Post # 1
I’ve never gotten a clear answer on this. Fiance and I (at my insistence) opened a gift as soon as we got it–we’re 3 weeks away from the big day(). The person who gave us that gift expressed…surprise that we opened it this early. Is this a horrible breach of etiquette? I heard from somewhere that it doesn’t matter, and just write thank you cards as soon as you open stuff, which I did. But now we’re waiting to open everything else we get. What’s the rule? Is there one? Help!
Post # 3
Well ok, I don’t see why you shouldn’t open them when you get them. For a few reasons…
One, right now I’m getting things in the mail left and right – for the wedding. Materials for this or that project. While a lot of places clearly lable who they are on the box, some do not and you need to open it.
Two – what if it’s one of those "only 10 days to return" items and you open it 3 weeks later and it’s busted and you can’t do anything with it anymore?
I’ve opened the gifts as they have arrived, of which I have gotten 4 so far. I’ve sent thank you cards as well, and no one has been upset by this.
Don’t feel bad – we’re these people older? Maybe it was just something that they woulnd’t have done?
I really think it’s a "to each their own" thing and you should do what you want! Period. How can people expect you to have boxes piling up in your living room taking up space 3 weeks before your wedding?
Post # 4
Absolutely, you should open it when you get it! You don’t have to use it if you don’t want. But it’s the same thing as with a check, when you get a check, you’re supposed to deposit it right away. It’s the proper thing to do so people can balance their checkbooks, I think you did nothing wrong here.
Post # 5
I don’t think there’s one definitive rule here–instead, I think this is one of those wedding etiquette rules that is changing…
Previous generations of course, are used to wedding gifts being opened after you were married (pre-online ordering & just in case someone didn’t make it to the end of the aisle). Nowadays when gifts are frequently sent early, people advocate opening immediately so you can essentially send a receipt to the giver in the form of a Thank You…
I’d tend to think that if someone sends you a gift well ahead of time, then you’d be welcome to open it & send a Thank You (because they’re already breaking "tradition"). But… if you’re still really concerned, I think I’d guess when to open based on how "traditional" the giver seems.
Then again, I can’t imagine anyone being upset that you waited to open a wedding gift that they sent early & sending a Thank You after the wedding… Would anyone disagree with that???
Sorry that’s totally NOT definitive!
Post # 6
Even if the rule is that I’m not supposed to, are you kidding me? This is Miss JCM here……..I am the queen of not being able to wait if I don’t have to. I am the same girl that would rip off wrapping paper. Forget "preserving the pretty paper" stuff. 😛
Post # 7
We opened them as soon as they came…though I was such a registry snoop, I knew what was coming. I love to ruin a surprise!!!
Post # 8
Definitely MORE than ok if you open them ahead of time. Don’t worry what those people said to you. And as far as the, "in prevoius generations they waited," I don’t think that is actually 100% true. In speaking with my grandmother and mother and looking at their pictures, they opened them all as they came and then set them all out on a big table during the wedding to display the gifts for all to see. Sounds weird but I think it was pretty standard. Could also be a regional thing and also as previous posters have stated before I think it is a personal thing…. some people wait, some don’t. I say, get organized and get your thank you cards OUT so you can come home from your honeymoon and relax!
Post # 9
The only time I didn’t open a gift immediately was when it was only a few days before my shower, so I decided to open it then just in case the giver was going to attend and wanted to witness our opening it. I knew it was a gift, though. It was from Crate & Barrel. 😛 Otherwise, I think it’s wise to open it immediately.
Post # 10
That’s really strange that that person expressed surprise. Most of the people I’ve gotten gifts from want to know ASAP when I’ve gotten it to make sure that it hasn’t gotten lost in the mail!
Post # 11
I agree. My wedding is in 1 month. I am getting random presents in the mail, both from people coming to the wedding (but traveling to do so) and people who can’t make it to the wedding.
I am opening everything right away for two reasons: (1) I assume if they sent early, I should open early, and then I can send a timely thank you card (and substract from the crazy number I will need to write after the wedding); (2) I have a tiny condo! I don’t have the room to spare to pile up big boxes… especially when I know the actual gift is about a tenth of the size of the packaging!
Post # 12
The wedding book I have states that gifts are to be opened as the are received and thank you notes are to be sent out immediatly. Do not use your new last name one thank you’s sent before the wedding.
I’ve opened three wedding gifts so far and sent out the thank you’s — and I plan to keep doing this. My fh and I are in the same boad Cricket is in — an 800 sq ft condo does not hold boxes very well!
Post # 13
This is so good to know! We just got our first gift and had no idea what to do. I think we’ll open it tonight and send out the thank you stat!
Post # 14
We just sent out invites 2 weeks ago and received our first wedding gift a week later. We opened it right away and sent a thank you. I live in NC and wedding is in NY, the giver of the gift lives in NY, so I just wanted to be sure that they knew I received it safe and sound! We aren’t using the gifts til after the wedding though.
Post # 15
yah, i opened my gifts right when I got them and sent a thank you card the next day