Q: Is it better to mail a wedding gift or bring it to the wedding?

A: Traditionally, gifts were mailed to the couple in advance of the wedding. They would either be ordered through a registry which would mail them for you with a personalized note, or be sent to the return address on the wedding invitation (brides, be aware of that when you choose the return address for your invitations). Both of these traditions are still in effect today.

It is often fine to bring a wrapped gift with you to the reception, though it would be best to check with the couple or someone close to them first, to be sure it wouldnt be an inconvenience. Usually there is a gift table set up at receptions for guests to leave their presents on. The only "problem" for the couple is making sure that there is someone there to keep an eye on the table (sometimes even a security guard is employed), and that there is someone available to collect and transport the gifts for the couple (who are on their honeymoon) after the event. There are regional differences, sometimes strong ones, on whether this is preferable or not, which is why its best to check. Regardless, if you do bring a gift to the event, be sure your full name is written clearly on the card so the couple will know who to thank.—Anna Post, The Emily Post Institute

See all questions about family, friends, and guests etiquette

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