Wedding Etiquette Forum

Gave a gift, now wedding is canceled...

Ok, I don't really know how to explain this, so please just bear with me.

One of my co-workers has a 19-year-old daughter who was engaged to a guy in the military and had a wedding planned for last September. Last July, they decided to get married in a quickie ceremony, but still kept the wedding planned for September. The wedding was then postponed until this May because he couldn't get leave. My mom and I were invited to her bridal shower last October, but we couldn't go so we sent her a gift. I just talked to my co-worker because it is getting close and I hadn't received an invitation yet, and she said that the wedding has been postponed indefinitely because, again, he can't get leave. So, what's the protocol for the gifts that she received? I feel like I got ripped off. Not that I'm going to say anything to the woman, but I just want everyone's opinion.

Re: Gave a gift, now wedding is canceled...

  • So did she get married in the "quicky ceremony" and the renewal ceremony was put off?  I'm confused.  Because if that's the case then they are already married so the gift would still be considered a wedding gift, because they are actually  married. 
  • Well they are technically married so how is it that you got ripped off?  You give a gift to celebrate the marriage, not the wedding itself. 

    Did she send you a thank you note?  I can see being miffed about that. 
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  • They're married, so you basically gave a wedding gift. Hopefully they sent a thank you.
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  • If it's been postponed because he can't get leave, that's completely different than canceled. You should give a gift in celebration of their wedding, not in exchange or expectation for an invite. True, etiquette states that if you invite someone to a shower, they should be invited to the wedding, but how do you know you won't be invited when they finally do have the wedding?
  • edited April 2010
    The quickie ceremony was the legal part with only their families. The renewal ceremony, which they were still advertising as a wedding, is what was postponed. But we gave the gift as a shower gift (which was 4 months after she was legally married), and were planning on giving another gift at the "wedding". And my co-worker told me that there never will be a wedding, even in the future.
  • I think you should just let this one go. You gave a gift in celebration of a marriage that did actually take place, even if the couple seems to be a little confused on their etiquette. They're probably going through a lot right now with him deployed, so it would probably be best for you to stay out of it and see what happens if/when their at-home celebration actually occurs.
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  • They're still married, and you gave a gift in celebration of that. If you don't get a TY note, then you can be pissed. Other than that...
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_gave-gift-now-wedding-canceled?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:6d1a8c57-e915-4e0a-905b-52145038079aPost:a962bc52-7c9b-4c73-9868-21f23ac5056d">Re: Gave a gift, now wedding is canceled...</a>:
    [QUOTE]The quickie ceremony was the legal part with only their families. The renewal ceremony, which they were still advertising as a wedding, is what was postponed. But we gave the gift as a shower gift (which was 4 months after she was legally married), and were planning on giving another gift at the "wedding". And my co-worker told me that there never will be a wedding, even in the future.
    Posted by DancinPrinzess[/QUOTE]

    It just seems a little "tit for tat".  I'm sure they'd much rather be having their renewal, then him being on leave, they probably didn't go into all of this saying "we're going to have a shower but never have a wedding day".  I don't think you should be faulting them for that, or feeling ripped off. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_gave-gift-now-wedding-canceled?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:6d1a8c57-e915-4e0a-905b-52145038079aPost:77410144-a84f-445a-8a54-78ea7eedd5dc">Gave a gift, now wedding is canceled...</a>:
    [QUOTE]Ok, I don't really know how to explain this, so please just bear with me. One of my co-workers has a 19-year-old daughter who was engaged to a guy in the military and had a wedding planned for last September. Last July, they decided to get married in a quickie ceremony, but still kept the wedding planned for September. The wedding was then postponed until this May because he couldn't get leave. My mom and I were invited to her bridal shower last October, but we couldn't go so we sent her a gift. I just talked to my co-worker because it is getting close and I hadn't received an invitation yet, and she said that the wedding has been postponed indefinitely because, again, he can't get leave. So, what's the protocol for the gifts that she received? I feel like I got ripped off. Not that I'm going to say anything to the woman, but I just want everyone's opinion.
    Posted by DancinPrinzess[/QUOTE]

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  • This seems extremely petty.

