A wedding is a time for celebration, which usually means plenty of gift giving! You will undoubtedly receive many wonderful gifts from friends and family but you will also receive some gifts that simply make you wonder. Here are five awkward gift situations couples encounter as well as tips for how to write a thank you note for each. We’ll help you find a way to express appreciation without offending the gift giver.

How to write a thank you note in awkward gift situations

1. Monetary Gifts
Monetary gifts are such a blessing for newlyweds and chances are you will receive plenty. The trick when writing your thank you notes is to make this gift sound personal. We recommend writing about what you plan to put the money toward: the honeymoon, down payment on your first home, a remodel of the bathroom, etc. Guests will love hearing their gift went to good use and they’ll enjoy hearing a bit about your future plans.

2. Duplicate Gifts
You might think that using gift registries would solve this problem but duplicate gifts still happen. It’s best not to speak to the situation at all in your thank you note. You can either talk about how you’ll use the gift (as if it were the only one you received) or speak about the gift itself. Maybe there is something extra stylish and appealing about the gift you can mention.

3. Unidentifiable Gifts
The trick here is to talk about the person more than the gift! Mention what a generous and thoughtful person they are for giving such a great gift. You don’t have to say anything about what it does or how you’ll use it. Compliment the giver and they won’t even notice your confusion.

4. Mystery Givers
You will receive a few gifts from people you haven’t met yet. When writing thank you notes, mention how you’re looking forward to meeting this person at the wedding or at a future family gathering. You can also mention that you’re excited for them to meet your future husband/wife.

The other type of “mystery giver” you may encounter is one who shopped online and sent your gift through the mail. These gifts don’t always come with a note from the giver, which means you’ll have to do a little detective work. Always check the mailing info on the package. Then check inside the package for any receipts or printouts with the giver’s name or a personal note. No luck? Check your registry online. Some places allow you to see who purchased what for you.

5. Group Gifts
Etiquette says you should send individual thank you cards to each person in the group. We totally agree…unless it’s a group gift from work. If the whole department or team chipped in on a gift, we think it’s perfectly acceptable to write one thank you and pass it around to coworkers or hang it up somewhere for all to see. As for group gifts from friends or family, thank each person but mention the group as well and how much you appreciate them coming together for you.

Need more advice on how to word your thank you notes? Check out 5 Steps to Writing Thank You Notes in our Wediquette section and Thank You Notes 101 on our blog.

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