Ask Colin: Wedding Etiquette

What’s the Etiquette For Returning Gifts?

Icarus Leung

What do I do if I want to return a gift? And, if I do return the gift, how do I thank the person who sent it? Can I call and ask them where they got the gift so I'll know where to return it?

If you decide to return a gift, send a gracious note thanking the giver and letting them know you've exchanged it for something you really love.

For example: "Thank you so much for the lovely waffle iron. You know how much we always enjoy making Sunday brunch at home. To our surprise, we received two of them, so we fortunately managed to exchange your thoughtful gift for a juicer, which we expect to use frequently. Can't wait to have you over to enjoy brunch with us soon."

However, it is impolite to ask a person who has sent you a gift where they bought the item because you want to return it. If you are not able to return the gift on your own, it's better to write a courteous thank you note, tuck the gift away for later, and use it when the friends who sent it to you come to your home.