Wedding registry drama: Wedding guest triggers debate after canceling $700 gift

May 26, 2024
The online community rallied around the user, offering overwhelming support for her decision to cancel the gift. Source: Getty Images.

In the whirlwind of wedding preparations, there are bound to be unforeseen hiccups, but what happens when the wedding itself is called off?

A wedding guest found herself at the centre of a heated debate after canceling a $700 gift intended for her husband’s sister, whose wedding was cancelled.

The saga began when after choosing a gift from her sister-in-law’s wedding registry, she encountered a snag: the listed item didn’t match the explicit preferences previously discussed. Sensibly, she reached out for clarification. However, fate had other plans, as the impending nuptials were abruptly called off.

“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,” she explained to the online platform Reddit. 

“Sadly they have now broken up. The gift hadn’t shipped yet anyway, so I canceled it.”

The twist in the tale came when the sister-in-law contacted her, worried that the gift had been stolen, only to learn that it had been canceled. This sparked a chain reaction, with the mother-in-law chiming in, expressing disappointment at the cancellation and urging her to reconsider, citing her sister-in-law’s difficult time and the approaching holidays.

“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,” she recalled.

“My MIL has now reached out to us about it and feels that I was unkind to cancel the order. She feels that since my SIL 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.”

The online community rallied around the user, offering overwhelming support for her decision to cancel the gift. Comments flooded in, echoing sentiments of understanding and validation.

“When a wedding is cancelled, it would only be polite for the bride and groom to return the wedding gifts. That’s the norm. Please do not feel guilty about canceling the gift,” one user reassured.

Another commenter highlighted the distinction between a wedding gift and a general present, stating, “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.”

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

The consensus among the online community was clear: the cancellation was justified, given the circumstances. Many argued that a $700 gift, originally intended for a celebratory occasion, wouldn’t alleviate the sister-in-law’s current struggles.


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