The rules of wedding etiquette are constantly changing, making it difficult for modern brides, grooms and guests to find up-to-date and correct information. That's why we've launched #MannersMondays, a weekly series in which we ask our followers on Twitter and Facebook to submit their most burning etiquette-related questions. Then, with the help of our team of etiquette experts, we get you the right answers to your biggest Big Day dilemmas. Check out this week's question below!
We received a wrapped gift in the mail. We don't know if it's for the bridal shower or for the wedding! Do we open it and send a thank-you card or don't touch it until after the wedding? - Kristin Pallozzi via email
Anna Post -- great-great-granddaughter of etiquette guru Emily Post and author of Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette -- is here to help us answer this week's question. Find out what she had to say below:
It’s not only fine to open your gifts before the wedding, it’s a good idea. It gives you a head start on handwriting your thank-you notes, which should be sent within three months of receiving the gift — not the mythic year from the wedding date. And you need to unwrap the gift so that you know what exactly you are thanking the guest for. In your case, simply thank the giver for the gift, rather than identifying it as a “shower gift” or “wedding gift.”
If you know you won’t be able to write a thank-you note within a few days of a gift’s arrival, it’s thoughtful to make a quick call or send an email to let the giver know that the item has arrived: “Just got home and your gift was on my doorstep. Note to follow, but wanted to thank you right away!” Regardless of whether or not you thank the person verbally, every wedding gift must be acknowledged with a handwritten personal thank-you note.
Note that while any engagement, shower or wedding gifts you receive are fine to open, they traditionally aren’t used before the wedding itself. This is born of practicality: If the wedding is canceled, any engagement, shower or wedding gift must be returned to the person who gave it to you.