Gifts are part of the fun of a home wedding reception is seeing the gifts of the bridal couple. You can also set up a display of your gifts. A simple cloth can be used to cover the table. Or you might prefer a white satin cloth finished with ribbon, bows and sprays of white flowers.
Start your display with six or eight gifts, rearranging them as more come in. Group gifts into categories, with silver on one table and glassware on another. Scatter similar gifts so that it’s not obvious to anyone that you received four toasters. Do not exhibit cards or checks. If exact duplicates have been received, display only one.
As you open each package, list it immediately in a card file. Include an identifying description of the gift, the name and address of the donor, the store from which it came (in case you want to exchange it later), the date it arrived, and the date your thank-you note is mailed. If you expect a lot of gifts, it’s best to attach a number corresponding to the listing on each one. It is also a good idea to take out a temporary floater policy insuring your gifts while they are on display only one.
If you receive many valuable presents, you may also want to ask a neighbor to guard them during the ceremony and other times when the house will be empty.
If your reception is held in your home, your guests will see the gifts at that time because receptions in other locations do not include a gift display. You may want to ask friends to come over informally to see them. Gift displays are often left intact for a week after the ceremony so friends and relatives can drop by to see them.
You should not use pre-printed thank-you cards. All thank-you notes should be handwritten. In the note, be certain to mention the gift and how it will be used in your new home or, in the case of a monetary gift, how it will be spent.
There is no reason that the groom should not help write thank-you notes, too. He can write notes to those who are closest to him. The bride and groom should be mentioned by name in the thank-you note.
Thank-you notes written before the wedding should be signed by the bride using her maiden name. Only after the wedding should she use her married name on correspondence.
Thank-you notes within 2-3 months after the wedding. It is a good practice to write as many thank-you notes before the wedding as you can.