Can We Open and Use the Gifts We Receive Before Our Wedding?

can you open gifts before the wedding

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Months before your wedding, the presents will start piling up. Big white boxes from Crate&Barrel, bullseye-bedecked packages from Target, and more, stacking up and asking you, begging you to open them. But can you? And can you use them? Our etiquette experts fill you in on the details.

Bottom line: You should definitely unwrap those presents that are taking up your guest bedroom. Otherwise, how else will you write the thank you notes? Writing notes as gifts come in means you'll have way fewer to write on the flight to your honeymoon (remember, you've got three months to send a note, not a year!). If you don't have time to write a note immediately, send an email or make a quick phone call to let the sender know their gift was received, and that you'll have a note in the mail soon. Especially if it's a more expensive present, they'll be happy to know it arrived in one piece.

Technically, wedding gifts should not be used until after the wedding. If, for any reason, the wedding is called off, gifts should be returned to the giver, and you can't really give back that KitchenAid you've used three times already, can you? And some brides even consider it bad luck, since the gift is being sent in celebration of an event that hasn't happened yet.

See More: The Absolute Worst Wedding Gift You Can Give a Bride

But remember, this rule comes from a time when couples didn't usually live together before they were married, so there wasn't a home for the gifts to be used in. Nowadays it's much more common for a couple to have a home set up together already, so if you've registered for new plates because your old ones are chipped, or can't wait to step out of the shower and wrap yourself in those lush new towels, go for it! Your guests will be happy to know that your house is becoming more of a home thanks to their generosity.

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