(Closed) When do you open the gifts?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We decided to open our gifts at the wedding, but we only had 35ish people there and not every person brought us something. We got some cards in advance, and held onto them to open them at the wedding too. If you aren’t opening gifts at the wedding, go for them now! But I’d send thank yous for early gifts right away.

Post # 4
Member
5093 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

We opened them as we got them and sent out thank you cards immediately.

Post # 6
Member
1361 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

You’re technically not supposed to open wedding gifts before the wedding.  But on the other hand, you don’t want to wait too long to send out thank you cards.  We’ve been opening gifts as they arrive, even though we know it’s bad etiquette.

Post # 7
Member
4194 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

From Emily Post- “All thank you notes should be written within three months of the receipt of the gift. Ideally, a response should be written on the day you receive a wedding gift.”

(Personally, I have *much* better things to do on my wedding night than write thank yous, but she has a point about getting them out in a “timely fashion”.)

People *want* to know that gifts have been received- we’ve been opening them and sending out thank yous as they come in- it’s a lot easier to get a head start and do one or two a week, than write several a day.

Post # 8
Member
1697 posts
Bumble bee

Traditionally, you would not be living with your spouse already, and you would be preparing to set up your marital home. Gifts are correctly sent to the bride’s home before the wedding — and in many cases would not be gift-wrapped, just delivered — and would be opened immediately. They should not be used until the wedding. But since the gifts are for the marriage not the wedding — that is, they are generally intended to form part of that new marital home and are often household necessities (such as soup tureens 😉 ) — the couple need to open them and place them ready to use in the new home, so that they can cross that item off the list of things that they need to acquire in order to get the home ready.

The thank-you letter should be written immediately upon receiving the gift, preferably before you go to bed on the day that it arrived. No, rebwana 🙂 that does NOT mean you’ll be writing letters on your wedding night! Gifts are supposed to be sent to your home AHEAD of the wedding — those are the ones that come under the “same day” rule. People are actually not supposed to bring them to the wedding. If guests do bring presents to the wedding, then you do not technically receive them until after you return home from your honeymoon. You are presumably riding off into the sunset with your new husband immediately after throwing your bouquet, and your friends or family will have custody of all the gift boxes until then (and even if you are not leaving immediately, or are only going as far as the honeymoon suite, those details are not the business of your guests who under those circumstances can wait a couple of weeks for their thank-you notes.)

Even though you will not use the gift until after the wedding (when you, ahem, “move in” to your new home) you should unpack it all the way and check it to make sure that it has not been damaged in transit and address any problems with the shipping company. Retain the original packaging against the unthinkable possiblity that the wedding might be called off, and all gifts would then have to be returned.

Post # 9
Member
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Open them when you get them and write the notes but do not send them until after the wedding.  That way no one can say you were tacky in opening your gifts early (because they don’t know that you did) and you get a head start on the notes.  

I plan on writing something like “it was so great to have you there with us on our wedding day” in the notes as well–thanking guests for being there is important to me, because their presence truly is a gift and I know that many of our guests won’t be bringing a gift–they will get cards as well.  Wow that sounds cheesy but oh well.  So if you decide to do that, you will for sure have to wait to send them until after the wedding, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t write that ahead of time.  😀

Post # 10
Member
3175 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I opened & sent out the thank yous immediately. People want to know you received their gift, and it also made it less confusing to remember who sent what and make sure that each person actually got a formal thank you.

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