    "You can take your etiquette and shove it!" ~misscarolb
  • edited April 2010
    No TY note. Maybe that's why I feel annoyed... the whole thing has felt gift grabby to me.

    They never announced that they were legally married. They just went on planning the wedding like they weren't married. I feel like she never would have told me if I hadn't asked the woman why she missed a week of work.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_gave-gift-now-wedding-canceled?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:6d1a8c57-e915-4e0a-905b-52145038079aPost:2dbb0f83-bd8b-4086-ba9d-f30100f824d9">Re: Gave a gift, now wedding is canceled...</a>:
    [QUOTE]No TY note. Maybe that's why I feel annoyed... the whole thing has felt gift grabby to me.
    Posted by DancinPrinzess[/QUOTE]

    This part makes sense.  I'd be very annoyed.  TY notes take little effort to show great appreciation.
  • Since they are already married, the wedding can't be canceled.  The gift doesn't need to be returned. You should have gotten a thank you card, that is just poor etiquette.

  • I'll tell you what I'd tell this bride...the JOP was their wedding.  You gave them a wedding gift.  Even if they never do the renewal, they're married and you gave a gift.  I don't blame you for being pissed about not getting a TY card, though.
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  • If the renewal ceremony is being postponed and not canceled, I'd say you weren't ripped off.
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  • The marriage is valid, the party was postponed.  The shower gift was your choice to give.  Nobody was "ripped off."  Although, if they didn't sent a TY, I wouldn't be attending the party - if and when it ever happens - and I wouldn't be sending another gift.
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  • So she had a shower after she was already married. Hmm.

    I'd count that as the wedding gift and call it a day.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_gave-gift-now-wedding-canceled?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:6d1a8c57-e915-4e0a-905b-52145038079aPost:86ec13aa-ec0d-470a-8fa0-9ee6a06d3466">Re: Gave a gift, now wedding is canceled...</a>:
    [QUOTE]So she had a shower after she was already married. Hmm. I'd count that as the wedding gift and call it a day.
    Posted by msmerymac[/QUOTE]

    Good advice. I hadn't thought about it this way. I gave the gift thinking that it was a shower gift and intending to give another gift at the wedding, but the gift is still a gift no matter what I intended it to be. I guess it all works out in the end.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_gave-gift-now-wedding-canceled?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:6d1a8c57-e915-4e0a-905b-52145038079aPost:04f1797f-b16f-470d-9c2c-fee92fa6b481">Re: Gave a gift, now wedding is canceled...</a>:
    [QUOTE]Postponed indefinitely = not happening, ever
    Posted by DancinPrinzess[/QUOTE]

    <div>Nope, postponed indefinitely = something they still want to do but have no date for.  Not happening, ever = cancelled.</div><div>
    </div><div>And, it really doesn't matter.  You gave a gift for a marriage that had already occurred.  </div>
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  • OP, Yes you can be upset that you did not get a TY note, but to be honest most people I know who JOP it and say they are going to have a renewal/party later NEVER do. So move on....they are married and you gave a gift.
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  • It doesn't matter if they cancel the renewal ceremony.  They are married, and the wedding already happened.  The wedding is when they got married.  By definition, they cannot now have a wedding.

    You are right to be miffed about not getting a thank you note, and to be put out by being invited to a shower for a person that is already married.  But since they did get married, there is no expectation that they return gifts.  
  • I would try to assume that it was not her intention to have the whole wedding/JOP/shower thing be as confusing as it is. I know most of my family has been consistently behind since I got engaged because my wedding date was changed 3 times and then he got deployed so we got married and now we're doing a convalidation and party but we're already married and we don't know when (maybe this year maybe in 3?). It's probably confusing and frustrating for her, too! I wish I never attempted to plan a wedding at all, haha.
  • melissamc2melissamc2 member
    First Comment
    edited April 2010
    To me, the bottom line is that you gave a gift to a couple starting a new life together.  If the gift was given with well wishes and good intentions then that's that.  It's over.  A thank you note would have been proper, but not everyone sends them and there's not much that anyone can do about that.

    If you sent a gift just because you thought you were going to "get something" out of it, then maybe you didn't deserve a thank you note!  I'm sure that sounds harsher in print than it would by voice, so take it for what it is - an opinion on something you gave us minimal details on.

