Gift Returning, Exchanging, and Donating!

Hello Monday!  I've been asked by numerous people why I chose not to cover the Kardashian/Humphries wedding...it's self-explanatory.  I won't lie and tell you that I haven't been following some of the recent updates, but what I find to be most interesting are the points made by event and etiquette experts about "returning the gifts". 

I'm not going to discuss when a marriage dissolves and what to do, but rather flip it to a conversation about what Brides and Grooms should do when they want to return or exchange a gift given to them. This post is about the gifts you don't want, the gifts you don't need, and a way to respectfully return them. One thing you should know is that it's 100% guaranteed that you will be returning or exchanging a few of the gifts you receive.
The easiest gift to return is one that can be exchanged.  This is a gift purchased from a store you registered at, but isn't on your registry. What makes this easy is that an easy exchange occurs and the unwanted gift is credited towards something you do want.

RULE OF THUMB GIFT GIVERS:  If you are purchasing an item OFF of the registry, make sure to purchase something that is ON the registry as well. 

I attended a wedding in May and wanted to play up a "salad theme".  The bride and groom were registered for a set of salad plates and a salad dressing mixer. I purchased those two items with some money left to spare in my gift budget. Because of that, I decided to buy an item related to the "salad theme" that wasn't on their registry, but from the same store.  It was a large salad bowl and tong set. If the salad bowl and tongs were returned at least I had purchased two items they wanted and the credit of the salad bowl could go towards an item they hadn't received or a future purchase at the store.  Who would be offended by that? Not me.

ANOTHER THING TO KEEP IN MIND:  It's very rare that someone will be outwardly offended if you return a gift.  Guests should know and understand that a registry is a wish-list.  Any off-the-list items may be exchanged for something not fulfilled. 

IF YOU ARE CONFRONTED:  This shouldn't happen and is incredibly tacky for a wedding guest to do, but if you are confronted with someone wondering where their gift is the above paragraph can help, or the response below...

"We appreciate your thoughtfulness.  There were still some key items from our registry that hadn't been fulfilled so we decided to exchange the items we hadn't originally needed to put towards purchasing those from our list."

It's polite, to the point, and honest. It also shows your appreciation. A guest should be more than happy that their item was used towards something you really need. Are you going to keep a ceramic, rooster-shaped cookie jar that you didn't need, want, or ask for? Or put it towards completing your flatware order? Just saying.

A GIFT OUT OF LEFT FIELD:  This is a gift you can't use, don't want, and can't return.  I love these gifts.  My sister and her husband received a few of these for their wedding.  These are what I like to call "mystery gifts" because no one knows where they come from.  Sure, we know who the sender is, but there is no gift-receipt, logo, or name on the box.  It just came from nowhere.  So what are you supposed to do?

Don't keep things in your house that you can't use- it's a bad habit. It also causes clutter in more ways than one. Every gift you receive you should appreciate because someone took the time and money to give it to you.  However, if you're never going to use it it has no place in your home.  Don't shove it under your sofa or bury it in your closet hoping its existence will fade with time. It won't. All you're doing is avoiding the inevitable.  Throwing out a gift is hard because we don't want to seem unappreciative for what we received. There is a fantastic alternative though- donating!

Donation centers are always happy to received household items, especially unused ones.  You'll feel better knowing these items can go to a place where someone may be able to really use it for themselves.  You're doing your part to contribute to the community and not be wasteful.

Enjoy your gifts and enjoy exchanging, returning, and donating the ones you can't use. It's all a part of the fun!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email CharlotteLucey!