What Is The Etiquette For Returning Wedding Gifts?

There is no proper etiquette for returning a wedding gift. In fact, returning a wedding gift is beyond rude. It’s not considered a good manner to return a gift so there is no proper etiquette for this type of situation. You can check the gift receipt in the box and return it or exchange it from the store.

However, there are many situations where you might have to return the gift or you might want to return the wedding gifts. In these types of situations, you can follow some steps to avoid embarrassment and don’t make the gift sender feel bad. So what you can do? Let’s find out!

Etiquette For Returning Wedding Gifts

Mentally Prepare Yourself

The gift sender can easily misinterpret the words and it can hurt their fillings. So it is very important to mentally prepare yourself for any kind of situation. The gift sender might not take it positively and they might feel bad because they would think you didn’t like their gift therefore you are returning it. Moreover, if you aren’t planning on keeping the gift then you should return it immediately to the gift sender. Therefore, after your wedding start sorting the gifts into two sections, one that you will keep and the other that you want to return. Now check the gifts and see if they come with any receipt. Make sure you return the gift with the receipt so the gift sender can return it to the store.

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Express The Message In Person Or On The Phone

You can tell your guests in person or on the phone that you want to return the gift. Though many people consider it difficult but it’s a great option because you will have the chance to explain in detail why you don’t want to keep the gift. Before you start the conversation make sure you remain calm or you might risk your words coming out all wrong. So, your guest will not understand and could misinterpret your message. Make sure, you start your conversation in a casual and fun way. Thanked them for accepting your invitation as well as appreciate the gift that they had sent. Finally, tell them the reason why you don’t want to keep the gift and clearly explain to them your reasons. They will definitely understand and most likely will honor your wishes.

Explain Your Reason And Be Honest

While explaining to the gift sender why you don’t want to keep the gift make sure you remain as honest as you can. Let them know the reason why you can’t accept the gift from them this time. Tell them that you have been focusing on simplifying and de-cluttering this year or you can simply tell them that you have already used that item and you don’t want to have it anymore. Make sure you express your message in a friendly way with positive words. This way you can avoid miscommunication and hurting your loved ones.

Offer/Suggest Alternatives

If the gift sender is insisting you keep the gift then you can offer or suggest an alternative rather than returning the gift and hanging up the phone. Moreover, if your main target of not accepting the gift is to avoid wasting resources then suggesting alternatives is an excellent strategy. You can suggest alternatives like movie tickets, restaurant gift cards, theater or concert tickets, etc. You can also offer consumable gift exchange like wine, tea, hot cocoa, bread, baking mixes, soup mixes, cookies, etc. You can also suggest charity and ask for donations on your behalf to organizations you care about. So suggesting alternatives is a great solution for “returning the gifts situation” and this way you can avoid any embarrassment for you and the gift sender.

Return The Gift Immediately

If you are planning on not keeping the gift then make sure you return the gift immediately. There is no point in keeping the gift for months and then return it. First of all, returning the gift is rude and if you are returning it after several months then it became an awkward situation. Many stores have a returning policy. So if you are returning the gift after three or four months then the gift sender can’t return it to the store. It will be a total waste of money and the gift sender won’t appreciate it. He/she will feel bad and there will be a misunderstanding between you and the gift sender. Most of the time guests buy their presents well in advance. So it is very important to return the gift immediately if you don’t want to keep it.

Return The Gift To The Store

If you are uncomfortable with returning the gift to the gift sender but also don’t want to keep the gift then you can return the gift to the store by yourself. Check the gift and see if it comes with any receipt. If the gift has a receipt then you can easily return the gift to the store by yourself. Don’t forget to check the return policy of the store before returning the product to avoid any misunderstanding or embarrassment. If the store has a policy of returning the product then it is wiser to return the product then sending it back to the person that gave the gift.

Ask The Gift Giver For Information

Sometimes there will be gifts at your wedding with no receipts so you won’t have any idea where the gifts were bought from. In this type of situation, you can ask the gift giver about the gift, where it is brought form, if they have the receipt if the store has any return policy, etc. This way you will understand if the gift is returnable to the store or not. If the gift giver can’t return the gift then you shouldn’t return the gift to the sender instead you should think of some alternative for this type of gift.

Sell Or Exchange The Gift

If the gift is not returnable to the store then you should consider selling the gift or exchanging it with other products. This is a great solution for a dead end when trying to return a specific item that you just don’t want to keep. You can sell the gift item online and earn some money and use the money to buy things that you are in need of. For example, you can send your gifts on Facebook Marketplace or using other online platforms. If you aren’t able to sell the item online then you can exchange it with other items. Moreover, you can store the gift and then re-gift it for someone’s next birthday, holiday, or wedding gift.

Return The Gift With A Thank You Note

If you want to return the wedding gift then you should return it with a thank you gift. It will make the gift returning process well-mannered and in the note, you can explain why you don’t want to keep the gift or the reason you are returning the gift. This way you can avoid any miscommunication and the gift-giver won’t feel bad. A thank you note shows your appreciation towards the gift giver and if you explain the reason clearly then the person will understand your situation.       

Final Thought

I hope the above information has helped you figure out the etiquette for returning the wedding gifts. While approaching the guests makes sure you don’t hurt their fillings. It’s better to keep the gift then hurting the fillings of your beloved ones by returning the gift. However, if you follow the above etiquettes then you can return the gift without hurting the feelings of the gift giver. Feel free to share your opinion regarding this article. I appreciate every critic. 

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