Wedding Etiquette Forum

Wedding gifts arriving early to my door.

I am not sure what to do with these early wedding gifts.  Some of the guests who have been ordering gifts off of our registry online have been having them delivered right to me.  They are arriving early (2 and a half months early!).  I am wondering what the etiquette is in this situation:

1. Do I send a thank you card now, or after the wedding?
2. Do I open the gifts now, or after the wedding?
3. If I open the gifts now, can I use them, or do I have to wait?

Some of the items we are receiving are useful, since we are moving into our first place together before the wedding, and there are a lot of things that we don't have and could use.  But I don't want to open and use the gifts early if it isn't proper.

Thanks for any help!

Re: Wedding gifts arriving early to my door.

  • I opened the gifts to make sure nothing was broken (one of the glass items was but Bed Bath and Beyond is awesome and is sending me a replacement). I will not be using the items until after the wedding though. 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited November 2014
    I am not sure what to do with these early wedding gifts.  Some of the guests who have been ordering gifts off of our registry online have been having them delivered right to me.  They are arriving early (2 and a half months early!).  I am wondering what the etiquette is in this situation:

    1. Do I send a thank you card now, or after the wedding?    YES
    2. Do I open the gifts now, or after the wedding?   yes
    3. If I open the gifts now, can I use them, or do I have to wait?   etiquette says wait.  I didn't follow etiquette however.  I just did not have the space to store everything. In some cases for up to 9 months.  The person who sent us the gift 9 months out flat out said I being stupid for waiting.  They sent it when they did for a reason and that reason was not for it to sit in a box.

    We had money to replace everything we used should the wedding not take place.

    Some of the items we are receiving are useful, since we are moving into our first place together before the wedding, and there are a lot of things that we don't have and could use.  But I don't want to open and use the gifts early if it isn't proper.

    Thanks for any help!








    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Send the thank you note as soon as you open the gift.  You do have household insurance, yes?
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  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited November 2014
    Open now, make sure nothing is broken. 

    Send the thank you card now; you can mention "hope/can't wait to see you at the wedding" depending on whether you've gotten their RSVP yet. 

    Store what you have room for, use what you must, but keep the packaging and the gift receipts/packing slips.

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    afterimageKnottie47662465
  • Wonderful advice as usual.  Thank you all :)  I will save all of the packing slips and only use what is necessary.  I guess I better find some thank you cards!
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I kept TY cards and stamps on the table.  As a gift came in I wrote the note and mailed it the next day.  It's easier to just get it done. Plus you look like a rock star to the gift giver.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    lc07[Deleted User]weddingcactus
  • Wonderful advice as usual.  Thank you all :)  I will save all of the packing slips and only use what is necessary.  I guess I better find some thank you cards!
    Every time I go to Marshalls, they have great deals on simple TY cards.  I recommend them if you're planning on just getting something quick.
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  • OoOoh I really like this thread! 

    I know I'm not adding anything, just wanted to throw out some appreciation lol

    :)
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  • Our wedding is next Saturday and we've gotten a few gifts. I want to open them but my fiancé is dead set against it. I got my shower thank you notes out in a day so I should still be able to get them done quickly.

  • sarahuflsarahufl New York member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I am old fashioned and I don't think you should use anything until after the wedding.

    I opened the gift, recorded it on a spreadsheet, wrote a thank you card, and added the gifts to a (rather large) gift pile. It was annoying because we had all this crap we couldn't use in an apartment with very limited storage space.

    I was so happy when we came home from the wedding and used all our new stuff.
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    jenijoyk[Deleted User]
  • Ettiquette says you do NOT have to wait until after the wedding to send the thank you. In fact, view this as a good thing because you can get some of them out of the way early!! You can use them as soon as you receive them :) 
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Ettiquette says you do NOT have to wait until after the wedding to send the thank you. In fact, view this as a good thing because you can get some of them out of the way early!! You can use them as soon as you receive them :) 

    No, you can't use them as soon as you get them, but yes, you should send thank you cards as soon as you receive the present.



    [Deleted User]luckysnorkel
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    1.  You should send thank you immediately upon receiving a gift or ASAP.

    2.  Open the gift to make sure nothing is broken and to know what to thank them for in the card (thank you for the wonderful serving platter...)

    3.  In general you should not use any gifts until after the wedding.  If the wedding should get cancelled (it does happen and nobody ever expects that it would happen to them) you need to be able to return the gifts in new condition.  BUT, if you don't have space to store them or you really could use the gift prior to the wedding, the general consensus is that you may use the gifts as long as you are able to purchase an exact replacement or repay the monetary value to the gift giver in the event of a wedding cancellation. So, if you really need that toaster, it's okay to use it as long as you would be able to purchase and return a new one to gift giver if needed. But, make sure you could replace it.  Nobody expects their wedding plans to go awry, but it does happen.  And I've personally seen cases where someone had wedding cancelled 2 weeks before date, they didn't return any gifts, had already spent gift cards and cashed checks, and you wouldn't believe the horrible things people said behind their back... so don't be that person.   

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  • Thanks again, everybody.  I have sent out thank you notes.  I won't use any gifts before the wedding unless necessary and on the condition that I can replace them if need be.
    princessleia22[Deleted User]Viczaesar
  • Great thread, thanks for sharing!  I've received one gift so far, an advice book that um, really makes me blush! When I visit my FI for Thanksgiving, I will leave it with him. 

    It got me wondering if I should even have opened it, and lo and behold here is your thread.
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  • I think it is rude to wait long periods of time to send thank you cards, but many brides will tell you they have 6 months to do so...............of course I have never received thank you cards for some of the gifts I have given,  some friends and some family..........go figure.....
    artist1320
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Go ahead and open the gifts now to make sure nothing is broken and send thank-you notes to the givers right away, so they'll know that you got their gifts and are grateful.  But don't use them until after the wedding.
  • We opened them up until about a few weeks before the wedding.  We sent Thank You cards right away but I also sent another Thank You card after the wedding.  I had custom Thank You cards with my favorite wedding picture on it (so I couldn't get them before the wedding) and I didn't want any hurt feelings that they didn't get the card.  I changed the message to be "Thank you so much for joining us on our wedding day"  and added somewhere in my personalized message "Thank you again for XYZ, we really are enjoying it.... blah blah blah".  I'm sure a few didn't care but some of my older relatives were very excited to get the 2nd with the picture. 


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    artist1320
  • Great topic!
    Me and my mom are still waiting on a thank you for my cousin's wedding gift (wedding over a month ago) My mom sent her gift months ahead of the wedding. It was out of town and she didn't want to bring it on the plane. I did not attend the wedding but we will see them at Thanksgiving. Would it be rude for me to ask if they have received my gift in the mail? I have no way of knowing otherwise.
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