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Returning From Your Wedding: Regarding Presents by Porche Reingold

The great thing about coming back from the honeymoon is that you can still look forward to opening that massive pile of wrapping that you left behind. You will want to schedule a day for the present opening, and welcome any who want to attend. Often this will be limited to family members, with both sets of parents and any siblings attending as well as the bride and groom. Make sure you have a system in place whereby the opened presents and wrapping are set far away from the main pile, as you will not want any envelopes to be thrown away accidentally. In addition to being important indicators of who gave you what, they may contain vast sums of money.

The maid of honor should be present for the gift opening, as it is her final duty to record who gave which gifts. This is an ultra-necessary step, as without this list it will be impossible to write the thank-you notes.

Inevitably, you will receive duplicates and often multiples of gifts. Many couples find that there is one gift that everyone seems to have gotten them- towels, cutlery, toaster ovens, or spice racks. Before you return any of these, consider the future. For some items, such as towels, there really is no such thing as too much. The same is true for cutlery- you may not think that a couple sets is suitable for your new living situation, but cutlery tends to get lost very easily and also to be used very quickly. Having several sets is not such a bad thing. Items such as toasters, toaster ovens, and spice racks you will want to return, however, as only one will be needed.

If you have registered for china, make sure to carefully repack the dishes and transport them back to your home to store in a strong cabinet.

Thank-You Notes

Thank-you notes are the last standing and only rock-solid must-do of etiquette. There is no way around thank-you notes, and you will need to write one for every guest who attended your wedding. Attending your wedding and/or giving you a gift are people’s way of showing they appreciate you, and the thank-you note is your way of saying you appreciate them in turn.

Thank-you notes should be sent within two weeks after returning from your honeymoon. Often, wedding thank-you notes are included with photography or invitation packages. These cards are ideal, as thank-you notes require a personal touch, which demonstrates that you have indeed received the gift and are grateful for it. If the person to whom you are addressing the card was a member of the wedding party or otherwise especially helpful, make sure and include that fact in your note. Remember, though, to keep it a note, not a letter.

Your first line should thank the person for attending your special day, with a special thank-you for services coming second. The last line should thank the guest for the gift. If you received a cash gift from a guest, let them know it has been put to good use. Likewise, if the gift was an item, thank them for it specifically and include a note of personal satisfaction- “Thank you for the utensil set. It matches our dishes and we will be sure to have it set it out on your next visit!” If you returned the gift that the guest gave you, only include that fact if you enjoy a very close, non-related relationship with them. Otherwise, mention the gift, the odds are that if they visit they will not remember the specific brand or colour that they gave you.

Not much else needs to be said. If you frequently see the person then you might want to include a statement about seeing them on a future occasion, and then wrap it up with a salutation.

Porche Reingold maintains a website dedicated to helping couples plan dream weddings.

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