– AskCheryl – What to do with Unwanted Wedding Gifts?

In this week’s AskCheryl question, our bride and groom have established lives and don’t want wedding gifts, but a disagreement has come up on how to handle any gifts that they do receive.

Hi Cheryl,

My fiancé and I are getting married in July. We are 45 and 51 years old. This is his first marriage, but not my first. We have everything that we need and most of what we want. We included a note in our wedding invitations indicating that we do not want gifts, but just want our guests to come celebrate with us.

How do we deal with people and the gifts they insist on giving despite our request? My fiancé says he won’t cash their checks and he will send the gifts back to them. I’ve told him that would be insulting and rude and we should just graciously accept and move on. What are your thoughts on this?


Couple getting married

Dear Amy,

I say you are 100% correct. While it’s understandable that you have all that you need and want, it does not change that your friends and family will feel the need to celebrate your union with a token of their love and support, which usually takes the form of a gift. There is a long-standing tradition of extending well wishes to a wedding couple with a wedding gift. Even though you try to let your guests know that you don’t want gifts, there will be those that just won’t be able to resist.

Those who choose to give you a wedding gift are only trying to show that they care about you, so accept their gesture with grace and sincere thanks. Refusing would not only be an insult to the gift giver, but it could also hurt their feelings. Explain to your fiancé that giving a gift can truly bring joy to the giver. The best course of action is to accept the gifts and write heartfelt thank-you notes. I wish you all the best in your life together!

If you have questions or comments about gift giving, baby shower, or wedding etiquette, please comment below or email [email protected].

Emails in this column are received from readers. Emails may be edited for spelling, length and grammar, or to remove sensitive information. However, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.


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