Thank You Notes For Stolen Gifts

by admin on January 25, 2012

My friend Liza got married in early January and had a lovely wedding she and her husband paid for themselves. She has been estranged from her family for some time–and you’ll soon see why.

She had a gift table at the wedding and many guests deposited their gifts there. Another friend, Carmen, was the designated gift collector who put everything in her car toward the end of the reception in preparation for driving them to the happy couple’s home.

Liza had invited her family mostly because she felt she would regret it if she didn’t. She had left their world years ago and tried to create a new life for herself as a person of manners–and she has succeeded. Her family was appalling–her mother showed up in stained sweat pants, her father wore a white t-shirt under a dirty coat, her sister tried (unsuccessfully) to hit on the groom, and her brothers just stood around the open bar getting drunker and drunker. I, and she, do not fault them for being poor, but they didn’t show an ounce of interest in Liza–it was clear they were there for free food and booze.

But the wedding was actually really great–Liza had recruited me and other friends to “run interference” with her family and we were happy to do this and it all came off without a hitch.

But that’s not even the problem–just the background. I went with Carmen to help her unload the gifts at Liza and Bob’s house after they left for the honeymoon and we discovered that some of the gifts were missing. There were distinctive packages Carmen remembered loading in her car that were NOT there when she had loaded the car. And, it seemed like few presents compared to what we had both noticed on the gift table.

After batting it around for a while and not wanting to disturb the honeymoon, Carmen and I called the police on our own and they did their investigation but didn’t have any leads other than trying to visit every guest at the wedding–but since the car was in a public parking lot it could have been anyone.

Liza got back from her honeymoon three days ago and we’ve been trying to figure out what to do, then just yesterday found out that Liza’s family stole the gifts. An old friend of Liza’s saw the wrapping paper and cards in the family’s home and called her. Liza had already been done with her family so this wasn’t really a surprise–she knew what they were like.

The problem is–what about the thank you notes? We have been making a list of all guests, and making note of the gifts that were not stolen, so it’s all good there. But what about people who gave stolen gifts? Liza does not want to press charges against her family–she just wants them to go away and never be heard from again–but sending a “Did you send us a gift?” card seems so awkward. If, for whatever reason, someone didn’t send a gift and got that card–Liza is well aware of not wanting to look like a gimme pig. But she doesn’t want people who sent gifts (even if stolen) to not get a thank you note.

Can we make a generic starter to the notes such as “We were so happy you could join us at our wedding. Unfortunately, we discovered afterwards that someone had stolen some of the gifts that were brought to the ceremony. Since the police have been unable to identify the culprits, we want to simply thank you for your presence at our wedding–which is the best gift anyone could have shared with us. We horribly regret that we cannot thank you more personally as we do not know which gifts were stolen. We are sorry that such a happy day had to be marred with this crime, but we will always remember . . . . ”

And then personalize the note with a happy remembrance of what they did or something they said at the wedding?

I told Liza about your site and she asked me to ask you what to do. She is more upset about not thanking people than about her no-good scum family.

Liza is reading this over my shoulder and asked me to add that one of her brothers is very sweet, but very slow, and she thinks they would try to pin it on him–this is part of the reason she doesn’t want to report that it was her family. “And really? You made my name into ‘Liza’?”

Any advice about how to handle it will be much appreciated.     0119-12

Dear Story Writer,  Your tenure reading on Ehell shows in that I can think of no better advice than you’ve already given to your friend.  The note sounds lovely.  It conveys the message without pointing fingers or appearing victimized.   Go for it!

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam January 25, 2012 at 11:01 am

I had a situation that is just a little bit similar but maybe more common. It was the gift with the unsigned card… Had no clue who to thank; and I certainly didn’t want to ask people if they’d sent a gift. I just mentioned it around hoping that word of mouth would get to whoever gave me the very nice relish tray that I am still using 21 years after my wedding…. : )

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Wendy January 25, 2012 at 11:09 am

Also, it’s entirely up to Liza of course, but I think I’d still go to the police station, sit down with an officer and explain the situation…especially the part about her brother possibly being blamed. I think pressing charges is appropriate only because they obviously believe they can get away with this. Maybe an arrangement can be made that the charges will be dropped if a)they return what they stole or b) at least give Liza a list of what they have so she than properly thank the people who got it for her.

