree that would be very rude.
To address the comments about the check maybe being written incorrectly – I thought of that at first too, but he spelled out One Thousand…
Looks like the best advice so far is to cash it, which is what I was leaning towards (but it still makes me fel bad).
Post # 21
Cash it and send a thank you, anything else is rude.
Post # 22
in that case, he’s very concious of his decision to gift you that, just cash it and send him a very kind thank you card and leave it at that.
He likely just wants to know that the gift was well recived and his generosity was appriciated.
Post # 23
It seems unlikely that the check was actually supposed to be for $100. Yes, I could see inadvertently adding another zero, but it would be pretty difficult to write out “One thousand and no/100” when you meant to write “One hundred…” That’s why there’s a line on a check where you write out the amount in letters!
Post # 24
Thanks for the feedback.
I know it would be rude to not cash it or tell him it is just too much and we can not accept it (at least I feel that is rude).
Doesn’t help the fact that it still makes me feel bad, but I guess there is not much I can do about that. The amount was just so unexpected.
Post # 25
It would totally make me uncomfortable to see that’s what he had written. I would feel SUCH intense guilt, but also would feel terrible by keeping him in limbo and not cashing his check. If all of these signs point to this amount being extravagant, I would seriously, SERIOUSLY wonder if he had mis-wrote the check for an amount he couldn’t give (although I know that’s a stretch, seeing as though people have to write the amount in numerics AND spell it out in writing). Is he a family member or friend of your parents? Maybe you could ask your parents their opinions on whether or not the thought this was appropriate/extravagant/a mistake?
Post # 26
@akp0702: He is a good family member friend of my entire family (which is why I know about his business, etc). They are as clueless as I am on what to do, and they also are very surprised.
It’s what leads me to believe that he might not just have known what to give. I don’t mean that in any disrespectful way, but to say that it was a slow year and then give that extravagant of a gift…it just does not sit well with me…
Post # 27
Cash it and say thank you. They choose to gift if to you, its not your place to determine if they can or cannot afford it.
Post # 28
I had a similar experience with my in-laws. My husbands dad just had a major health concern and forced early retirement and I know it was a terrible year for them. They gave us a seriously huge amount of money as an engagement gift / to put toward the wedding. Luckily it was my husbands parents so he dealt with the awkward part…. like are you sure you didn’t put too many zeroes on there? In the end we cashed it because his family was persistent. I guess we were “lucky” in that they were family vs. a friend.
Post # 29
Etiquette actually states that you thank him gracefully and cash the check, because like PP have said, it would be insulting to insinuate that he could not afford such a large gift.
A sneaky and polite way to give him an out would be to call and make sure that the amount is correct, that he meant to write $1,000 instead of $100. Say it in a way that you were assuming he meant $100 since that is what most other guests gave and when he insists that $1K is correct act shocked and flattered. “Oh but that’s ridiculously generous, how can we ever thank you?” “What a wondeful surprise and a great way to start off our marriage, we are truly blessed to have friends like you.”
That way if he wrote out the check in the heat of the moment and regretted it later, now he has a chance to back out. But if he says it’s correct, then you are $1K richer!
Post # 30
Cash it, thank him profusely, then send him an anonymous gift certificate to the grocery store, Amazon, etc., or invest it into his own business anonymously.