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Jules Hirst, Etiquette Expert

Wedding Gift Etiquette: When the gifts last longer than the marriage

Celebrity wed­dings rarely last and the lat­est attempt has come to an abrupt end. It is sad to say that Kim Kar­dashian has filed for divorce from her hus­band, Kris Humphries, after only 72 days of mar­riage. With a wed­ding that was reported to cost $10 mil­lion and had a two-night cable spe­cial, it has lead many peo­ple to won­der if this was a cha­rade for rat­ings and money. Whether it was or not, 72 days of mar­riage is not a long time and it leads to another ques­tion. What hap­pens to the wed­ding gifts?

Many guests will feel upset or cheated if the gifts are not returned because they spent their hard earned money to buy the gift and the wed­ding was short-lived. Com­mon eti­quette says that any wed­ding gifts should be returned if the wed­ding is called off prior to the cer­e­mony or if the mar­riage ends shortly there­after. There are a few sit­u­a­tions to deal with. All unused gifts should be returned. Any gifts that were mono­grammed or per­son­al­ized should not be returned because it is almost impos­si­ble for the giver to return them. Also, used gifts like bed­ding should not be returned. Com­mon eti­quette says in the case of a non­re­turn­able gift, it is proper to ask the giver if they would like the item back or offer to reim­burse them for the cost. With any gift that is returned, a note should be enclosed thank­ing the per­son for their gen­eros­ity but they regret­fully can­not keep it because the mar­riage did not work out.

Kim Kar­dashian has announced that she will not be return­ing the gifts because they were given out of love. How­ever, she has offered to make a $200k dona­tion to her favorite char­ity. So now she gets to keep the gifts and receives a tax write-off. Appar­ently celebrity wed­dings end bet­ter as well.

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