Here is my reasoning. They had to know, or guess, someone would notice something was missing. They were counting on Liza being a “nice person” and not doing anything about it. Therefore, they’ll get away with it…and they’ve probably done it before and will continue to do it as long as no one says or does anything. Since Liza is already estranged, driving in a further wedge probably won’t make much of a difference at this point.

Otherwise, the solution with the thank you notes is a good one and I’m sure people will understand!

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The Elf January 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I agree with you, especially on the point that they are counting on Liza to be “nice”, but I understand why Liza would just want to forget it all. There would be calls, accusations, reports, maybe even arrests and future court dates. With toxic family, it is sometimes better to cut your losses. It’s ultimately her choice.

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Shoebox January 25, 2012 at 8:28 pm

This. There has got to be some sort of middle ground between letting these horrible people get away with a theft that must be in the hundreds of dollars and taking them to court.

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jena rogers January 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I also agree with this. Sometimes it helps, when you have been the victim of a crime, to remember that by reporting it, you are taking a stand on behalf of other future potential victims. Please ask Liza to consider this. And the thank you notes you are suggesting sound perfect.

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Dear! January 25, 2012 at 11:12 am

Poor Liza. I think the note is perfect.

Dealing with ogres in the family is tough, especially when you have chosen not to partake in the crazy, but other, near and dear, relatives still assoicate with them. I have an aunt, who is a wonderful lady, and her late husband was a gem, but two of the four kids are horrid, another seems to be possed by some jealous, vindictive, petty and cruel spirit, while the last is a great guy.

I’ve since tried to keep my distance fromt the first two, and sever ties with the third, but that still leaves the fourth sibling, all of their kids, who I love and care for dearly, and my wonderful aunt. I can’t exclude three of her four kids without hurting her feelings. I have to deal with this by just not entertaining and celebrating the holidays with my sisters inlaws. (strange, I know.)

My suggestion is cut the ties. Liza sounds like she has some great friends, and friends are, afterall, the family that we choose instead of being stuck with due to genetics.

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Another Laura January 25, 2012 at 11:17 am

Liza sounds like a lovely person. I’m glad that she can get past this most unfortunate splotch on an otherwise lovely wedding and I hope she and her husband have a lifetime of happiness together. I think the note you have worked out sounds perfect.
Would it be passive-aggressive to send one to the thieves as well? Especially if theirs’ said that the police were close to zeroing in on the perps?

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Wink-n-Smile January 26, 2012 at 10:09 am

Oooooh. I like that.

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Tracy January 26, 2012 at 10:53 am

“Would it be passive-aggressive to send one to the thieves as well? Especially if theirs’ said that the police were close to zeroing in on the perps?”

Heh. I like that.

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Enna February 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I do like that suggestion. DO IT! Lisa is a lot nicer then I would be if I was in her sitauation. If I was in a simlliar situation to Lisa and I was going to get married this would make me not invite my family.

In fact, you know what? The family may have stolen the presants but they have lost something far far greater by doing so – a lovely family member called Lisa. What comes around goes around too.

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AMC January 25, 2012 at 11:25 am

I agree with Admin. Your note sounds lovely, OP! If I were a guest at the wedding and received this thank you note, I would still feel loved and appreciated. And I would be very impressed with the bride’s grace and class in the face of such horrible events. My condolences to the bride; I’m very sorry her family ruined her special day. Even if those horrible people don’t ever face the legal consequences for their actions, I hope they at least face some karmic justice.

