Ask the Bride -- When to Open Money Gifts

Question: My daughter is getting married in September, and she wishes to open the wedding gifts at the reception. Of the weddings I have been to in the past 10 years, the bride and groom did not open gifts at the reception. They must have taken them home. Some of her friends have said that they did open the gifts at the reception. She says that if they get money then they will want to take it with them on their honeymoon. That makes sense to me, but I am uncomfortable about etiquette and cannot find anything in my wedding books about this issue. What do you think?

Answer: It has been years since I have seen gifts opened at a wedding reception. Generally, the gifts are taken to either the couple's home or one of the parents home and opened there after the wedding. Opening gifts can be very time-consuming and there are often many more things to do at the reception and not enough time to pack everything in!

A growing custom is for the couple to leave for their honeymoon the day after the wedding, rather than that night, and this allows time for the couple to open the gifts and take the cash on the honeymoon. Checks can be deposited by a trusted family member the first business day after the wedding, using one of the couple's deposit slips, and that money will be available by ATM a few days later.

If your daughter and her groom don't have enough time before they leave for the honeymoon, they can place a pretty box with a slot on top on the gift table. That way all the loose envelopes can be deposited in there (unless they are glued to a gift), and while they're traveling they can open the envelopes and read the messages to each other and record the cards and money gifts on a piece of paper. Just be careful that you don't separate cards from their gifts without marking who the gift is from (the couple will have to write thank you notes and mention the gifts received).


Copyright 1996-2001, Michelle Nordblom Hottya. Created: July 7, 1996. Last Updated: April 12, 2001.