Wedding Etiquette: Calling Off the Wedding Means Returning the Gifts
A guest is surprised to learn that her best friend canceled her wedding — and she’s not retuning the gifts
It amazes me how poorly people behave sometimes! Maybe that’s one of the reasons why there are rules of etiquette — but often, common sense is all that’s needed.
A wedding guest asks: “I was excited to hear that my best friend of many years was getting married. It’s her first time being the bride and I was more than happy to give her two lovely shower gifts, as well as a wedding gift (sent directly to her home). So I was sad to hear that the wedding had been canceled. I found out from her wedding planner, who sent an e-mail to each of the guests. I thought for sure that my friend would return the wedding and shower gifts. I’ve spoken to her several times since the cancellation, but she’s never mentioned the gifts or if she’s returning them. How can I let her know that I really expect her to give back my gifts? Am I sacrificing a long-standing relationship here? Isn’t it the right thing to do?”
(Our answer on next page)
The Wedding Guru answers: Your friend seems oblivious to the rules of proper etiquette (or just plain common sense), since she should return whatever gifts are unused. You’re right to be annoyed, but at this point I think it’s obvious what she’s decided to do. Especially because she’s a long-standing friend of yours, I see no reason why you shouldn’t ask her outright whether she’s planning to return the gifts. If your question loses you the friendship, then perhaps she is not the friend that she used to be!
Calling off a wedding is emotionally traumatic, but that doesn’t give the couple the right to behave poorly. There’s a wrong way and a right way to do it — check out HudsonValleyWeddings.com’s article “Canceling Your Wedding... What to Do and How to Protect Yourself” for the right way!