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Ashley January 25, 2012 at 11:56 am

OMG I almost wept reading this. OP, did she ever go to her family’s house to claim the gifts? That is horrible of them. I had a dear friend of mine who had her card box stolen at her wedding and did not know until she got phone calls from people asking if she had received the cash gift they had given her. She lost almost $2K in cash gifts. She was so hurt that someone would steal from her on her wedding day. At our wedding, I had a hostess guard our gift table. Her job was to just stand there and thank the guests and watch over the table. During the reception I had someone watching as well. People are so mean.

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Ashley January 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm

It really saddens me that there are people out there who would A) Steal presents from their own children, and B) Put their kids in a position where they have to write a note about those stolen presents to those guests rather than thanking them for the gift they gave.

If I were a guest, I’d think that note was just fine. I’ve never been in that situation, but I would understand that not knowing whose gift got stolen would complicate the entire thank you note process. So I agree with Admin on this one!!

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Meegs January 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm

How sad for Liza. I agree with the Admin and love your idea for how to word the note.

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--Lia January 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Liza isn’t taking the high road when she refuses to confront her parents. She’s acting out of self-preservation. We could almost call it selfishness, and I’d be all for it. I was about to suggest that it makes sense to file a police claim because the gift givers might have insurance through their credit cards that protect the cost of the gifts. Then I thought better of it. The faster Liza has nothing to do with that family, the better. If it costs her several hundreds of dollars in lost wedding gifts, it’s worth it.

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chechina January 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm

I agree with you 100%. Liza is better off focusing on the new family she’s just beginning.

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mstigerlily January 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I agree, your note sounds lovely.

When I read the note and thought about it, I imagined myself as one of Liza’s guests. If I was a guest and heard about the presents being stolen I’d probably send her another present- NOT because your note in any way suggested that, but because Liza is a friend and I’d Want To.

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Katy January 26, 2012 at 8:41 am

And that’s where I would feel like I’m stealing from them. If I knew where the gifts were, and they sent me another gift thinking some random stranger took my gifts, I would feel like I stole their money or defrauded them in some way. They shouldn’t pay for gifts twice if I know where the gifts are and, for whatever reason, don’t go retrieve them.

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Wink-n-Smile January 26, 2012 at 10:12 am

I probably would, too. Heck, if I could afford it, I’d probably boost my budget on her present.

It’s not in any way a “gimme” note, and yet it makes me want to give.

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Midge January 26, 2012 at 11:46 am

That’s exactly what I was thinking. I’d read that note and feel so bad for her, and be so impressed by her grace, that I’d run out and buy her something else!

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Cat January 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm

While I would like to say that, although just getting away from the family and sending the note about the theft to the wedding guests is a good solution, I cannot help but think that just encourages the family to steal.
My brother stole from my parents and from me for years and Mother always said that it was better that he stole from us so he didn’t have to go to prison. All she did was to convince him that he was so clever that no one knew he was stealing as this went on for five years without a word being said. And then we got the phone call at three in the morning to find he had been shoplifting at Zayre’s department store and was in jail. He was furious that he had been caught and that anyone had dared to stop him.
He went on years later to forge my signature on one of my checks and cash it. I knew it was he by his handwriting. That makes me think she either needs to confront the family (give back the gifts and I won’t press charges) or file a police report. That was enough to get my money back from my brother.

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Wink-n-Smile January 26, 2012 at 10:18 am

If they cared about her, at all, then the threat of cutting off all contact with them might be helpful.

However, they don’t. So, unless she stands to become rich and famous in the near future, that threat won’t hold much sway over them.

Perhaps, though, she should give them one chance to be better people. She can confront them, saying, “I have already spoken to police. We have proof that one of you did it. Oh, and I already know that brother John did NOT do it, and have told the police not to even consider him a suspect, so don’t go blaming it on him. Now, you can give the presents back, along with their cards, so I can thank the people properly. Or, you can face a full police investigation, and at least one of you WILL go to jail. Your choice. I’ll give you five minutes to think about it, and then ask for your decision.” Then go to your car (where you can quickly drive away, if they become violent), and let them argue about it.

