What To Write On A Wedding Gift Envelope?

Wedding Gift Wrapping

Wedding Gift Wrapping

What should I write on the newlyweds’ gift envelope?

I’m attending two close friends’ wedding soon. They expect gifts at the reception. I have a nice store-bought card to attach to the gift, and the envelope it came with is blank (with proportions obviously intended to be sent in the mail). Should I write anything on the front of the envelope? What? I have a pretty script handwriting and some skill with desktop publishing, so it seems a shame that the envelope stay blank.



Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, IncÂŽ, a wedding planning guide, and Recent Mother of the Groom –

Gifts are to be sent to the home of the bride before the wedding for many reasons. Cards can be separated from gifts or the present could be lost or taken from the reception location. If there are many gifts the couple will have to ask someone to be in charge of them or they’ll have to worry about that themselves. Plus, it’s a pain for the couple to have to pack all of the gifts and transport them, especially if they are going to honeymoon directly after the reception.

I would strongly advise you to mail the gift to your friend before the wedding. If you must bring a gift to the reception there is no etiquette for addressing the outside of the card. Writing the name of the couple would probably be a good idea especially if the reception is at a venue with more than one wedding taking place.

Wedding Gift Wrapping


Can’t say I’ve ever heard of sending gifts to the bride’s home (unless you’re unable to attend) before I started combing this forum for answers to other questions. That’s why I simply said “they’re expecting gifts at the reception” and hoped you’d graciously pass over the lecture which I’ve now read many times.

I can see the point with the transportation issue, but there are a variety of reasons that’s just not the case in all the small-town midwest weddings I’ve been to. Gift etiquette gets completely overshadowed by the importance of attending. I’ve never seen less than a small buffet table used as a place to drop gifts at receptions, and I’ve never heard of needing someone to “watch” the gifts as if they would be stolen. Even when the amount or size of gifts is too much, there are always multiple offers to help with transporting them–even the most distant relatives take care of each other. There may also be a factor of most relatives having to make at least a road trip to be able to attend. They’re already paying for the trip directly, why expect them pay for a trip indirectly through the packaging and shipping of a gift? I’ve only been to one wedding where the couple took off to their honeymoon direcly after the reception, and they planned (that means they EXPECTED) to pay for a friend to haul their gifts home for them. In fact a number of their friends loaded the vehicle he brought and then with the payment he took them out for drinks the next night. And it all seemed very natural–no griping about improper gift etiquette. They’re GIFTS. There aren’t a whole lot of ways to go wrong giving a gift!

In the case of the wedding I’m going to shortly, both of these friends just graduated from college last weekend, and have this week to move out of their college-town apartment to their new home four hours away before their wedding next weekend in a town that’s a half hour from the college town and three and half hours from their new home. They did this because it’s a fair meeting point between their two sets of parents and also a lot easier for their friends to attend. Plus it’s a beautiful location. 😉 Their new home is also a good five-hour drive from her parents’ home and a four-hour drive from his parents’ home. Even if sending gifts to the bride’s home before the wedding was a common tradition, where would you have them sent in this case? Ship to the bride’s parents who’ll have to ship them again? This isn’t uncommon around here, where May weddings outnumber June weddings because that’s when school’s out.

There’s probably more, but that’s all I’ve got off the top of my head for why gifts are expected at the reception.

Thanks for letting me know about the card envelope.

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, IncÂŽ, a wedding planning guide, and Recent Mother of the Groom –

I’m sorry you interpreted my message as a lecture but when asked for etiquette advise we must give you an answer based on etiquette. I simply stated what is generally expected and the reasons for it. Note that just because someone, or even everyone, does something this doesn’t make it right. You can find this in any etiquette book. But surely there are no etiquette police and you can proceed in any way you choose.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

I completely agree. And, since you have been combing this site, you have probably come across many posts from couples wondering how to deal with gifts that were brought to the reception with no cards attached (the cards were displaced). And, then there are the many couples who know that certain people gave them gifts, but there were none from them at the reception (meaning that someone took the gifts or they were lost). The major dilemma for these couples is how to thank the generous guests when they don’t know what the people have given them. This happens everyday. Etiquette makes sense.

Wedding Gift Table


photos via SMPe