Friday, August 01, 2008

We're confused....

Wedding presents.

Do you open them when you receive them or do you open them once you're married?

I know you're not supposed to thank people until after the wedding at which point you send out a card with a picture of yourself on it (because nothing says gratitude better than 'I love this picture of myself so much and I thought you would too'.)

But that seems rude. Surely you should thank people as soon as a present arrives? But if you're not supposed to open it then do you just thank them for 'the present' as opposed to whatever the present is?

Or do you open it and thank them for the 'whatever it turns out to be which is a complete surprise because you most certainly didn't accidentally click the link on your wedding list website that tells you what people bought you and also tells you not to touch said link'?

Or do you not open it and pretend you don't know what it is even though you do? Do you thank the giver at the wedding? Is that rude? Does that embarrass them and put them on the spot? Do people expect to be thanked with a slightly disturbing greetings card?


(I should add - the confusion is in relation to gifts that have started arriving in the mail, not presents that people bring on the day!)


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  2. I would imagine that the wedding couple would be much too occupied at the reception to really notice, much less keep track, of who brought a present that day. I would suggest that on the table marked for guests to leave their gifts, you could place a small sign thanking them already, and then more personalized thanks follow after the wedding. You might want to have a friend or a coordinator keep a list on the day itself, just so you don't miss anyone out later for thanking or misplace a gift box at the venue in the flurry of activity (happened to some friends of mine, unfortunately).

  3. If you mean presents that arrive before the wedding, then open them when they get to you, and write a thank you note within about two weeks of receiving it. For gifts that you get at the wedding, probably within a month, or shortly after you get back from your honeymoon. As for thanking guests at the wedding, I'd say you thank them for being there, and if someone gave you a gift that you remember and especially loved, you might mention that too.

  4. FI and I are going to be opening the presents as we get them and writing thank you notes for them immediately since we already live together & have already combined our households. We'll then write a second thank you note to those people for actually coming to the wedding, which we will have to them within a month. The people that bring gifts to the wedding we will only be writing one note to & will be getting it to them within a month, also.

    I can understand if you don't want to open the presents before the wedding, but if you chose not to, it might be a good idea to write a note to the sender anyway, letting them know that you got it & thanking them for it, but letting them know that y'all are waiting until after the wedding to open it. That way they aren't worried that it got lost in the main, but they also know not to tell you what they got y'all. :)

  5. I agree fully with Kathryn. :-) (flutter sent me, btw) congrats!

  6. Etiquette says within two weeks of receiving it- so even if that's before the wedding it should be within two weeks. (except honeymoons/opening presents at the wedding messed that up so thats where the two weeks from after the wedding came from)

    I vote with Kat..but I also think if they send it before the wedding they've got to kind of expect you'll be opening it

  7. I would expect to open the gifts on receipt, reason being that the wedding is such a crazy time, the normal 'save it till [your birthday/Christmas/the day]' don't apply. Those other occasions are all about the gifting, but this isn't.

    Traditionally you would be too busy to open wedding gifts on the day and you would go on honeymoon straight after, so it makes sense to open them before and write thank-yous as you go.

    If this is not the case, you can bend the rules, but the fact this used to be the case seems reason enough to do it this way to me.

  8. Open the present when you get it, then send a thank you note. This way the person knows the gift has been received...and appreciated!

    People open gifts at wedding showers all the time (hey, that's the point), and then send thank you notes following the shower.

    It's also perfectly acceptable to go ahead and use the gift.

  9. Thanks for the advice!

    We've decided not to open the presents that arrive, it just feels weird to open them before the wedding and it's exciting to keep them until after! We're going to send people a small note to say thank you for now and then a proper thank you card after the wedding.

    Not normal, I know. But it feels right!

    Vanessa, I hadn't thought of a gift table, that's a good point! I certainly wouldn't want to leave our presents for the venue, the buggers!

    Kathryn, thank you for the advice. I hope we will remember to say thank you to people at the wedding!

    Kat, you're right. It's definitely essential to let people know that their gift arrived which is where I was getting confused as I wasn't sure what we should say if we hadn't opened them.

    Pgoodness, welcome to Peonies and Polaroids! And friend of Flutters is very welcome here!

    Polka dot, it's good to know what etiquette says we should do. We're not having a honeymoon so we should be able to stick to two weeks after the wedding!

    Guilty, damn it's all a bit confusing isn't it! No honeymoon so I think saving them until after the wedding will be nice, well have fun digging into them all!

    Emily, thank you for the advice! I wish we had showers in Britain, they sound fun!

  10. What Kathryn said.

    Opening them is fun!

    (And you don't HAVE TO send a photo of yourself afterwards...)

  11. Open the packages as you get them... say nothing at wedding because you will be too busy anyway and send a nice thank you note after the wedding and honeymoon... when you are rested and ready to get writer's cramps... remember you do open packages at showers before the big day... what's the difference!

  12. I like to not only open up and use the gifts when I get them for the reasons of being able to send out a thank you note as soon as possible, but also to make putting things away a whole lot easier.

    We do not have the room to have piles of boxes everywhere so it makes like much easier.

    Plus to me having someone use a gift right away means that it's something they really wanted and are happy to get.

  13. Your instincts are as always, totally right, my dear! Miss Manners would tell you that you open them when you recive them and send a Thank You note right away. Why wouldn't the giver want you to enjoy the gift right away?? (though of course you can wait to use it if you want).

    Perhaps you could just take a picture of your face when you open it and put it on the card? ;)


play nice.