A wedding is a wonderful thing.

It’s a chance for two people to celebrate their love for one another, surrounded by some of their favorite people. Weddings are also a time when you’re likely to receive the occasional gift from your loved ones, in the form of perhaps some extra cash, or an item that you really wanted for your home.

Unfortunately, wedding gifts can be a little tricky for some of us, even if we’re just talking about gifts for bridesmaids. Not only is it difficult for many people to decide what kind of meaningful gift they should get the bride and groom in their life, but a lot of us also struggle to figure out what the rules are when receiving wedding gifts too. With that in mind, here are some top tips for the bride and groom.

How to Request Wedding Gifts

Good news bride and groom, unless you specifically say that you don’t want any gifts, then most people are going to assume that they’re expected to bring something. That means that you don’t have to make a specific request per-se, but you can let your attendees know what kind of gifts you’re looking for if you do so tastefully.

For instance, putting a note on your wedding invitations that lets your loved ones know that you’d rather have cash than items so you can save up for your honeymoon might be a good idea. You can do this by saying that if anyone “was thinking” of bringing a gift, you’d like to receive the money most. Another option is to set up an online Wishlist.

You can create easy lists of items online that your wedding guests can check out and choose items from. This is a great source of inspiration for the people coming to your wedding and will often save them a lot of time stressing over buying the wrong present. Allow people to anonymously “check off” when they’ve picked an item to get you too.

When Do You Open Wedding Gifts?

With a little luck, you’ll have a space set aside at your wedding where your guests can place their wedding gifts. For instance, most people have a table, or a box where you can post envelopes with cash and cards. Having a designated space for gifts means that you don’t have to constantly answer questions about where they should go when you’re busy doing other things.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that as soon as you have a hefty pile on your wedding table, you can go and start ripping off the wrapping paper. Generally, you should wait until you’re home after the wedding to start going through the gifts, and then you can think about sending some thank you cards out too. It’s just going to make you look greedy and inpatient if you start opening gifts too soon.

If someone sends a great straight to your home or gives you a present in person before the wedding, then the rules change a little bit. It’s usually fine to open these presents a little in advance, and you can even consider using them before the wedding too. Sometimes, your guests will even ask you if you had a chance to open the gift, which will give you something to chat about after the ceremony.

When Do You Say Thank You?

Thanking someone for a wedding gift is important. In fact, you should always make an effort to thank anyone who buys you a gift, no matter what it’s for. At the event itself, when you receive the present, say a quick thank you and give a smile, without opening the package. After that, ignore the present until you get home, and prepare to send out some thank you notes later. You can send these to people who just attended the wedding as well, as it’s always nice to show the people you care about that you appreciated them sharing the day with you.

If you  did receive a present from someone, try and make the thank you a little more special by saying exactly what you’re thanking them for. For instance, you can write something like “Thanks for the pasta maker, we’re going to try making some ravioli when we get home from the honey moon” A little extra touch can make your guests feel extra special and show them how much you really care about the gift.

Don’t worry if you don’t have the cash to send out thank you cards either, you can just say thanks the next time you see that person.

Disclosure: This is a partnered post


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