Is It Still Customary to Bring Wedding Gifts to the Reception?

Updated 06/09/16

There are a number of hurdles guests need to navigate between receiving a wedding invitation and arriving at the party, from decoding the dress code to booking a room in the room block to making sure they're on-time for the ceremony. Another question guests have to answer? Whether to ship the wedding gift they've chosen directly to the couple or to bring it with them to the reception. To help make finding the answer a little easier, we asked our experts: Is it still customary to bring gifts to the wedding reception?

While bringing gifts with you to the reception has been common practice for decades, the rise in online registries has caused the trend to shift. Instead of browsing a department store searching for the perfect gift or choosing between items on the couple's registry, guests are taking to the web to place online orders that are shipped directly to the couple's doorstep — and instantly marked as "completed" on the registry listing. Sure, it means the bride and groom have to ask whether or not they can open and use their gifts before saying "I do," but it saves guests the hassle of having to transport the gifts, as well as saving the couple (or more often, the couple's family members) the hassle of rounding up the gifts and getting them home at the end of the night.

Sending gifts directly to the couple is even more common for destination weddings. After all, who wants to take up valuable carry-on space with a delicately-wrapped decanter or a boxed frame? (And how will the bride and groom get it home?)

The exception tends to be with cash or cheques and gift cards. These small envelopes are easy to slip into a purse and quickly collected at the end of the night, not to mention the peace of mind knowing that the $100 bill didn't get lost in the mail!

Related Stories