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Woman wants $4.5K gift back from friend after she calls off her wedding. AITA?

Woman wants $4.5K gift back from friend after she calls off her wedding. AITA?


"WIBTA for asking my friend to return the expensive wedding gift I gave her after she and her fiancé broke up?"


About three weeks ago, my friend broke up with her fiancé a month before their wedding, which would have been this weekend. She found him fooling around with another girl and called off the wedding. It’s a huge mess and I feel awful for her. It truly is a devastating time for her and I’ve been as supportive as possible through it all.

She has been one of my closest friends for the past 15 years and she is basically a sister to me. Because of this, when I found out they were engaged at the beginning of the year, I wanted to give her a truly special wedding gift.

She has always been into interior designing and has wanted an Eames lounge chair for a long time. I found one for $4500, which was a good deal, so I got it for her. I'm fortunate to be able to afford this, but it’s still quite a lot.

She was ugly crying when I told her about it and she was extremely grateful for it. However, now that the wedding is called off, I’m not sure what to do. I could still use that money if I were to get it back…

Is it rude to ask for her to return it or at least pay me back for the chair? I feel like I would be such a monster for doing so, but some other friends (who aren’t as close to her) said she absolutely should at least return it so I can get my money back.

She’s going through a lot now, so I don’t want to press her too much and honestly if I never see the money again, that’s fine. But still, $4500 is a good amount of change that I would be happy to have if possible.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


She should return it, but you would be an ahole to ask. It's a YTA/NTA catch 22.


It is absolutely standard etiquette that if the wedding is cancelled, then the gifts are returned. However you might want to choose your moment with care and tact. NAH though.


I think your feeling that YWBTA is exactly correct. From a purely transactional point of view, you are N T A for asking for it back. If we were all emotionless robots I'd say go for it. However, from a friendship / emotional point of view certainly you will be the A H if you do ask.

She's very close to you and going through a very difficult time in her life, this would be the last thing she needs and will probably drive a wedge in your relationship. She also really loved the gift!

Let her keep the chair, and if she approaches you wanting to return it, then take some time to consider it. Consider the money gone - money comes and goes. Quality friendships on the other hand may be once in a lifetime.


I'm probably going to go against the grain here. In general, gifts are gifts. Weddings are an exception to this rule (or used to be) - if a wedding is cancelled, the former bride and groom *should* return all gifts to the giver.

However.... I would feel a little squicky about asking for it back. And I'm in my 60s, so wedding etiquette has probably changed. But if you were to ask for it back, I would rule NTA, especially since it was a huge financial outlay.


If you're a close friend of hers why don't you offer to help her by sorting out the return of the gifts, assuming she's received other items before the wedding was due to take place.


Etiquette dictates that she should return all gifts, but I get that asking while she’s dealing with the breakup feels harsh. NAH.


NAH. But someone should be telling the couple that they need to return all the gifts they've already received.


I don’t think you should ever give a gift that you would expect to get back under certain circumstances. I can see in the case of a family heirloom engagement ring where the other person is the one to break the engagement that you could expect them to give it back but that’s the only circumstance I can really see an expectation of giving the gift back being reasonable.

Yea, it is wedding etiquette to give gifts back if the wedding is called off but the gift giver shouldn’t really expect that or ask for it.


I’m going to say YWBTA only cause the wedding got broken off because her fiancé cheated and this really kicking her while she’s down. I know people here are saying it’s etiquette to return the gift if the wedding doesn’t happen but how many people are really giving gifts before the wedding takes place?

Also I was very unaware with this wedding “etiquete.” If you give a gift before the wedding happens you already gave the gift. And in my mind a gift is a gift is a gift. Full stop. If someone could explain to me why that is the etiquette I would appreciate it cause I feel like I’m missing something.

So, do you think it is too awkward or inappropriate for the OP to want their expensive gift back after the break up?

Sources: Reddit
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