Wedding Gift when Wedding is Cancelled

by Kathleen Legner
(Sandwich IL, USA)

My friend's 42 year old daughter who lives at home with her son doesn't work but collects social services money even though she has never paid a bill for herself or her son (my friend pays for everything). The daughter married and it didn't last a month or two. I asked my friend when we would receive our gifts back and she said her daughter's purse was stolen with all the money and gift cards inside. I told her it was unconscionable to keep the gifts. What is your opinion? I know when a gift leaves your hands it is no longer yours but we guests did not give her a gift for herself; it was for a marriage that never left the ground

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Inquiring about Wedding Gift
by: Ms P Etiquette

Hello Kathleen,

What happens to the wedding gifts after a marriage breaks up is up to the bride and groom. The brides age, financial situation or any other circumstance about which you may be informed has no bearing on the disposition of your gift. ​ ​It is poor etiquette to inquire about the return of the gifts. While many feel returning the gifts is the classy thing to do, it is not mandatory. The devastation of a situation like this may cause more chaos than you may imagine, making decisions difficult. Good manners include tolerance and withholding judgement.

Thanks for your interesting question!

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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