Many brides and grooms-to-be worry about the issue of keeping their wedding gifts and cards safe on their wedding day. Hopefully, most of your guests will have purchased items from your registry and will have them sent directly to your address. However, there will inevitably be people who bring gifts, cash or cards with them.
It’s crucial for anyone getting married to have a plan in place for collecting gifts and cards, otherwise you could end up losing or damaging them – which is any newlywed’s nightmare.
Many people make the assumption that any gifts left at the wedding venue will automatically be safe. But while you don’t want to imagine that your guests might steal from you on your special day, it’s a very real possibility.
Don’t forget there will also be catering staff, venue staff, wedding suppliers, and your guests’ plus ones whom you may not know well. We’re not saying that these people are untrustworthy - but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
To help keep your wedding cards and gifts safe while you’re enjoying your big day, we’ve put together this guide to help you.
Choose the Gift Collection Area Wisely
The first step in keeping your wedding gifts safe is to have a designated gift dropping off area. Determining where the card and gift table is will help make it clear where people should leave them, as well as giving you piece of mind knowing that it’s a good location.
You should have this table or collection area away from any doors in and out of the venue, as it seems almost like tempting fate putting them so close to where people can leave quickly. It’s also a good idea to have the collection table in an area where it can be clearly seen from anywhere in the venue.
For example, if there’s a side room at your venue, don’t leave the presents and cards in there where anyone can get to them without being seen. Have a gift table in your dining room-come-reception room instead, where it’s in full view of everybody.
Mark the Drop-Off Point Clearly
It’s no good having a designated area for card and gift drop off without making it extremely clear to your guests. You should have visible and clear signage pointing guests to the gift and card table, and a sign on the gift table itself, so that there’s no doubt. A peg board with gold letters would be perfect, as you can customise it to spell out any instructions.
If people can’t see a designated spot, they are more likely to hand you the present directly, leaving you to sort it out. Or they’ll wander around with it aimlessly, and possibly put it down in any old place, increasing the chances you’ll lose it.
Having a clearly marked area will make it easy for your guests to spot where they should put their presents and hopefully leave less room for interpretation. That way if anyone tries handing you a gift, you can thank them and point them in the direction of the gift table - leaving you free to enjoy your special day.
Have a Designated Wedding Party Member Keep Watch
Pick a few trusted people from your wedding party (more than one, so that they can take turns) and ask them to keep an eye on the gift and card drop-off point throughout the wedding.
Ushers are perfect for this, because once they’ve carried out their role of helping seat your guests at the ceremony, their duties are pretty much finished for the day – so they’ve got plenty of time to help keep the gifts and card organised.
Wedding guests normally drop off their gifts and cards during the evening reception, rather than during the ceremony. So, have someone stand at the entrance to the reception venue and direct guests clutching cards and presents to the gift table. Once everyone is in, your designated gift-guarder can keep watch over the table until everything has been collected and you can transport them to a safer location.
Use a Wedding Post Box for Cards
Although cards may seem small and worthless next to a big-boxed present, many people put cash and cheques inside wedding cards. So, although they’re smaller in size, they can actually be worth a lot more.
Not just that, but cards will have sentimental value to both the giver and the receiver. Cheques can be cancelled, but heartfelt words can’t be replaced - which is why protecting your cards is so important.
One of the best ways to protect your cards is to use a wedding post box. They are basically what they sound like - miniature post boxes where guests can ‘post’ their cards. Wedding post boxes are:
1) Secure, so nobody can steal cards from inside it
2) Large and bulky enough that nobody would be able to steal the entire box without being spotted
3) Designed to hold all of the cards in one place, decreasing the chance that they’ll get lost
4) Not heavy, and are therefore easy to transport home after the wedding
5) Elegant and attractive to look at, so they’ll tie in nicely with your wedding aesthetic and add to the general décor
These genius inventions come in a variety of different designs, patterns, colours and themes, so there’s something available for everyone’s tastes. This beautiful Allegra post box, for example, comes in a variety of cool colours and features a diamanté buckle and ribbon for the epitome of elegance.
Leave Your Gift Table Out for Longer Than You Think
There will come a time during your wedding when you think “OK, time to move these gifts and cards to somewhere safe and take down the gift table”. But don’t accidentally do this too early!
Although many guests prefer to unload their gifts and cards as soon as they arrive at a wedding, some people forget until the last minute, and others leave them in the car and fetch them at the end. By leaving the gift collection area available for longer than you think it needs to be up, it will allow people to drop their last-minute cards and gifts off at any point during the day.
Again, if you’re leaving the box or collection area then make sure you’re leaving someone trusted in charge of it, or at least keeping an eye on it. This person needs to keep an eye on the cards and gifts until they’re moved to a safe place after the wedding.
Ask the Venue Staff for Help
When you’re sure that every guest has deposited their cards and gifts at the table, it’s time to move them to a safer place so that they can’t be lost or stolen as the evening progresses. As you might end up with a few drinks in your system, it’s best to sort this out before it gets too late.
Perhaps ask the DJ to do an announcement over the microphone informing guests that the gift table is about to be taken down, and that if anyone’s not yet dropped off their well-wishes, now is the time to do so.
You can, of course, transport your cards and gifts to your securely-locked car, or your hotel room if you’re staying on the premises. However, if neither of these are an option, ask the venue staff for help. They may be able to move your presents to a safe, or a secure staff-only area, until you’re ready to take them home.
Keeping Cards and Gifts Safe Post-Wedding
Your cards and gifts aren’t just at risk during the wedding, but afterwards, too. If you’re staying in a hotel the night of your wedding then you can of course ask them to store everything in their on-site safe.
But if your hotel doesn’t offer this, or you’re not getting married at a hotel, then you can always ask the trusted person in charge of gifts to take them directly to you and your spouse's house!
This is undoubtedly where they’ll be the safest until you can get round to opening everything - and you don’t need to worry about transporting them home. This is a good option for couples who are headed straight off on a honeymoon, or not returning home for several days after the actual day of the wedding.
Now you can relax a little knowing that your cards and gifts are safe, which leaves you plenty of time to enjoy yourself before you start writing all those thank you cards!