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Woman Demands Her Wedding Gift Back After Learning Ceremony Wasn’t Performed By A Priest

woman looking into gift box
VladimirFLoyd/Getty Images

Though they’re meant to be happy occasions, weddings have a way of bringing out the worst in some people, especially when it comes to their personal values and priorities.

A person might even go so far as to suggest that the wedding doesn’t even need to occur, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, based on their beliefs.

Redditor WeddingPresentDrama, unfortunately, realized after their wedding that their aunt would never recognize their wedding as a legitimate marriage due to their religious differences.

But when they realized how far their aunt was willing to go to demonstrate that, the Original Poster (OP) was furious.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for not giving a wedding present back?”

The OP and their wife agreed to a non-denominational wedding.

“I was raised Catholic, but I now consider myself to be a non-denominational spiritualist. I believe in God, but I’m not sure which religion is right (although I really hope it’s not catholicism).”

“My wife was not raised Christian and has a similar stance to me.”

“Our wedding ceremony was non-denominational.”

All was well until a day after the wedding.

“My aunt was invited to my wedding, but she couldn’t make the trip and declined with a gift. She got us something from our registry (a set of ceramic bowls).”

“She recently contacted me and told me that my mom told her there was no priest at our wedding.”

“I confirmed that this was accurate.”

“She then said, ‘So you aren’t really married.'”

“I said we are married.”

“We went back and forth a few times, but in the end, she said she wanted the wedding present she got us back.”

“I said no, that you can’t ungift a wedding gift. It’s already been given.”

“She said wedding gifts are to celebrate marriages and we aren’t married.”

“I hung up.”

More family members got involved.

“My mom says she disagrees with her sister, but she has the right not to support our marriage with a gift if she doesn’t want to.”

“I agree. But she already sent a gift. And, if she hadn’t bought that, someone else might have gotten it off the registry.”

“She’s free to never gift me anything again, but I’m not sending this back. I am married.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some shared stories of how they “weren’t really married” either. 

“NTA. What, lol (laughing out loud)? Does aunt consider the billions of people who aren’t Catholic but are married, technically living in sin or something? Gotta love these types of religious people. Keep the gift and ditch the aunt.” – EmeraldBlueZen

“I was thinking the same thing. My husband and I went to the courthouse also. When we posted it on social media the next day one of the first people to say congratulations to us was our pastor.” – historygirl1815

“Same here, OP, I’ve been not really married for 12 years and had two honeymoons with all the money saved on not having a wedding.”

“Congrats on the non-marriage!” – ParadigmPenguin

“We joke, but when my mom went to the priest to talk about marital issues, the priest told her part of the problem was because they weren’t actually married (because they were married by a Lutheran priest 35 years prior). So it isn’t just the aunts who feel that way, but an actual catholic priest.”

“I don’t think it would be all priests who do that, but this one in particular did.” – Jacgaur


“We went to the courthouse to be married by a judge. According to your aunt’s mind frame, my husband and I aren’t really married.” – SuperKrypton

“Wow, OP NTA. My family is Catholic and like you, I’m non-denominational but very spiritual. When my husband and I got married (he’s not Catholic) my aunt came. She was very religious and also participated in being a eucharistic minister for the church.”

“We were married by a woman JOP. Not only did she give us a generous gift, but she also bought the cake for our wedding ceremony.”

“She would never DREAM of taking back anything she’s given. She also recognized our marriage, even though it wasn’t done by a priest.”

“Lol (laughing out loud), I remember when I invited her and a bunch of her friends for a huge barbecue, we held every year, and one of her lady friends brought a cheesecake and then took the remainder back when she left.”

“My aunt was horrified! I just laughed it off, but she was truly embarrassed by that behavior and said it was awful to do something like that.”

“She passed away from cancer 3 weeks ago and I’m so heartbroken. She was a tough, redheaded fireball with an incredible sense of humor.” – flappergirl35

Others said they absolutely wouldn’t give the gift back. 

“NTA. Congratulations! Enjoy a wonderful life with your wife. I think you’re just fine keeping the wedding gift. You had a ceremony, and probably a Justice of the Peace, and you are legally married.”

“Sending the gift back to your aunt would validate her opinion in her mind, and clearly, you don’t agree (nor should you).” – Huge_Industry_1259

“Where I’m from, we have a saying which translates roughly to ‘A gift is a gift, taking it back is theft.'”

“You could probably make a case that the gift was given under false pretenses or maybe deception/deceit because she assumed there was a priest present, but I have read it was a couple of ceramic bowls, she needs to get over it. NTA.” – AdmirableAvocado

“I’m gonna have to go with NTA.”

“I think she already insulted you and your wife enough by saying that you’re not really married, simply because you didn’t get married in the way that she pictured in her head. Now she wants you to re-pack and send back the wedding gift?” – DangerousWithForks


“Religion brings out the worst in so many people. Claiming you’re not married because your wedding didn’t fit into her incredibly small box is beyond ignorant.”

“Keep the gift.” – Such-Quarter278

“Or take it up a level. She hasn’t spoken to you directly, has she? So send her a beautifully worded thank you note and say you can’t wait to have her to dinner so she can see them in use.”

“Kill ’em with (sardonic) kindness.” – Ok-Cockroach2351

“NTA, you are legally married. Personally, I would just send the gift back and let her know that she isn’t welcome in your home going forward.”

“Just explain it is not an acceptable situation in the Catholic religion for you and your ‘not wife’ to live together and have ‘premarital sex,’ and that you understand that she will not be comfortable around any future children ‘out of wedlock,’ as she would not be comfortable with your unholy ways of living, which includes your ‘b**tard children.'”

“Lean into it.” – Lalalabambi

“NTA. The wedding happened, the only reason she would have a place to ask for the gift bag is if you actually hadn’t gotten married. Her going out of her way to disrespect your marriage is wrong.”

“The way you need a fight about this with your mother is, ‘Are you telling me you don’t think my marriage is real? Because you siding with your sister on this, you are saying that you agree with her.'”

“Because that sounds like that’s your real problem. The aunt can go f**k herself, but the fact that your mom is telling you to lay down and take that disrespect and that she is siding with her sister over you is a real problem.” – JCBashBash

Only a few would return the gift because of the bad memory now associated with it.

“That lady is an AH. I wouldn’t even want that gift anymore. In my mind, I’d get annoyed every time I used or looked at it. I’d send her raggedy gift back and wash my hands of her.” – Electrical-Date-3951

“Officially…no, you’re NTA… Your aunt is sadly old-fashioned and ridiculous. But personally, I wouldn’t keep them…” – bunny5837

“NTA at all, but if it were me, I’d send back the ‘gift’ with a short note stating that you’re very sorry her belief system doesn’t align with 82.3% of the world’s population.” – RecordThisB***h

“I’d give it back. Your wedding is a source of joy and celebration. And your marriage is real, valid, and holy.”

“She has diminished herself with her words and actions. I’d just give her back her precious gravy boat and let her soak in her own self-righteous misery.”

“A gift not freely given isn’t a gift. And it’s beneath you to keep it.” – justwaitingforodot

“NTA, but I wouldn’t want to own anything given to me by someone so rude. Have higher standards than that!” – SnooSprouts6712

Not only was the subReddit angry with the OP’s aunt for what she had the audacity to say about one of the most joyful days in someone else’s life, but they also completely understood why the OP would want to hold onto the gift.

Some didn’t think they would find the same joy in the gift after this phone call, but at any rate, it had already been given up the OP, and it was up to them what would be done with it, as is the true nature of any given gift.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.