the gift table

I imagine not many wedding guests to be would read a wedding coordinator’s blog, but here goes anyway.  Confidential from all brides and grooms: they wish the gift table would go away forever.  Not the gifts themselves, mind you, but the custom of physically bringing wedding gifts to the party.

Why? The simple answer is logistics.  So many wedding parties and families are out of towners these days, and at the end of the night, there simply isn’t enough manpower to haul away the loot.  I recently coordinated a wedding where the bride and groom were from Southern California, and all the guests were either from LA or New York.  No one had driven in.  Yet somehow giant parcels, from Crate and Barrel and Williams-Sonoma, showed up to grace the now-groaning-with-weight gift table.  The wedding itself was out in the country — even FedEx could not parse out the address. In the end, a courier service was hired to go out to the wedding site, pick up the gifts, and deliver them to a Pack-and-Mail establishment to be shipped back to California…all at great cost.

I also coordinated a wedding for a Washington, DC couple who decided to marry in their former hometown of Austin, Texas… same situation. There’s simply no cheap or easy way to get those gifts from the wedding back home, without a ridiculous amount of effort.  In addition, there’s the extra table and linen that must be rented, the fear of theft or breakage, and the chance that a card could get separated from the gift and thus the sender is never known or acknowledged. Don’t even get me started on envelopes and how easy they are to lose!

So what to do? My suggestion would be for wedding guests to mail their gifts to the bride or groom’s home, either two weeks or earlier prior to the wedding, or wait two weeks after.  This way, no one’s mother or bridesmaid has to stumble through a vineyard late at night, carrying a 30-lb. package with the latest 13-piece Calphalon starter
set.  No one’s groomsmen, dressed in tuxedos and justifiably worn out by the end of the night with all the celebration and the formality, should have to push a cart at 2am, up and down a handicap ramp with boxes full of breakables.

Plus, the guest doesn’t have to worry about forgetting the gift on a train or plane, or gift wrap (the internet takes care of that!).

I’m hoping, that as weddings have become more of a style statement by the new couple, rather than the olden-days display of wealth by the families involved, the gift table becomes a relic of the past. So guests, whaddya say?

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