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That's a wrap: Gift-receiving etiquette for modern brides and grooms.

Wedding bells often mean packages of goodness, and those packages must be met with punctual gratitude, according to the experts (and your mom). But keeping track of it all, and doing the right thing, can be overwhelming. A few pro tips:

 1:  No one expects the couple to open the gifts the night of the wedding, but it’s expected at a shower.

 2:  If gifts begin piling up before the big day, no need to wait to unwrap them, though some experts suggest couples should wait until after the wedding to use them.

 3:  Kristen Fagan, manager of Past Basket, who helps many couples with their wedding gift registries, recommends opening a gift as soon as you receive it and sending a thank-you letter immediately so the sender knows the gift arrived safely.

 4:  Got a gift that’s not your style or three of the same set of sheets? There’s no shame in returning gifts. Even if people forget to provide a gift receipt, many stores will allow exchanges if the gift was from a registry.

 5:  Aim to mail some handwritten gratitude no later than three months after receiving the gift. Writing the thank-you notes as the gifts come in will prevent pileup and should be a shared responsibility. Plus, giving thanks together is the perfect way to begin a marriage.


‘That’s a Wrap’ appears in Milwaukee Weddings.

Find Milwaukee Weddings on newsstands beginning Jan. 2.

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