In fact, if you have a friendly police officer willing to accompany you, that would be wise – again, in case of violence. You can point out that the police are already aware and cooperating with you, and just waiting on you to officially press charges. All you need to do is say, “Do it,” to the officer, and the ball starts rolling – right over your family.

That gives them a chance to repent, and it also lets them know they can never do that to you again. And maybe it will even make them reconsider doing it to others, as well.

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Angeldrac January 30, 2012 at 5:38 am

Just one thing – I highly doubt the horrid family would have kept the cards, or could be any assistance whatsoever it matching gifts to givers that would allow the bride to actually write these thank you notes.

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Wink-n-Smile January 31, 2012 at 11:17 am

True. If they give back the gifts, at all, they’ll probably be used, and no notes as to who gave what.

IF you ever get the gifts back, and you want to write specific notes – Thanks so much for the Blender. We use it to make our breakfast smoothies – sort of thing, I’d suggest making a website, explaining the situation, and posting your specific thank you notes there. You could even list the URL on your generic – Thanks for coming. Sorry we don’t have specifics, but they were stolen – notes.

Of course, if you did the website, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these family members writing in to claim that they gave you the best ones!

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Katy January 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm

I tend to agree with those who think that Liza is doing no favors for her family by letting them get away with this. Imagine if they ever found out she knew who stole the gifts and did nothing. If they knew there were consequences for their actions, it would discourage them from doing them again.
However, it is Liza’s choice. I also agree that she would be best to be rid of them, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be rid ofher. If they knew she ‘gave’ them the wedding gifts, guess who is getting a call for money (probably bail money).

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Nancy Mom of Twins January 25, 2012 at 10:32 pm

@Wendy:

“Also, it’s entirely up to Liza of course, but I think I’d still go to the police station, sit down with an officer and explain the situation…especially the part about her brother possibly being blamed. I think pressing charges is appropriate only because they obviously believe they can get away with this. Maybe an arrangement can be made that the charges will be dropped if a)they return what they stole or b) at least give Liza a list of what they have so she than properly thank the people who got it for her”

It is a common fallacy that the crime victim is the one who presses charges. The crime victim reports the crime to the police, who then investigates. The police turn over the results of their investigation to the prosecutor, who then makes the decision about prosecution.

Once the crime victim reports the crime, it is essentially out of their hands. Sometimes crime victims have a change of heart and refuse to cooperate, but they run the risk of making a false police report.

My opinion is that the solution proposed by the Admin is correct. Send out a note saying that some gifts were stolen so you can properly thank the gift-givers. Then, put it all behind you.

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Wink-n-Smile January 26, 2012 at 10:22 am

Is that true in all cases, or is it dependent on the jurisdiction? In other words, does it vary from state to state?

I think it’s time for Liza to make friends with a police officer, and find out for sure, one way or another.

Also, just because the friend saw the wrapping paper doesn’t mean there’s any proof available at this late date, so it may well be that she can’t press charges, as she doesn’t have proof.

She may very well be forced to just put it behind her, and hope that her family learn their lesson by some other karmic justice.

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January January 26, 2012 at 6:08 am

Something similar happened to my family at my father’s funeral. A lot of people donated to help pay for it, and someone stole most of it. I’m kind of glad it was all anonymously so we didn’t have to mention anything in the thank you cards. I wouldn’t have wanted my family to feel upset because of the actions of one sick, selfish individual.

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Katy January 26, 2012 at 8:54 am

