Everything You Need To Know About Wedding Gift Etiquette!

We are back and ready to share one of the most sought after wedding topics; wedding gift etiquette!   There are a handful of myths out there when it comes to how you should handle wedding registries, gifts and thank you notes both as the couple and the wedding guest.  I am here to debunk those myths so you know just how to handle this hot topic and come out looking like a pro!

Perhaps one the most enjoyable moments while planning your wedding (by both the bride and groom) is creating your wedding gift registry.  Who doesn’t like going into a store with a scanner and creating your ultimate wish list to start your lives together in your new home?  After all, these are items that will help you make memories and travel with you when you go.  My mom actually has an old pea green strainer that she and my dad got for their wedding many moons ago that she brags only costed about $1 but it is still holding up!  Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating your wedding registry.

1.  Try to only pick about two stores so that your guests aren’t overwhelmed thus reducing the risk for duplicate gifts.  An example down south here would be Bed Bath & Beyond, Target or a department store of your choice.  These stores have the most variety of inventory to choose from in one place and often affordable for your guests.

2.  Don’t make your registry too big.  Try to only register for the items that you really need to ensure that you get these.  Towels, cookware, dishes, silverware, ect…are all items that you will certainly use in your new house if you don’t already have them.

3.  Be sure to put the registry under both you and your fiance’s names because as much as you may think all of your guests know both of your names and how to spell them, they don’t!

4.  Do NOT put where you are registered on your formal wedding invitations!  Save it for the bridal shower invitations and rely on word of mouth.

Photo Provided by JLM WEDDINGS
Photo Provided by JLM WEDDINGS
Photo Provided by Lauren Methia Photography
Photo Provided by Lauren Methia Photography

So, you are all registered!  What is next?  Well, what most wedding guests and wedded couples don’t know is that it is customary for guests to send gifts directly to your home BEFORE the wedding instead of bringing the gift to the wedding.  However, only about 5-10% of your guests actually know and follow this custom.  When they do, it is a great luxury for you because it allows you to unpack the gift before the wedding without having a family member haul it home.  The reality is, about 90% of your wedding gifts will arrive on your wedding day by the guests.  Just be sure you designate at your final walk through a family member or friend with a big enough car to pack the gifts up and take them to your house after the wedding since you will more than likely be on your honeymoon.

Photo Provided by JLM WEDDINGS

Finally and the perhaps the most important aspect of your wedding gifts are the thank you notes!  Ah…the dreaded thank you notes but these are NOT an exception.  Your wedding guests have spent time and money to share your big day with you and bring you a gift!  There is a myth out there that says you have up to a year to get your thank you notes out.  Well, I hate to break it to you but this is not even close to being true.  Wedding experts advise that you send thank you notes out withing one to two days from receiving the gift at your house.  For those gifts that were brought to the wedding, you ideally want to start working on those thank you notes upon your return from your honeymoon!

AFTER the Wedding To-Do List!

After the wedding and honeymoon you may feel like you are not exactly sure what to do next.  Well, I have put together a list of the top 10 things you should be doing after the wedding!

1. Send out thank you notes!  This may seem like a small task but it does take some time and effort to complete.   Remember to be sincere, thoughtful and specific in your thank you letters.  For example, “Thank you for the beautiful wine glasses.” This makes your thank you letters more personal and special.

2. Decide what you want to do with your wedding gown.  It took time and careful consideration to pick out so make sure to get it cleaned in a timely matter to get out all stains.  Then decide what you want to do with it.   For example, store your gown for future generations, schedule a Trash the Dress photo shoot, etc.

3. Preserve any Keepsakes.  A beautiful shadow box, wooden chest or album can allow you to keep special items from the wedding safe and sound.  These items may be personalized napkins, programs, invitations, toasting flutes. etc. This way your most treasured items from the wedding can be kept for many years to come.  Some couples even pull out the toasting flutes or napkins to use on their anniversary.

4.  Make it official!!  If you decide to take your husband’s last name, this will need to be changed on your drivers license, passport and social security card.  Many of the forms for changing your drivers license and passport can be found online.  Visit www.ssa.gov for information on changing your social security card.  Also, follow up with Probate court to make sure they received your marriage license if you do not get your copy in the mail within two weeks.

5. Return and/ or exchange gifts.  Make sure to make returns and exchanges in a timely matter.  If you wait too long there may be a return policy where you are unable to return.

6. Choose pictures for wedding album!  You would not believe how many brides I have talked to that have not decided on their wedding pictures and they have been married for years.  Remember that wedding albums can take up to six months or more to get back and you would hate to not have your album by your first anniversary!

7. Notify employer for tax purposes.  Make sure to notify your employer so they can not only update your last name but also the married status on your tax forms.  If not, you could delay your tax refund or prevent wages being posted to your social security record.

8.  Do a Will.  Most young people have not thought about a will but you may need to look at changing your beneficiary to your significant other.

9.  Get Deposits Back.  Many venues require a deposit for damages.  If no damages make sure to inquire about the necessary process to get refund!

10. Discuss financials with spouse.  If you have not done this yet, make sure to discuss how you want to handle your finances i.e. joint checking, separate checking, etc.  and decide how you want finances to be handled throughout your marriage.

If there is anything else we missed on this post wedding checklist, let us know!

We want to hear your thoughts!

Picture Sources: www.shuvarahim.com. www.andreahallgreenphoto.com, www.tomhoganlaw.com