Wedding gift etiquette

Two things I refuse to do in life, pay for shipping and buy something from BB&B without a coupon.


I feel like everything is 15% overpriced, so if you don’t use a coupon you are paying more than you should.

On the other hand, if you find something on sale and then use a coupon, you are getting a good deal!

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I’m so sorry about your MIL. It’s tough on the family. My dad had Alzheimer’s; mother had another form of dementia as did my MIL. I remember how upset H was the first time his mother didn’t know him and called him by her brother’s name. Fortunately, he played along with her. The same happened with my dad, who thought I was his younger sister. He called me by her name and I was able to reply using some vague recollections of stories about her pets, which made him happy.

My mother was the one who wrote down everything. She reminded me several times about sending thank you notes as soon as we returned home. The local paper that carried the wedding announcement also included where we’d be living and that we’d be “at home” to guests after X date. Very old school.


I don’t remember who gave us all of our wedding gifts. Then again, I don’t think we even have all of our wedding gifts anymore. I do remember a few. I remember that my stepfather’s parents gave us a handsome clock. I remember that my favorite casserole dish with pretty pictures of vegetables on it comes from my cousin. I think that’s because we still have and use those things.
I also remember that H’s uncle (his mom’s older brother) and his wife gave us some pretty purple towels. Sadly, we don’t have them anymore, they got faded and worn out. But, we had them for several years after the wedding. I think one reason I remember that gift is because we our no longer in touch with them. No one in our family has heard from them in years. Our wedding was one of the last times everyone saw them in person.

I knew someone who got a traditional fertility sculpture from their uncle who was quite the traveler/explorer. Let’s just say the sculpture was NSFW.

But, I don’t remember who gave us most of our gifts. I’m sure I knew at the time and remembered for a few years after, but a lot has happened since then.

Another question, who still has all their wedding gifts? I know we don’t. Stuff has gotten broken, worn out, not used, etc. We’ve moved at least a few times since we’ve gotten married and I know we’ve gotten rid of stuff each time we’ve moved. I know we don’t have the bedding we got as a wedding gift. It would be way out of style now and it would be faded.
And the last time we moved, H put his foot down and wouldn’t let me move the large punch bowl and soup tureen. We got them both as wedding gifts and never use them. They just sit there collecting dust. We’d already moved them three times…

I think I have very few wedding gifts still. We will be married 40 years in November. Most of our stuff was kitchen stuff (not China) or consumables like towels, sheets etc which have not listed 40 years!

I may have a random mixing bowl or candlestick but I’m not one to hang into things I’m not using or want 6 different casseroles dishes so over the years items for weeded out.

From our pfaltzgraff dishes I do still have a scalloped quiche dish we got - I use it when I remember

My nearly 40 year old Fieldcrest towels are still functional, in the extra bathroom, and not guest quality, but great for the grandkids.


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Several decades ago when we got married, my wife and I did not register for any formal china or crystal. One, at the time we were living in an apartment and needed non-college apartment furniture. Apartment also didn’t have a dining room or even room for a big table. Two, we are not the formal china/crystal type. My mom called me and said a couple of her friends noticed we were not registered for formal china/crystal and took that to mean we wanted cash. I told her to tell them that if they wanted to buy us something that we would keep in storage for a long time (possibly forever), feel free to pick out formal china/crystal. If not, cash made sense and would allow us to have something we needed and would use every day.

We now have a house with a dining room and a large dining room table. But no formal china/crystal. Still not us. Have service for 16 of informal plates that cost about what people are likely paying for a single place setting or 2 today.

Would have to think back for anything we still have that we received as wedding or shower gift. I think we still have a handful of kitchen related gifts and holiday decorations we received. And some of the furniture (occassional tables) with bought with cash gifts.

We just celebrated our 36th anniversary and would guess we still have everything that was given to us off our registry. But probably don’t have that many of the off-registry gifts at this point. After 4 job transfers I found that more and more of those items were donated with each move. As was the tradition in our area, we registered for fine china, crystal and sterling and also casual china, glassware and stainless flatware. I still use all of it and watch for extra pieces on ebay since all the patterns are now discontinued. Over the years I’ve amassed a LOT of place settings and all sorts of serving pieces. I suppose you either love this stuff or you don’t and I really love it.


I need opinions. My childhood friend, whom we reconnected, then he withdrew saying I was toxic, cuz didn’t follow his advice, reminded me of his DD’s wedding. I hadn’t said no officially on line, though had sent a card. I sent a gift for the engagement brunch, which of course I didn’t attend. So, is my former controlling friend saying I didn’t send a wedding gift?
I already have discussed with him that he was not invited to my sons wedding cuz only met my son once. Even when I:had a party at my house, he wasn’t invited, as it was only for family and parents of the boys my son had been so very close to, growing up.
I guess I could say so much more, but I think this is enough to gain an idea of sending another $60 gift is worth it.

