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Your wedding registry is in place for a reason, namely that guests can purchase items a couple actually needs or desires in lieu of simply guessing what the bride and groom might want. Unfortunately, not all guests stick to the prescribed script when selecting a wedding gift for the happy couple. Whether a guest has gone rogue by gifting a garden gnome or accidentally purchased something that someone else did, some wedding presents will like have to be returned. But how do you politely deal when a wedding guest finds out you've turned in their gift? Our etiquette experts weigh in how to gently explain returned wedding gifts.
Gifting decorum states that once a present has been given to its recipient, the recipient may do whatever they wish with the present. However, wedding guests like to believe that their gifts are meaningful to the couple and will be enjoyed for years to come. If you're gifted an item that you have absolutely no use for or one that is simply not your taste, returning the product for something you will cherish is completely acceptable.
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When speaking with your guest about the gift, make sure that he or she is aware the return doesn't reflect poorly on their taste. Furthermore, refrain from critiquing the item in any manner when explaining the return to your guest. Begin by expressing your gratitude for the gift and the thought put into its selection. If the guest demands an explanation, find a reason that will calm your guest's concerns while remaining vague about the exact details of the return. Providing a simple explanation such as "We simply don't have the room!" or "We already have one" may be the best course of action, as any further information may upset your guest. As long as you keep your explanation brief and ensure your guest understands how much you appreciate the thought behind the gift, your guest has no reason to harbor resentment.