Bad Wedding Gifts: How Do I (Tastefully) Reject This Awful Wedding Gift?

Our bride’s wedding gift is one she won’t mind returning

In some instances, the expression “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” simply doesn'’ cut it. This situation requires the utmost sensitivity and a lot of thought to precede any action.

A Hudson Valley bride asks: “I have a real problem. My sister is being incredibly generous by offering, as her gift to us, the photography for our wedding. I know what photography costs and that just makes this more difficult. Here is the problem: When my sister made the offer, I was delighted and immediately went online to check the photographer’s Web site. To say the least, I was beside myself. There wasn’t one picture that I liked. His style can be best described as hokey. There is a picture of the bride and groom superimposed on champagne glasses. There is one of the bride and groom fooling around in the back of a limo. And most, if not all, the pictures are what I would consider tasteless. I’m much more conservative than my sister is, but I can’t imagine this photographer shooting my wedding. What can I do?”

(Our answer on next page)

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The Wedding Guru answers: Before you refuse your sister’s gift, I suggest you make an appointment with the photographer. What he chooses to show on his Web site may not be his entire repertoire. (Sometimes he highlights photos that are “extreme” in order to make a real impression.) What you’re seeing may be, in fact, just one of the styles that the photographer uses. Ask to see samples of other wedding photos in order to determine whether he can shoot in a style that makes you comfortable.

If that doesn’t work, go to plan B: sit down with your sister. Thank her for her offer; tell her how generous she is and do so in the most effusive way you can. Then, as tactfully as possible, tell her that you need to refuse. (You may explain that you already have your heart set on a particular photographer.) If that scenario doesn’t work, you might want to be open and honest. Explain how important it is for you to be comfortable with your photographer as a person and as an artist, because if you’re not, it will show in the photos. I don't envy you your task, and I’m hopeful it will work out!

» More on wedding gifts
» More from The Wedding Guru
» Submit a question to the Wedding Guru
» Hudson Valley Weddings 2012


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About This Blog

Tying the knot shouldn't put knots in your stomach, so whether you're the blushing bride, hubby-to-be, or even a wedding guest, The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis can answer all of your wedding-related questions.

This blog hails from, the one-stop resource for services and products, promotions and specials, a Regional Bridal Show schedule, Wed Shop, and links to money-saving and wedding-related Web sites.


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