How to handle wedding registry gifts that have arrived 5 months early?
February 21, 2014 10:27 AM   Subscribe

I am getting married in the middle of July 2014, and have a link to our gift registries on our wedding website. We sent out "Save the Date" cards in January that had the URL for our website printed on it. So it is now the end of February, and we are already starting to receive giant parcels of food processors and other household items which we have put on our registry. Should we wait until after our wedding to start using these items, or should we treat these items in the same way one would treat a wrapped Christmas gift, and wait until the actual event for which these gifts were purchased for has transpired? What's the normal etiquette for a thing like this?
posted by melorama to Society & Culture (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Definitely start using them. And send thank-you notes right away.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 10:28 AM on February 21, 2014 [20 favorites]

I think traditional etiquette says to hold them (we held all ours), but given that it's your gift for your house, you could probably do whatever you want. Either way, you have to write your thank-you notes now :D
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:29 AM on February 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

Use them, and send your thank you notes!

posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:30 AM on February 21, 2014

Use them, so you know if there are missing parts/things that don't work. You don't want to discover the warranty/exchange period has expired before you even open them.
posted by belladonna at 10:36 AM on February 21, 2014 [8 favorites]

Use them, send thank-you notes, and keep the boxes so you can return them if... well, if you have to.
posted by Etrigan at 10:36 AM on February 21, 2014 [7 favorites]

I'd get your friends and family to vote on whether you're allowed to use them. It would be fun and should prevent anyone getting upset.
posted by teraspawn at 10:40 AM on February 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

A wedding isn't Christmas, so there's no obligation to not use the items before the date. The wise thing to do is to take stock of what you've received. You can even get started on writing the thank you notes if you wish, keeping a log of who sent something and if they've yet been sent a note. That way the sender knows you got the gift and you are already ahead in your thank yous.

Also: previously.
posted by inturnaround at 10:41 AM on February 21, 2014 [5 favorites]

Unwrap, use, keep anything like gift receipts (and organize them as you go), and write thank you notes now. You can mail them now or keep them to mail en masse after the wedding but go on and write, address, and stamp them NOW regardless.

posted by Medieval Maven at 10:51 AM on February 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is a horrible thing to say but uh I think you might be wise to hold off on using them (send thank you notes, though!) just in case something awful happens and you guys decide to call off the wedding. I'm not trying to jinx you.

Anyway, get those thank you notes out right away so you won't have to do them after the wedding. You should each have notecards in your individual names and whoever writes the note before the wedding writes it on that card, and then also order one set of notecards with your married name(s) on them for use after the wedding.
posted by janey47 at 10:51 AM on February 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Theres no reason you have to wait until the wedding is over. (Assuming one of you doesn't run away at the altar) The gifts are for you to make a comfortable new home and new life together. I'm assuming you already live together, so make use of them in the spirt they were given.

Keep a scrupulous list, like in a google docs spreadsheet, of the sender, gift, and their ADDRESS. I think you should start sending thank you cards now, on a rolling basis, as gifts come in. Otherwise people might think their gift got lost in the mail. Amazon, and department stores do keep a record of what was bought, but it won't be sufficient, and won't always include senders address.

I also found it to be very very very impractical to try and wait. We were living in a 600sqf apartment, and boxes would have been ceiling high if we waited. Plus some china was broken and needed to be replaced by the store—might as well be checking each box that comes in.
posted by fontophilic at 10:53 AM on February 21, 2014 [4 favorites]

Dude, just call the people giving them to you. Say you're so excited to finally have that KitchenAid ice cream maker and would they be totally upset if you started to use it now? Because you're so happy and you just don't want to wait! This is the best present ever!!!

This would be the best kind of thank-you. It would be wonderful for the gifters to hear.

Of course, still send a paper thank-you note, maybe after eating that first batch of homemade ice cream or whatever, with a line about just how delicious it was.
posted by amtho at 11:25 AM on February 21, 2014 [12 favorites]

It doesn't matter what you do with them, as long as you send the thank-you letters right away.

Bear in mind that if the wedding is called off, you will have to return the gifts. So if you think it's a live possibility that the wedding will be called off, keep the gifts in their original packaging and don't use them.
posted by tel3path at 11:27 AM on February 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am an early gift sender because if I don't take care of the task right away, it will be completely forgotten and I would love to know if the recipient received the gift so I can initiate a lost package claim if needed. It doesn't even have to be a fancy thank you card, just some kind of 'we got it!' acknowledgement.

The reason being is last year I sent a gift to a couple. The retailer's online shipping tracker let me know that my package had been "Delivered to the front porch on such and such date." Several months after the wedding, via awkward third-party inquiries, I learned my gift had not made it off the porch into the house, it was apparently stolen. I was mortified that the couple thought I hadn't sent a gift. Too much time had elapsed for the retailer or shipper to do anything about it and I ended up buying a second gift (which I could barely afford to do).

So yeah, please say something when you get it.
posted by jamaro at 12:12 PM on February 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

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