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The Difference Between Wedding Keepsakes and Throwaway Gifts


Dealing with the aftermath of a wedding can be surprisingly difficult. While everyone who’s attended likely expects you to appreciate their gift—and almost definitely expects you to write a thank you note—sorting out what’s worth saving and what’s not worth your time can be difficult. Start your life of wedded bliss on the right foot, and without the extra baggage of unwanted “keepsakes”.

Pretty Personalized

Not everyone is going to be giving you monogrammed towels for your bathroom, but the likelihood that you’ll receive one or more personalized gifts is fairly high. Most people will probably make an effort to match what they think is your style, but if something’s not exactly right, don’t feel bad about relegating it to the back of your closet. This can be a little more tricky if the gift you’re dealing with is handmade, but the main thing is that you recognize the time and effort they’ve taken.

Keep Quality

A good quality item can last you a lifetime. When you’re going through your wedding gifts, it doesn’t hurt to research what you’ve been given a little bit more closely. Getting something that you can’t go buy at a big box store is definitely a keepsake. This can be something like a set of china,  Japanese cast iron teapot, or hand-made pieces of pottery. They may not be something you get yourself as a newlywed couple, but its solid craftsmanship could provide you with a piece you’ll reuse and remember your big day over and over again. Mismatched Tupperware pieces can be replaced, these items can’t.

Ease of Access

How hard was it for someone to find this particular gift? If you know they’ve pulled an item out of the clearance section, you’re definitely in the clear for ditching the throwaway gift. Gift cards are handy enough, but they’re definitely a sign of low effort. Feel free to hang onto these long enough to regift, if they’re not for something that you’d want yourself. Easily accessible things aren’t usually keepsakes, unless they have some sentimental meaning, so it’s a good idea to hang onto only what you can’t get for yourself.

Thinking of You

Did someone go to a lot of trouble to get this gift for you? How much time, effort, and thought did they put in? Your wedding, after all, is all about you and many people will try to make their gifts match that sentiment. If someone’s gone to great lengths to keep you in mind when selecting or creating their gift, it might be time to consider it a keepsake.

A wedding is, in many senses, a fresh start for you and your partner. Keepsakes are great, and some of your wedding gifts may very well end up being family heirlooms, but don’t feel obligated to build a tradition out of nothing. It’s your turn to decide what gifts in your life have real meaning.

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