I’m going to post again, because the more I think about it from another side, the more I realize that, as much as Liza is thinking of her guests by sending out the note, she’s not thinking about her guests. Playing Devil’s Advocate here, this is a perilous situation.
If I am a guest who gave a gift, not just a check, but spent the time to pick out the right gift and spent the money on it, and brought it to the wedding, I would be very upset to think that the bride just let the gift go for the sake of not confronting her family. I bought the gift for her and her husband. I didn’t buy it for her family. If it had been stolen by John Doe off the street, I would feel horrible for her, but it is foolish to think that this information isn’t going to get out to the guests. And, had I been a guest, and I found out that my time and money had been sacrificed at the altar of Liza Never Having to Deal With Her Family Again with no effort of retrieval, I’d be upset to the point that I don’t think my relationship with Liza would be the same.
I know that, as a gift giver, once I give my gift it is out of my hands as to how that gift is used. However even if Liza wants to hand the gifts back to her family to keep them quiet and send them away, she should at least put in the effort to try to find out what guests got her. She never really got the gift, she had no choice in how it was used, but she does know what happened to them, and she should think of the guests before she sends out a Thank You note that is, essentially, a lie. Yes, it’s not a lie in that ‘the police’ haven’t been able to identify the culprit, but she knows who it is and she refuses to do anything about it. A guest might not see it as such a nice note if they know the truth behind the situation.

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Melissa January 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Let’s examine this for a moment.

“I gave”
“I bought”
“I would feel”
“my time and money”
“I’d be upset”
“my relationship”

So it’s not about Liza at all, right? It’s all about the guest.

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Katy January 26, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Yeah, it’s all about the guest in this, because you have to take them into account.
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Auntie Muriel doesn’t have a whole lot of money, but the woman can needlepoint better than everyone and their grandma. So she spends hours designing and needlepointing an exact replica of your wedding invite. She poured her heart and soul into a gift, and it was stolen by a family member in a second.
Though the needlepoint would have no cash value, the family can’t give it to Liza, because that would be admitting they have it, and though they don’t seem like the brightest bunch hopefully they aren’t the type to go flaunting stolen goods in front of the person they stole it from. Liza is content to let it go because she wants to be done with her family.
Now lets say Cousin Y heard from Bridesmaid X that the gifts had been located, but Liza wasn’t going to retrieve them because she doesn’t want anything to do with her family anymore, and decided that the gifts are the price she’s willing to pay for that.
Now, lets also say that Cousin Y, who also got a needlepoint replica of her invite as well as personallized baby needlepoints for each of her kids, mentions to Auntie Muriel how sad it is Liza isn’t going to be able to display the needlepoint, because Liza decided to let her family, who stole it from her, keep it rather than put forth the effort to get it back before she cut all ties.
There are two situations that can arise. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Auntie Muriel did not know about the theft. She might get upset at Liza’s lack of effort in getting back the hand-made needlepoint, and she decides that despite the fact that she has always made needlepoints for each baby’s birth, she’s not going to do this for Liza’s kids, because Liza doesn’t seem to appreciate her efforts.
Then lets’ say that Auntie Muriel did recieve this note claiming the gifts had been stolen by person or persons unknown. So she finds out that not only does Liza not put forth the effort to get the personalized gift, she also lied to her about what happened to it. This could be beyond hurtful. So now Auntie Muriel decides that not only will she not be doing needlepoints for the babies, she’s not going to speak to Liza for a while.
I’m trying to say how this would make me feel as a guest if, and most likely when, I found out about it. And I can honestly say that I would be hurt, and probably a little angry, but that’s just my feelings, not everyones, but there’s a good chance that if the lie gets out a few guests might change their opinions of Liza. Is not confronting her family worth losing some friendships or family relations over? That’s her choice to make. I’m just trying to put a warning that there is a group in this that, on the surface, seem to have people show concern about them by sending a thank-you note that addressess the situation, but their feelings are not really being taken into account.
Plus, now this is on the internet. Names may have been changed, but there are people out there who might look at this and put two and two together. The cat might be already out of the bag.

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Wink-n-Smile January 31, 2012 at 11:12 am

See the OP’s follow-up post. The bride’s family are “gun-toting” types. I’ve known enough of the “gun-toting” types myself to not take this as hyperbole or mere stereotyping. She knows these people, and knows what they’re capable of.

Heck, my grandpa pulled a gun on his own child, once! So, yeah, I believe her.

