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A wedding is a monumental event. When swept up with the planning and romance, it’s easy to forget about what comes next. For example, 136 guests attend the average celebration — and each arrives with the expectation to bring a gift. After the wedding, where do they all go? Follow the tips below to determine how to best store your presents.
Decide What to Keep
Let’s face it — even though you spent hours stressing over the registry, plenty of guests go rogue when it comes to gift-giving. Don’t feel bad if you get something you don’t want or need. Gather all your gifts after the wedding and determine what to return, get rid of or donate. Once you whittle down your new collection, you’ll reduce the materials and amount of space needed for storage.
Upgrade Your Options
If you decide to take items back to the store, ask if credit is available. Then, use the money to buy something you and your partner both need. Say you received a new decorative salad bowl, but it’s not quite your taste. Don’t fret — take it back to the store and swap it for a modern flatware set. Maybe you were gifted two of the same blenders. Keep one and replace the other with a multi-use deep fryer.
Make a Detailed List
Rather than stuffing your gifts away after the wedding, make a detailed list of everything you received. Write down what the gift was and who gave it to you. Once stored, add a note detailing where you put it. If you’re an organization pro, create a digital list complete with photos. Before you stow the items away, you can also write the name of the gift-giver on the box.
Protect Your Items
A wedding is tiring. You might feel tempted to find a box, pack the gifts away and quickly forget about it all. However, proper storage is essential to ensure the items’ safety. Wrap glass, porcelain and other delicate objects in newspaper or bubble wrap. Place linens in airtight containers to prevent damage from moisture or moths. If you plan to store boxes in the basement, use shelving to keep items off the ground.
Re-gift With Care
If you receive a gift you won’t use, consider careful re-gifting after the wedding. Look for someone outside your social circle to avoid hurt feelings — although research suggests the practice is less offensive than we might think it is. For example, a new toaster — when you received two — could make an ideal gift for a coworker moving into her first apartment. You can also store the gift away for future birthdays or holidays.
Decorate Your Home
Many wedding gifts are decorative or practical, meaning you can keep them out all the time. Pop that new blender, toaster or air fryer on the kitchen counter. Add the vintage martini glasses and passed-down china to the cabinets. Hang hand-embroidered towels from the bathroom rack. Plus, don’t forget to add art — like caricatures, collages and portraits of the happy couple — to the walls.
Add a Glass Showcase
You might get several gifts you want to show off after the wedding, like a hand-blown glass flower or beautifully-crafted sculpture. Keep your valued possessions safe with a glass showcase. Choose an open model without a glass front to easily rearrange shelves and clean. You can also opt for a closed model — perfect for those with children, pets or young, curious guests. Some luxe showcases come equipped with lighting, designed to draw the eye at night.
Make a Shadowbox
Not all wedding gifts last forever. However, you can use a shadow box to store a collection of your favorite momentos. Keep the cork from the champagne your parents gave you. Save a ribbon or bow-tie. Cut out photos and cartoons from your favorite cards to make a background collage. If you received jewelry — but don’t typically dress up — a shadow box is a perfect spot to adorn your wedding memories.
Ready, Set, Store!
Don’t let piles of wedding gifts bog you down. Instead, learn how to store each item the right way. Start by creating a detailed list, complete with who gave what. Get rid of what you don’t want and organize the rest. If possible, swap unneeded items for something else. You can also store special memories, like the label from a gifted champagne bottle, in a shadowbox. Using these tips, you and your spouse can enjoy a clutter-free home filled with reminders of your special day.
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