It's always sad when a relationship comes to an end, especially when the couple made plans to spend their lives together. While a wedding called off before the big day means the couple should return the gifts they've received, what happens if they make it down the aisle, but not much further? Here's what our experts recommend couples do in regards to the etiquette of returning wedding gifts if the marriage fails.
According to the queen of etiquette, Emily Post, keeping wedding gifts is not dependent on the success of the marriage. So whether it's a week, a few months, or almost a year of marriage before the couple calls it quits, guests should not expect to get their gifts back.
The biggest thing to remember is that these gifts have probably already been used. Even if you're superstitious and don't believe a wedding gift should be used before the Big Day, that isn't a hard and fast rule. Many couples immediately put new dishes straight into the dishwasher or bust out that blender for a batch of margaritas on their next day off — after all, they probably don't have space to store an entire second kitchen worth of gear in the packaging while they wait to say "I do!" If the gift has been opened and used, it's unreasonable to expect that they'll send your gift back to you — and no way you'll get your money back!
And of course, remember that there's much more to the situation than simply whether the couple needs to send back their wedding gifts. They have lives to rebuild and a divorce to navigate, so don't add any more pressure with the expectation that they now need to sift through their belongings not only to figure out who gets what, but to figure out what gets sent back to their friends and family members. Asking for your gift back will put you high on the list of people they resent, when what they really need is love and support.