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Wedding Gift Thank-You Etiquette

Group Therapy: Thank-You Notes For Returned Wedding Gifts

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I am getting married today (pray the hurricane doesn't hit us!), and I already know that my fiancé and I will be returning many gifts. We're flying out tomorrow morning (again, praying about that hurricane), and we just don't have room in our luggage or money to ship it all. How should I do the thank-you notes? Should I just thank the person for their thoughtfulness, and not mention that the gift was returned? Or should I let them know that we regrettably couldn't take much with us and therefore returned the gift(s)? I'm not good at etiquette at all, so I need some advice!

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GregS GregS 6 years
@Hisgoldeneyes - There's a logic to my comment. They can't take the gifts with them. They're going to return them all. Return them for what? Can't be anything physical. There's only 2 options and I picked the first that would help most to a couple just getting started and going on a honeymoon. Cash. The other alternative would be a store credit. Please also note that I did mention that maybe the Best Man and/or Maid of Honor would be able to help. Did you see that part? Part of planning a wedding involves dealing with the logistics of the gifts that appear at the door. This should have been thouoght of ahead of time. They have lots of alternatives to returning everything. Perhaps they should explore that before jumping to returning them all.
bisou002 bisou002 6 years
Wow, are you serious? You NEVER tell someone you're returning their gift. How disrespectful. Graciously thank them for the item (I usually add a line about how it will be useful in our home/kitchen/etc) and for being there on your big day.
secondstar secondstar 6 years
Wow, some people are being too hard on you. A friend on mine had a similar situation; they had their wedding in their home town but lived in another state. Many people, knowing that they would have to transport things home, ordered the gifts online and had them shipped directly to the couples address or bought gift cards. With the larger gifts that were brought to the event, they returned them and then used the store credits to repurchase the same or similar items once they got home. In the thank you notes don't mention the transport issues, just thank them for their generosity and thoughtfulness.
katialoves katialoves 6 years
its inappropriate to specify that you dont want gifts (whether or not you say you'd like a gift card or hint hint money instead or just say you dont want anything). its simply rude to mention gifts at all in your invite. if anything your mom/mom in law could spread the word about not wanting gifts if asked..... but im guessing the gifts are registry gifts so hopefully not that much creativity was needed. i think its ok to let people give you stuff and return it; they will be happy about getting something for you (and having not been hinted at for cash in some rude invite) and they will never know that you returned it. so be careful not to let them know. white lies are fine in the thank you cards and make sure your relatives and friends who know dont blab!
Pistil Pistil 6 years
I just wanted to clarify, I don't think anyone is being classless. What's inapproriate about asking guests not to bring a gift?
juicebox07 juicebox07 6 years
I agree with what Betty Wayne said. Also, like others have said, do not tell them that you plan on returning their gift.
jenjen82 jenjen82 6 years
Congrats, but I'm not going to sugarcoat that not only are you bad at ettiquite like you mentioned, but planning! Don't tell the guests that you are too cheap and inconsiderate to plan for this and returned their gift. It will likely annoy them, as it did me for just reading your post and I didn't even take the time to go shopping for a gift for you!
Sweet-Melissa-111 Sweet-Melissa-111 6 years
Most people do not bring boxed gifts to a wedding, so you may not have much to return. Don't listen to the people scolding you. It is completely inappropriate to dictate what kind of gifts your wedding guests give you, if they choose to give a gift at all. In your thank you notes, thank your guests for their gift, their thoughtfulness and their generosity. Tell them how pleased you are that they celebrated your special day with you. That's all that needs to be said.
Vanonymous Vanonymous 6 years
Do NOT tell people you returned their gift - no one needs to know their gift didn't make the cut. And you should try to ship them home... people picked things out specifically for you - if you trade it all in for cash, you're missing all the sentimental value and you will probably look back and regret it. I got married this summer and received a couple things I wouldn't have necessarily picked out (and i certainly could use the money) but I kept them all and I'm glad I did. It's nice to have things in your home that remind you of the people in life that care about you.
lcrox07 lcrox07 6 years
Don't mention returning the gift! Just say thank you.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
I agree with all the classless posters. There were many ways you could have avoided the trouble of returning everyone's gifts. Don't mention it.
HisGoldenEyes HisGoldenEyes 6 years
Wow... some posters have no class!!! First off: CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR BIG DAY! I hope you enjoy every moment of it, and don't sweat over the gifts!!! Secondly: Could you see about having the gifts shipped back to your hometown? Or perhaps a friend or family member could hold on to them until they come to visit and bring them with them at that time? Otherwise, definitely don't mention that you (might have to) return them! Just thank them extensively for the lovely gift, and reassure them that it's extremely appreciated, then perhaps you can get a store-credit or a gift card and re-purchase one when you get back to your hometown or even online? @GregS - no one said they were returning the gifts solely for cash. It's rude to assume that they're that kind of people! Anyways, OP, congrats again on your big day and I wish you all the best! xoxox
GregS GregS 6 years
Best Man and/or Maid of Honor might be able to help you get out of this mess you made. Pretty classless to return the gifts for cash.
Raynne413 Raynne413 6 years
Do not mention returning the gift at all. It's not the gift that matters, it is their thoughtfulness in getting you something in the first place. Just send a nice thank you note telling them how much it means to you that they were there on your big day, and their thoughtfulness in buying you such a lovely gift.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 6 years
I think you get an F for planning, big time. Why in the world would you PLAN on having your guests bring gifts that you KNOW you'll return? Couldn't you have explained that you're flying out of town, so gift certificates, very small items, cash, or home-deliveries are your only gift options? Seriously people spent time and money picking out something for you because they care about you. This is so so so rude and thoughtless of you. Did you just want a pretty pile of presents as a backdrop in your wedding? Sorry to be the bitch on your wedding day. I don't know what to tell you as far as notes, maybe a note saying, "I could care less about your time but thanks for blowing your money on me and watching me get married" would be appropriate.
EvieJ EvieJ 6 years
Do not not not tell the person you returned the gift. Just say something along the lines of: Thank you so much for the wonderful xxx. It is so beautiful/wonderful/whatever, and I am sure it will very used. We appreciate your thoughtfulness. You're not saying that you are going to use it! You could even leave that bit out, but don't in any way at all hint that you've returned a gift someone has given you.
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