I'm getting married in July, and I've already started to receive gifts on my registry. Should I thank people as I receive them or wait until the wedding is over?
Dear Befuddled Bride,
First off, congratulations to you and your fiancé! I love love and have performed many a wedding ceremony. It's truly the biggest honor of my mail-order reverendship — along with answering this question for you, of course.
I would have guessed that you could wait until after the wedding, but I wasn't totally sure. So I took a tour around the internet. After checking out a few wedding etiquette sites, I found out that my guess was indeed incorrect.
The consensus seems to be that you should send a thank-you right away. Not only does that save you from having to write a whole heap of notes after the big day, it lets the gift giver know you received it. It's not as important for gifts that you get close to the wedding, but more for those that are sent a few months or weeks prior. You don't want your Aunt Jean stressing out that whole time wondering if the toaster made it to you. An added bonus is that sending thank-you notes right away makes you look extra gracious and classy.
If you don't have your cards ready to go, you could send the gift giver a short email to let them know you received the gift and a note will be on the way later.
One thing you should not do, however, is use any of the gifts until after the wedding. There's no reason to think it will happen, but if your wedding gets called off for any reason, the common courtesy is to return the gifts.
Good luck and God bless,