Guests will be bringing beautifully wrapped gifts and cards full of love and joy to your wedding. Having a special area specifically for those presents helps to keep everything organized plus gives you another area to make look fantastic! Today WhereBridesGo.com has some helpful wedding planning ideas for your gift table plus a few extra tips about wedding gifts in general.
Gift Table Placement
You will definitely want to have an area set up at the reception for guests to place your wedding gifts, but you'll want to have a spot set aside at the ceremony as well. Some people will go ahead and bring your gift to the ceremony, so it's nice to have a place for them to set it down before taking their seats.
The number of guests invited will help to determine the amount of space needed for the gift table. At the ceremony, you could leave space near the guest book. Any extra decor you've placed here can be picked up, along with the gifts, and moved to the reception after the "I do's."
At the reception, the table should be easy to locate but doesn't need to be a focal point. Place it in an area where your trusted wedding party can help to keep an eye on it. If you will be getting married in a public place where strangers could easily wander by, like a hotel ballroom, keep the gift table away from the entrance and assign someone to keep a close watch on it. Another good safety tip for your gift table is to use a card box that only has a small slit for envelopes, making it difficult for thieves to get them out once they're in.
Gift Table Ideas
A gift table doesn't really require a lot of decoration because once everyone arrives, it will be covered with presents! Some type of sign pointing out that this is the place to put those gifts is a good idea. You will also need a card box to keep wedding cards all safely in one place.
A pretty tablecloth that matches the rest of the reception decor will be needed and you may even want to add a decorative table runner or some table confetti. If you want to dress it up a bit more than that, a small floral arrangement off to the side could be used, photos of the two of you, or even a wedding cake topper that looks every bit as beautiful used as a decorative centerpiece.
You should be busy enjoying yourself during the reception and most likely worn out at the end of the evening. Make arrangements for someone else to be in charge of making sure all of the wedding gifts get to where they belong after the reception.
This doesn't have to wait until the end of the night. Once everyone has arrived, the gifts can be taken to a secure room or locked into someone's car and the gift table can be removed or repurposed for dessert, late-night snacks, or a coffee station.
More than likely the two of you have registered for gifts at one or more stores. While guests do need to know this information, it is considered rude to include it in the wedding invitation. You can, however, include an information card directing them to a wedding website for more information. That is the perfect place to list gift registries, directions, and more. Before websites, people relied on close family or friends to spread the word about gift registries, which still works too.
For couples requesting that guests donate to a chosen charity in lieu of bringing a gift, it is acceptable to include that on an information card insert in the invitation. Keep it simple and send them to the wedding website for additional details.
If you prefer only your friends' and family's presence and would like to request they bring no gifts at all, this may also be included in an informational insert. Keep in mind though that some people may still insist on bringing gifts or cards, so plan for a small inconspicuous area to place these.
Lastly, hand-written thank you cards are the best way to show your appreciation for both the wedding gift and the guest celebrating your special day with you. It can be a short message but try to include something personal about the item received.
You can write thank you cards right away for gifts received before the wedding day. After the wedding, all of the thank you cards should be sent within three months.
The gift table at your wedding doesn't have to be elaborate, but it is necessary. Of course, if you love decorating you can go ahead and make it as fancy as you like. (Just be sure to leave enough room for the presents!)
A quick search through our online wedding store will give you all the inspiration you need to decorate every aspect of both the ceremony and reception. Take a look around. We know you'll find something to love!
~ The WhereBridesGo.com Team
Post by Deanna Powell, Certified Bridal Consultant