I can still remember on the day I got married, when my mom presented me with my “something borrowed”— a little drawstring bag that she had used on her wedding day. The bag was handmade by my Great Uncle, from the same fabric he had used to create her wedding dress and was designed to hold cards and small gifts from wedding guests. I thought that the bag was gorgeous, and was touched by her thoughtfulness, but I think I gave her a funny look. What did I need a bag for? She was with me when I bought my purse. Wouldn’t our guests just leave their cards on a gift table?
Apparently I was old enough to be getting married, but she still had some motherly advice to bestow upon me. During this day of happiness and celebration, the last thing on my radar was theft. Unfortunately the reality is, with a large amount of guests, venue staff, and lots of bustling around, weddings are prime setting for gift-snatching to take place. Wedding gift theft was once an unlikely occurrence (blame my paranoid Italian relatives for my mom’s gift bag in 1981), but in today’s society it has become a common occurrence.
The drawstring gift bag method worked for me on my wedding day, but I ended up with a nice red indent around my wrist, and felt a bit like a hoarder. Here are 8 additional ideas for you to implement, to protect yourself from falling victim to this preventable crime.
1. Create an online registry
Make it your goal to have as many gifts delivered directly to your home as possible. By creating an online registry, your guests can shop and ship directly through the store’s website. This allows for the gift to arrive safely at your door without ever being brought to the reception.
2. Pick a prime location for your gift table
Keep your gift table far away from all exits, in a corner of a well-populated area. In theory, the more populated the area, the harder it is to snatch gifts. You may consider combining the gift table with a candy or snack bar, so guests are frequently in and around the gift table area.
3. Say good-bye to the gift table altogether
Don’t allow wedding gift thieves any opportunity to spoil your day. Instead make a note on your invitation (or post a sign by your Guest Book), that there is not a gift table. Mention that you will personally visit each table during the reception, which is what I did at my wedding. If guests choose to bring a card or gift, they may hand it to you at that time.
4. Appoint a gift attendant
Select a trustworthy friend or family member to act as your gift attendant. During the times I had to take my gift bag off my wrist, to dance or use the restroom, I had a couple people watching my bag like a mamma bird (I think these were the same Italian ladies who suggested my mom have the bag made up in the first place). Ask your person to keep a close eye on the gift table as soon as guests start arriving to the reception. Once dinner begins, gifts may be moved to an alternate location, such as a locked room in the reception venue or the bride and groom’s suite.
5. Greet all guests personally
Although you only typically invite close friends and family to your wedding, there may be several ‘plus one’ guests in attendance that you have never met. Greeting everyone personally will allow you to have a better idea of who is at your wedding.
6. Use a card box
Create or purchase a secure card box (either with a lock, or one that’s difficult to get in to) for guests to deposit their cards. Ensure that the box has only one slit at the top and will remain locked throughout the evening. A cute alternative is to use a bird cage as a card box— something I have seen many modern couples display on their gift table.
7. Call out a wedding crasher
I thought this was just something from the movies, but I have actually been to a wedding where there were wedding crashers! These particular gals had just shown up to dance and enjoy the music, but if you see someone unfamiliar at your wedding, don’t hesitate to ask your wedding planner or venue coordinator to escort them out.
8. Purchase wedding insurance
In my mind, this is your best defense, and it protects you against way more than just missing wedding gifts. I would highly suggest seeking the services of a company like Markel Event Insurance, which will give you complete peace of mind on the most special day of your life. Markel offers something great called Cancellation Coverage, which includes protection against lost or damaged wedding gifts. Coverage also includes protection from other wedding nightmares, such as if a vendor goes bankrupt (or worse yet, just doesn’t show up on your big day), damaged photography or even if a hurricane causes you to have to cancel or postpone your big event. Policies start as low as $130, and can be purchased up to 14 days prior to your event. Markel also offers Event Liability Insurance coverage, to help protect you if someone causes property damage to your wedding venue or if someone is injured at your event, for as little as $75. For the ultimate protection, you can purchase both Event Cancellation and Event Liability coverage and save up to 15%.
If a wedding gift thief does strike, make sure to call the police immediately. Also ask if your venue has any security cameras to help the police identify the culprit. In addition, if you chose to protect your day with wedding insurance, don’t forget to call your wedding insurance carrier to file a claim for the stolen gifts. The threat of your gifts getting stolen is real, but if you follow some of the tips listed above, hopefully you will deter any mischief to enjoy your wedding day without worry!
This post has been sponsored by Markel Wedding Insurance and compensation was received for my time in developing the post. All thoughts, ideas & opinions are my own.