When Should the Bride and Groom Exchange Gifts on the Wedding Day?

Make sure to have your photog nearby—these are all perfect photo ops!

Carly Michelle Photography

One of our favorite wedding-day traditions is the gift exchange between the couple. Whether it’s a handwritten note, a quirky inside joke, or that watch or pair of earrings you’ve been eyeing for years, exchanging gifts or mementos marks the day a little more and is often the moment you realize This. Is. Happening. Just as important as deciding what to get your sweetheart is figuring out the logistics of how these gifts will be given. We asked our experts for three ways to exchange gifts—that just so happen to make for perfect photo ops!

One of the most common ways to exchange gifts the morning of your wedding is to have someone serve as messenger. Ask your best man or maid of honor to take on the role and bring your gifts and cards back and forth between the rooms where you’re getting ready. Wait until they’re dressed (and the photographer has arrived!), then have them make the delivery. You could also ask your photographer to transport the gifts, which will ensure someone with a camera is there to capture the happy tears as you open the box!

If you’re not having a first look but still want to open your gifts together, have your photographer arrange the two of you on either side of a corner or door frame. You can stand or sit back to back, close enough to grab your almost-spouse’s hand, while still saving the moment you see one another for your walk down the aisle.

And of course, your first look is a fantastic time to exchange gifts face to face! Bring your gifts with you and then, once you’ve shown one another your fancy wedding attire, swap presents or cards. Just make sure you’ve got a lot of tissues and your makeup artist on hand—this one can get a little teary!

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