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Redditor Called Out For Returning Sister’s Wedding Gift After The Wedding Was Canceled


Wedding gift shopping can be very stressful.

Some of the items on the registry are just not cost effective.

But people make do.

But what do you do when there no longer is a wedding?

Who gets the gift?

Case in point…

Redditor Relative_Attempt6316 wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for canceling a wedding gift when the wedding was canceled?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My husband’s sister was supposed to be married in September.”

“I chose an item from the registry, but the exact item she had added had a weird detail (she had explicitly mentioned previously needing option A, but on the registry she accidentally listed option B).”

“So I asked her to make sure I got what she needed.”

“So, she knew exactly what I was planning to gift.”

“Sadly they have now broken up.”

“The gift hadn’t shipped yet anyway, so I canceled it.”

“This past week she reached out to me about it.”

“Since she knew I was purchasing it and we live far away, she was concerned that it had been delivered but someone had stolen it.”

“When I explained that I had canceled it, she was pretty upset.”

“My M[other] I[n] L[aw] has now reached out to us about it and feels that I was unkind to cancel the order.”

“She feels that since my S[ister] I[n] L[aw] is clearly going through a difficult time, and the holidays are approaching, it would’ve been more appropriate to let the gift reach her anyway.”

“Obviously these are unfortunate circumstances, but this was a substantial gift ($700) and pretty well above the threshold of what I’d normally spend for a typical holiday gift.”

“Before it comes up, I’ll mention short and sweet that my husband is in the military and currently deployed.”

“So that’s why he isn’t a big piece in this puzzle and I’m soloing this awkward adventure.”

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. When a wedding is cancelled, it would only be polite for the bride and groom to return the wedding gifts. That’s the norm.”

“ETA: Please do not feel guilty about cancelling the gift.” ~ JustStephanie

“Actually, etiquette dictates that when wedding gifts are received and the wedding is called off, gifts are required to be returned. Is a gift really going to soothe the jilted bride? NTA!!” ~ Rbuff187

“A gift is usually in exchange for your presence.”

“Is SIL gonna take OP and her husband out to a lavish meal and party all expenses paid?”

“I don’t think so.”

“There’s nothing to celebrate so no need for a gift.”

“Honestly, OP is lucky it hadn’t shipped cause it wouldn’t have been returned otherwise.”

“I feel bad for the guests whose gifts did ship since they won’t get it back.” ~ Travel-Kitty

“Definitely NTA The wedding is cancelled and they still expect to keep the gifts?”

“The gifts is for the wedding and since it’s cancelled the gift is also to be returned.” ~ Hoyuen

“When my niece was supposed to get married but her fiancée got cold feet and didn’t show up, she asked after about a week or so what she should do with the gifts and everyone she asked told her to keep the gift they sent.”

“I know she felt awkward about it, but everyone felt bad for her and didn’t begrudge her keeping the gifts.”

“But nobody spent $700.”

“The max was probably $50.”

“(Later, they eloped, but I think it was mostly due to his family pressuring him; he cheated on her and ended their marriage, but that’s a whole other sh**show.)” ~ Lanky-Temperature412

“NTA. What kind of new f**kery is this.”

“When a wedding is cancelled you don’t give a gift and any gift RECEIVED is returned just as the engagement ring is traditionally returned.”

“These are gifts that are ‘contingent’ upon a condition occurring – i.e. a wedding.”

“A pick me up for your sister in law would be a gift card for a manicure or maybe a facial.”

“Not a $700 gift from the registry – that is an expensive gift even in terms of wedding gift standards.” ~ Jujulabee

“She should drown her sorrow in an adult beverage of her choice, a soothing visit to the spa, a weekend away, or a hot pool boy.”

“Not in fleecing her kind and generous relatives.”

“NTA. Tell her you’re on board with getting her that gift for her next marriage.” ~ Curious-One4595

“Or you could gift her an etiquette book since apparently she hasn’t read one.”

“Returning gifts after a cancelled wedding is an old tradition… about as old as modern weddings so over 100 years.”

“This is not even a question. NTA.” ~ lisa-www

“NTA, it was a wedding gift from a wedding registry, not feel sorry for my relationship breaking down gift.” ~ Long_Squash1762

“NTA. You intended to buy that gift as a wedding present, a momentous occasion, but it didn’t happen so you have no obligation to.”

