Opening Gifts – Before, During or After the Reception?

Some of your guests, especially ones that live out of town, may decide to have your wedding gifts shipped directly to the home of the bride’s parents. If they do, by all means open them, but try to have your fiancèe present. Be sure to keep a list in a prominent place to record what was sent by whom and their return address. This will be a real help to you when it comes time to write your thank you notes.

The day of your wedding you will receive the majority of your gifts. There should be a simple table to display the lovely packages as well as a large basket for all the greeting cards. You may choose to open your gifts at the reception. This is usually more appropriate at small weddings where the guests are close friends and family. At larger weddings, opening gifts is usually done sometime after the wedding. If you do open your gifts at the wedding, do so shortly after the cake has been cut, but wait until after the reception to open the cards. The choice is really up to the couple and whatever traditions you choose to observe.

Opening the gifts before the reception should be avoided. Usually the time you have between the ceremony and reception are hectic enough with photos being taken and greeting family and friends.

Remember, no matter when you open your wedding gifts be sure to have a trusted friend or relative nearby to correctly record the item received and the name of the giver. Usually the maid-of-honor takes on this responsibility.

Most wedding gifts come with a standard greeting card or a small gift tag, these are ideal to use for recording the item received. The name of the giver is already on the card. Again, this will be a tremendous help to you when the time comes for thank you cards to be written. It is also fun to go back through the cards years later and be reminded that Aunt Mary gave you that lovely vase.

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