In such a case, NO gift is worth putting your safety on the line. Aunt Muriel should agree. If she finds out that the bride knew it was family, but didn’t want to confront them, then she ought to, as a mature adult, find out WHY the bride is afraid to confront them, before harshly cutting her off.

Granted, if it’s just being a non-confrontational person, then the bride would learn that there are consequences to not having a polite spine. But if the bride has real reason to be afraid, it would be cruel, selfish, and immature to punish her for acting on her very rational fears.

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The Elf January 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I was thinking about that, too, but I still think the note is a good idea.

If I got a thank you like that, I would call the person and confirm the story, stating my gift just in case it was just a mix-up of cards or something. If she really didn’t have it, and I could afford it (key point), I might buy a replacement.

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Wink-n-Smile January 26, 2012 at 10:06 am

I think Liza is a lovely name.

And she sounds like a lovely person, too. Kudos to you and her for your behavior in this situation.

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Tracy January 26, 2012 at 10:21 am

While I think the note is lovely, I would be pissed if my present was one of the stolen gifts. And not just at the theives.

Because we all know that people gossip (yes, its tacky, but it happens), you know word would get around that the bride knew who stole the gifts. And to then learn that she didn’t press charges or get someone to confront them if she couldn’t do it herself? Apparently my gift didn’t mean anything to her if she couldn’t lift even a finger to try to keep it.

And imagine if one of the gifts was handmade.

While I understand wanting to cut ties with the family, I think that pressing charges would be a better way to do it than just ignoring them. By getting the police involved, it establishes that the bride will not put up with anymore of the family’s mess. If she doesn’t, then they just might think that the next time they want something of the brides, they can just come and get it.

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Kate January 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I agree with anyone saying if she gives it to the police, she might not get to have any more control. A member of my family stole his father’s credit card, it was a fit of anger during an arugment when he was sixteen, he took it and ran out and used it to book a night at a hotel. They reported it, trying to get him a slap on the wrist – instead, the boy ended up in a juvenile detention centre. His parents were mortified, they had never intended that, but they couldn’t do anything once they’d reported it.

I think Liza should write to her family first, and inform them she has a good idea they stole some items, and if they do not return them, then she will go to the police. Because, as a guest, if I heard that I’d bought a gift, it had been stolen, and she had not made any attempt to get it back despite knowing who had taken it, I would /not/ be buying her a replacement one.

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The Elf January 30, 2012 at 8:58 am

The parents might have been mortified, but think of the “scared straight” benefit! This might be what kept him from a life of crime. Maybe, maybe not, who knows.

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OP January 26, 2012 at 7:59 pm

OP (with Liza by my side) Thank you all SOOO much for the advice and kind words! Admin, we are in tears that you approve of our solution! This has been tearing us up!

We agree–it is a nasty, nasty situation with no overly good outcome. We trust the friend who discovered the theft not to reveal that we know who did it, so we are going to keep our fingers crossed on that one. The notes will not really lie because the police really DON’T know the culprits. We know it is a fine line to walk but we are hoping that the “slow brother” will deter too much accusation if the story does get out.

As for confronting the family–they are from Appalachia in the United States. (about 200 miles from where we live). For those who don’t know, this is an area of much natural beauty, but also an area of many gun-toting, cliquish communities. For the simple issue of personal safety, we won’t do that.

We are going to send the same notes to all who attended or were invited (with the personalizations) and just hope hope hope!

OH! The idea about sending the cards to her family is brilliantly wicked–we are DEFINITELY down with that! Thank you, Another Laura! (Although it will be very hard to come up with a “fond remembrance” for that bunch!

Thank you ALL so much for the suggestions and support! We are going to have a “write and send” party right now!

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Steph February 2, 2012 at 11:25 am

Oh, Appalachia, how I love and hate the home of my kin so. I don’t blame Liza one bit for not wanting to confront them.
I know this post is a little old, but I’d like to add how sorry I am that your family acted this way, Liza. My cousin stole the wedding ring and wallet off of our dying grandfather with our very alive grandmother grieving nearby. Family can cut you to the bone, and sometimes it’s easier to let that wound heal by not looking or poking at it.