“If SIL is having a tough time, a $700 gift isn’t going to help.”

“She needs people around her who offer support, not luxury goods.” ~ Posedo16

“NTA – When the wedding is canceled it’s traditional for the couple to return any gifts.”

“It’s a bit much for both the bride AND her mother to pressure you to still buy an expensive gift.” ~ Used_Mark_7911

“Absolute NTA.”

“The gift was for a wedding – and technically, it would have been for her AND the person she’s marrying… not just her.”

“You were 100% in the right to cancel it.”

“And they are being completely unreasonable.” ~ SDstartingOut

“NTA. When a couple breaks up before the wedding, gifts are typically returned to the givers.” ~ ilp456

“NTA. Sounds like your SIL is being entitled.”

“Doesn’t make sense for her to expect a wedding present when the wedding was cancelled… and kind of inappropriate for her mom/your MIL to get involved.”

“If she feels so strongly, maybe she should just buy her daughter the expensive gift.” ~ Humble-Unit8379

“NTA. Traditional wedding etiquette indicates that when a wedding is cancelled, all the shower, engagement, and wedding gifts should be returned.”

“You were not only saving your SIL from going through some negative emotions when receiving the gift, but saving her the hassle of having to ship it back.” ~ Alarming_Work4005

“Which we now know she wouldn’t have.”

“OP, cancelling the order now saved you a bunch of headache down the line trying to get that back. NTA.”  ~ ReallyTracyQ

“NTA – it’s a gift for a wedding.”

“A wedding that won’t happen.”

“Tell her you’re saving her from having to return it.”

“Or tell her that you understand she’s disappointed, and that you too are disappointed that the time and effort you made into arranging time off, flights, hotels, are also now a waste.”

“Pretty sad that she’s more broken up about a gift than a failed wedding.”  ~ Accomplished_Ruin_25

“Agree but I’d say ‘Oh, I thought it’d be mean to send a gift for a wedding that didn’t happen!'”

“That’s rubbing salt in the wound.”

“I want to give her something that will help her new future, just have to figure out what it is.”

“Anyone who insists on the wedding gift is then revealed for the gold digger they are.”

“And OP should send a thoughtful gift, not necessarily to the same dollar amount.”  ~ MsMonotreme

“NTA, no wedding no gift.”

“MIL can always add to cart herself and use her credit card.”

“Since wedding gifts are usually for the ‘couple.'”

“She is not going to that tough of a time if she is mad about not getting a ‘wedding’ gift since there was no wedding.”

“Looks like she and mil are just greedy.” ~ TheDeadlyPandaGamer

“NTA, no wedding happening, no gift necessary.”

“I do not fault her for reaching out to make sure the gift hadn’t gone missing, but in no way should anyone be expecting to keep a gift intended for a marriage that didn’t happen.”

“Thank you for your husband’s service.” ~ No-Priority4155

“NTA – ignore all those noises.”

“She ain’t marrying so she ain’t getting a wedding gift, simple as that.”

“And no she doesn’t deserve it no matter how bad a situation it was, she’s not entitled to free gifts for nothing.”

“She’s the major AH for being upset and entitled to think she should still get such a gift.”

“MIL is out of line for reaching out as well.” ~ Enviest0

“NTA. Doesn’t matter who the bride and groom are the wedding isn’t happening to the gift gets cancelled.”

“And if it HAD been delivered to her already it would have been unbelievably tacky for her to keep it.”

“Common etiquette is that if the wedding is cancelled, wedding gifts are returned.” ~ KkSquish17

“NTA. As everyone here has pointed out, wedding gifts are supposed to be returned to the giver if the wedding is called off.”

“It’s one of the most embarrassing and awkward parts of calling off an engagement but it’s also good manners.”

“Your SIL is reacting out of emotions and not logic.”

“Knowing that you canceled her wedding gift probably triggered her and she has to face the fact that her relationship is really over.”

“That’s not your problem though.” ~ Mother_Tradition_774

Well OP, Reddit is with you.

That is a lot of money to spend on a wedding that didn’t happen.

Good luck with the family.