(Closed) Did you know you're NOT supposed to bring gifts to the reception…

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: I totally

    knew that it was an etiquette faux-pas.

    had no idea! Oops!

    I had no idea but would NEVER publicly admit it


  • Post # 32
    1946 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    @This Time Round:  I find your capitalization . . . curious.

    Anyhow, I know Canada’s a big country.  I still refuse to believe people can’t figure out how to send a gift ahead of time.


    Post # 33
    1227 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    I did not realize this was an offense…but fortunately I’ve always gone for the convenience of ordering ahead of time using the internet anyways!

    Post # 34
    831 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I’m a pretty big etiquette stickler, but I never heard of ‘no gifts at the reception’ until opening this thread.  I agree that it can be a hassle for the bride and groom to transport the gifts after the reception but… Come on.  Its a gift.  They should be grateful to the giver, not annoyed that they have to move it somewhere.  We got a good number of physical gifts, and a few of my husband’s cousins (who were so sweet to help out!) carried the gifts to my parents’ car.  We just picked them up and opened and put them away this past weekend!

    (And ditto mrsSonthebeach:  about the shower gifts.  I made sure we didn’t have or use ours until after the wedding, just in case.)

    Post # 35
    940 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Rosehill Community Center

    I never knew.  Not at all.  It makes sense, but it wasn’t something I really thought about.

    What if you want to get a couple things, off of different registries?  Say, a theme.  One registry has martini glasses, and another has a shaker.  Are you supposed to have them both shipped to them individually, and possibly confuse them?  In that case, I would probably buy them both in the stores, and bring them to the reception (the horror!).  Would that be wrong?

    Also, never really heard of the shower being the physical gift, and reception being the monetary gift.  Is that normal?  

    Man, I am totally clueless!

    Post # 36
    2523 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @This Time Round:  I tried to send a gift to the bride’s house, and unfortunately it required signature delivery. I checked every day for a week and it kept being refused because the bride was never home to sign (probably out doing wedding related things!) It was a bit nerve wracking, I think next time I will just wait until after the event to send anything.

    Post # 37
    1258 posts
    Bumble bee

    Don’t let the regional/cultural biases of different bees confuse you. It’s not a faux pas. It’s a cultural preference. Where I come from, it is perfectly ordinary to bring gifts to the wedding. Part of the planning and logistics of the clean-up is getting the gifts packed up and taken to where the bride and groom can open them later.And this isn’t for weddings that are loose on etiquette, either – I mean this is true at high-end, black-tie, Old South, formal-etiquette-followed-to-a-tee weddings. 

    I’ve been in and to dozens of weddings in my life (no exaggeration) and there has been a gift table prominently set up at every single one. Until I came on the bee earlier this year, I never heard of anyone preferring no gifts at the wedding. 

    ETA: Just on another cultural difference note, where I am from giving cash is considered quite vulgar. Yet it is not only ordinary, but expected, in other cultural traditions.

    Post # 38
    7534 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    @This Time Round:  Well actually as I said in my Original Post, it is a Regional / Cultural thing… not every where in the world is the USA, or set up like the USA.

    In Australian wedding etiquette there is no mention of sending the gift prior to the wedding so I agree with @This Time Round that it is definately a location thing.

    Post # 39
    755 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    I voted cookies, because giving a gift is not a faux pas, period.  Just because it may be more convenient logistically for a gift to be sent to the couple’s home, it is not “wrong” or “rude” or a “faux pas” to bring a physical gift to a wedding.  Complaining about the form or delivery of a gift, however, would be quite the faux pas in my opinion.

    Post # 40
    1727 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @NowDontLetsBeSilly:  Then you would assemble it yourself and mail it instead of mailing it directly from the registry. I have done tha a few times when I was giving bottles of wine designated to be drunk at certain annviersaries.  Or if you see them at a later date after the wedding or before the wedding.



    No idea if the above is any real resource, but it recognizes that each region has its own expectations.

    However this one says its not proper in terms of formal ettiquete


    Post # 41
    417 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @MissFireFlower:  And there’s the weird thing; My understanding is that proper etiquette is to open the gifts and send the thank you note as soon as possible, but then not actually use them. We managed to handle the first part of this, but not the latter… so don’t tell the etiquette police. 😉  Seriously, though, I can’t imagine not opening things until after the wedding if you’ve been receiving gifts for months. Perhaps I am biased because I live in a NYC apartment, but just where would you put all those boxes?!

    And to answer the original question, I was raised to never bring the gift to the wedding, always ship (and I am old enough that we did not always have the interwebs). For our wedding, the majority of our guests (from all over the country and some from overseas) managed to ship to us; we got about three boxed gifts at the reception, all from locals. Since we live across the country from where we got married, we returned the items we could and then used the store credits once we got back from our honeymoon.

    Post # 42
    2187 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I have never been to a reception where there wasn’t a gift table! This is a new one on me!

    Post # 43
    95 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I don’t think it’s set in stone. Some people brought gifts to the wedding, some sent them ahead of time. Perhaps it’s regional or cultural, but it didn’t matter to me much anyway.


    Post # 44
    105 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    In my previous marriage, the only gifts that were received before the wedding were from out of town guests – all other guests brought their very large gifts to the wedding.  We couldn’t fit them all in the car, it took several trips (about an hour each way from location to our house).

    Post # 45
    1839 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    i put “cookies” as my answer because i didn’t want to say “oops”. why?

    because i don’t believe that IS the etiquette… at least not nowadays. there is always a designated place to put your gift, so gifts ARE expected and it would be bad etiquette to NOT bring one.

    Post # 46
    139 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    This totally makes sense – I have already started stressing about where to stow all of our gifts while we are on our honeymoon.  Our wedding is 3 hours south of where we live and we are leaving for a 2 week honeymoon immediately – guess I’ll stash them at the MOH’s house! Hopefully none get lost in translation, it WOULD be rude for me not to write a thank you card! 

    Of course, I’m not having a shower, so I am sure that some people will bring gifts. 

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