    I'd just let it go, honestly.  You gave a young girl a present that she can enjoy while her new husband is off serving in the military.  There are far worse things.
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  • edited April 2010
    It's not that I expected something in return, I just wasn't sure how this situation would work in terms of etiquette saying that gifts are to be returned if a wedding is called off. That's why I asked... because there is a difference between the marriage and the wedding, and I was misunderstanding the rule.
  • Yeah, I agree this seems REALLY petty.  The marriage happened and you sent a gift.  the whole thank you card thing seems extremely petty to me!  This poor girl wakes up every morning wondering if her husband is still alive and we're talking about a thank you card?!?!  Yes, thank you cards are good ettiquette, but come on.. what really matters in life?  She is probably preoccupied hoping that the man she loves is ok.. not worried about making sure everyone gets a piece of paper.  Sometimes I think a little compassion goes a long way...
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_gave-gift-now-wedding-canceled?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:6d1a8c57-e915-4e0a-905b-52145038079aPost:72c141b5-184d-4074-9794-98db2395c5f0">Re: Gave a gift, now wedding is canceled...</a>:
    [QUOTE]It's not that I expected something in return, I just wasn't sure how this situation would work in terms of etiquette saying that gifts are to be returned if a wedding is called off. That's why I asked... because there is a difference between the marriage and the wedding, and I was misunderstanding the rule.
    Posted by DancinPrinzess[/QUOTE]

    Wait, you though she should return the gift because the renewal was postponed, even though they are married?  That seems petty.  So, because you didn't get to go to a party, they should return your gift? 
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  • I think we are using the word "petty" a little too liberaly, here.  This is such a confusing situation, as many people have already mentioned, and the orriginal poster just wanted to know what the protocoll was.  She is asking whether or not her frustrations were justified, which is a hard thing to do in the first place - it's like asking "am I wrong?"  Many people here are saying "yes, and also you're a horribly petty person," which is definately not the vibe I'm getting - the confusion makes sense, and I would be confused too.  She just wants to know what to expect, which is not to get the present returned since the couple is in fact married.  Cool.  Good to know.  Confusion =/= pettiness by any definition of the word, so I don't know what dicktionaries you all are using.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_gave-gift-now-wedding-canceled?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:6d1a8c57-e915-4e0a-905b-52145038079aPost:f92f4048-f34c-4573-9a6e-135ddef4b473">Re: Gave a gift, now wedding is canceled...</a>:
    [QUOTE]I think we are using the word "petty" a little too liberaly, here.  This is such a confusing situation, as many people have already mentioned, and the orriginal poster just wanted to know what the protocoll was.  She is asking whether or not her frustrations were justified, which is a hard thing to do in the first place - it's like asking "am I wrong?"  Many people here are saying "yes, and also you're a horribly petty person," which is definately not the vibe I'm getting - the confusion makes sense, and I would be confused too.  She just wants to know what to expect, which is not to get the present returned since the couple is in fact married.  Cool.  Good to know.  Confusion =/= pettiness by any definition of the word, so I don't know what dicktionaries you all are using.
    Posted by Stallmanj1[/QUOTE]

    Thank you :)

    No, I don't expect the gift back. I was just confused by the ettiquete. The gift was sent because we were invited to her shower and we couldn't attend. The shower was 4 months after they were married, which I think is tacky in the first place. It's fine, I'm over it. The shower gift is now a wedding gift, which actually saves me some money.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_gave-gift-now-wedding-canceled?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:6d1a8c57-e915-4e0a-905b-52145038079aPost:7f3f3adf-1f86-4ca8-8752-f92d29444a42">Re: Gave a gift, now wedding is canceled...</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Gave a gift, now wedding is canceled... : Wait, you though she should return the gift because the renewal was postponed, even though they are married?  That seems petty.  So, because you didn't get to go to a party, they should return your gift? 
    Posted by luckyme502[/QUOTE]

    I'm saying that the rule states that the gifts are to be returned if the wedding is canceled. What it means is the gifts are to be returned if the MARRIAGE is canceled. There is a difference between the wedding and the marriage, and the rule wasn't clear to me. It's clear now and I am fine with the outcome.
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