Consider the source, stick to your guns and enough is enough. You’ve been very nice to this friend, I think you’ve done more than enough


Completely agree with @deb922. You are one and done IMO. Anyone who calls me toxic doesn’t need a toxic gift from me. I wouldn’t have sent one, let alone consider sending another. Move your time and attention and positive energy to someone who appreciates you. That is not this person.


If you don’t attend a wedding, you are not obligated to send a gift….unless you want to send a gift.


I remember who gave a few of the wedding gifts. (There is a list somewhere too). There is a cutting board that I still use a lot from a friend that I see most summers, since she moved to an area we visit a lot. It still makes me smile 36 years later.

I have sometimes given a BBB gift card… along with a coupon. It allows the couple to buy what they want after assessing all their gifts. And it saves them carting home another big box from the wedding. But more often I give a check.

It is very rude to let someone know they didn’t send a wedding gift (exceptions for parents reminding their young adult children). And that’s on top of the other stuff. Put him in your rearview mirror.


Did you not RSVP? I’m still annoyed at the folks who RSVP’d yes and didn’t show, never an explanation.


Your former friend has funny ideas about friendship. He called you toxic and cut contact because you wouldn’t allow him to tell you what to do. Now he wants to dictate the terms of the relationship (he should be invited to your son’s wedding and you owe his daughter gifts for hers). Controlling, disrespectful behavior has no place in a friendship. I’d have cut contact a long time ago.

Gifts are never required, but if you want to do something for this young woman then there’s nothing wrong with sending her and her new spouse a warm letter of congratulations. If you can include any positive stories about her father’s childhood that she may not have heard that would be a nice addition. But I wouldn’t be bullied into sending a gift or money. Then I’d cut contact with all of them.


One thing to be aware of with registries: I was in Macy’s a few years back in line to check out at housewares. A young couple in front of me had a whole bunch ( a LOT) of china, crystal, etc they were returning. It was on their registry but they didn’t want it! They wanted the cash. I kid you not, they told the clerk who was processing the return exactly that!


I’m totally okay with a registry gift being returned.

Perhaps the couple was pressured to make a registry including china and crystal in the first place.

I had a friend whose future MIL had many friends who insisted that china, silver, crystal be included so that her (MIL’s) friends could purchase such items for shower and wedding gifts. It was MIL’s preference NOT the bride and groom’s to include such items. So my friend included the items only to appease the future (pushy) MIL. Well, afterwards the groom also agreed with the bride that they didn’t need or want such items. So they returned them. Problem solved. Thank you notes were written, pushy MIL was appeased, and the couple used the money to purchase what they needed and wanted.

I call that a win/win even if it was an unnecessary and convoluted process.

ETA: this was over 25 years ago. The couple was registered at Burdines (?) and they used the returns to purchase appliances, and even business suits for their jobs I believe? She didn’t tell me. But I wanted to set the record straight that it wasn’t cash per se but yes, store credit.

And, I know and recall all this Bc we also registered at Burdines when we married and had to return numerous places settings of china and received store credit when we did. I had registered for 12 settings but received over 21!!! I am NOT kidding. It was insane. But, received only like 3 place settings of flatware which was less expensive than the china place settings. Anyhow. This thread brings back some interesting and amusing memories!

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What was the response from the clerk? I was under the impression that now you cannot return gifts for cash. Only a gift card to the store.

Back in the day when stores did accept returns for cash, my sister returned all of the gifts she could to buy a new mattress and go on their honeymoon.

My opinion and only mine, I think it’s ridiculous to return stuff you requested unless you are returnIng duplicates. Pushy mil or not, register for stuff you’ll actually enjoy.

Lots to say here lol. My sil and bil are getting divorced after 30+ years. She refused to let bil divide up their possessions and decided to hold an estate sake where he could buy items from their marriage if he wanted them. It was jarring to see her sell gifts from throughout the years, including wedding presents that I knew she used at family dinners. I am cognizant that she wants a new beginning but it was quite sad for me to see.


I do know people who’ve returned an item they’ve registered for because it arrived broken or was defective.
I’ve also talked to people years after their weddings who said that they did regret putting some things on their registries. But it was more that they registered for something that they didn’t end up using or it turned out to be a pain to clean and store. Like if they could go back, they wouldn’t register for a sno-cone maker and a fondue set…