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Arlene November 14, 2012 at 11:37 pm

A thing very much like this happened at my first wedding. My MIL (who I didn’t know at the time was a lunatic) had collected all the cash gifts and put them in her purse “to keep them safe and bank while we enjoyed our honeymoon”. After we came home, she accused me of stealing them. I was so flabbergasted that my DH had to remind me that SHE had taken them when I was crying over the allegations… but he couldn’t have spoken up while she was screaming at me, despite the fact that I was six months pregnant and in hysterical tears with a woman twice my size bearing down on me. SO glad I never see them anymore.

Please accept my deepest regrets and fondest best wishes for the future… and let us know how this turned out, yeah? I’d love nothing more than to hear that the thieves were hauled away in chains and Liza (and the sweet brother) lived happily ever after.

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Katy January 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Just a thought to the OP- Liza may want to examine small claims court, especially if she has witnesses as to who stole the gifts, and some proof as to what they were and the fact that a Superblender 5000 in the pink passion finish just happened to show up in brother’s house the day after her wedding. Suing for the items back might get them dumped on her doorstep without charges being brought, and teaches her family that it’s not okay to be stealing things.

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Numbers January 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm

I agree. Try to be nice and thank everyone. But, I want to urge gift givers to send or deliver gifts to the bride before the wedding. This is how we do it in my family and also among our friends. No worries about transport or robbery. Gifts at the church or reception make more work on an already busy day.

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Wink-n-Smile January 31, 2012 at 11:02 am

That’s probably why that IS the etiquette rule. It has been for many, many years. Only recently have people started bringing gifts directly to the reception, not thinking that then the bride and groom have to guard the gifts, and worry about transporting them back, while they’re trying to leave for their honeymoon. It’s all a big fuss and hassle that they don’t need.

If you can’t send it in advance, remember you can send it later. Bring a card, if you feel you must have something, and do presents at another time.

Mail is a wonderful thing. You can send it insured and certified, and be sure it arrives. And if you do insured and certified, then if it goes astray, you have a record of it.

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Angeldrac January 30, 2012 at 5:53 am

I had a slightly similar issue at my wedding (only slightly) – we had had a honeymoon registry, where people were able to put money towards our honeymoon as a gift. Well, the company we did it with turned out to not have their honeymoon registry set up properly, because they had not system of recording which guests had actually contributed. So,subtracting the actual gifts we were given, we were left with about 70 guests who “possibly” could have contributed to our honeymoon. The only thing we could do was write generic “thank you for coming” notes, hinting a what a wonderful honeymoon we had.
So, in poor Liza’s case, theft, police and horrible family aside, I think it’s important to remember that the non-criminal guests were her dear family and friends. Do we really need such formality and pinicketiness? Sending a nicely worded thank you letter, with a somewhat summarized explanation of the theft (“Sadly, there was an incident in which many gifts were stolen, and due to this, we regret, we cannot thank you more personally”) but focusing on the joy of having the guest present is sufficient?

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Dablein February 3, 2012 at 6:21 am

Isn’t a honeymoon registry supposed to be a horrible faux pas?

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Angeldrac February 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Oh, everything’s a flipping faux pas, according to this website! For two twenty-year-olds, moving out of home for the first time, fresh out of university and getting married, it was considered perfectly reasonable in my community. And the thing to really bear in mind is that etiquette needs to be assessed within it’s context. In most communities I have been part of, people EXPECT registry (gift, honeymoon, whatever) information to be included in a wedding invitation, EXPECT showers for brides-to-be already living out of home and second time mums without being called “gimme pigs”.
Notions of etiquette change and fluctuate throughout the world – in some African communities a man always enters a room before a woman (to check for danger). In some Islander communities, a scolded child would never look a parent in the face (it’s considered disrespectful). Context and expectations are really important things.
I know this is completely beside the point of the original post, but a valid point, considering my previous post was actually seeking some guidance and got shut down instead.

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