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The Bride's Guide Blog

The Card Box

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Posted by Talley Sue Hohlfeld, Etiquette Expert

Every now and then, we get a request for ideas for how to decorate the card box. And when the issue comes up, there is always a staffer or two who says, “What do you mean, ‘the card box’?” They've never seen them. And I think we've never covered it because we don't really like it (but I'll admit—I'm guessing).

In many circles, people do not come empty-handed to a wedding; they bring their gift to the church or reception. If it’s an envelope with a check or cash, it’s too easy to steal, and too tempting. So the couple needs somewhere secure to keep it.

Hence, the card box. A box (or sometimes a birdcage) with a slit in the top for people to drop off the envelope. At the weddings I go to lately, the bride carries a satin purse or drawstring pouch (if it’s a very big wedding, it gets heavier and heavier as the night goes on). 

I wish we could somehow eliminate both of these objects—that we could train wedding guests to send their gifts before or after the event, so that on the day of the wedding, everyone can concentrate on the relationships, and not on the gifts or the logistics.

Are you going to need to wrangle envelopes of gifts on your wedding day? If so, what is your solution?

Comments (10)

  • At our wedding, we had a basket and designated a little boy in the family to "watch" the basket and every once in a while empty it to a safe place. Nobody had to worry about it and the little boy had the time of his life feeling like he had such an important job!

  • My sister-in-law insisted on creating a card box for my wedding. This was her way to help, and I appreciated it. She found a sturdy white box and glued clear half-dome dots to the sides in a cascading fashion. It was beautiful, but the dots eventually fell off.
    After the wedding, my husband and me had a hard time getting the cards out, so it was certainly secure!

  • I felt similarly when planning my wedding. I didn't like the idea of getting gifts at the wedding but realized that it was a necessity to have something to collect them (in my circle people give monetary gifts and cards at the wedding).
    I decided after looking online and at craft stores at the options available,many of which to me were over the top and gaudy, to create my own custom wedding card box. I had a very personalized wedding, which seems to be the trend lately and wanted my card box to match my decor and color scheme and not clash with it.
    Personalizing the card box is a great way to keep the custom classy and elegant.
    Marni Gold

  • These are all such interesting ideas!
    @J--those kids sure like having important roles, don't they!
    @Amy--do you know how your SIL secured the box? Did she simply glue the lid to the base w/ a line of white glue? That would be pretty tough, actually. How tall was the box?
    @Marni--was it fun to decorate your box?

  • Hi Talley! I loved decorating the box for my own wedding so much that I make them for others as well. They can be decorated as simply as just a hand painted finish and sculptural bow or ornately with hand painted polka dots, Swarovski crystals, crystal monograms etc.
    As for securing the card box I 'invented' a custom security closure that I think works quite well. It keeps the cards safely in the box while the box is still easy for the bride and groom to open later on (which seemed to be Amy's issue). I wouldn't want a card box to be destroyed just to get the cards out because its a great way to also store mementos and cards from the wedding after the festivities are over!
    I think security is definitely an issue sometimes. I've heard many stories of people reaching in those bird cages for example and slipping a few cards right out. A creative custom card box, when done right, eliminates that issue while still keeping the colors and theme of the wedding in tact.
    For my own wedding I wasn't as concerned with security but more with the idea of seeing lots of envelopes lying around or being passed around. I just found that to be tacky. I liked the idea of stowing them away in a visible place that was still classic and matched my decor. I'd love to show you pictures!

  • I'm having a fall wedding very close to halloween. My wedding is going to include alot of pumpkins and autumn leaves. (Don't think Jack-o-Lanterns) And i have a pumpkin decoration that the top comes off of. we are using that as a centerpiece with some pretty bright colored flowers in them and one as a "card box." There's really no way around it, in my area no one brings gifts to the wedding, only cards.

  • We used a beautiful silver jewellery box with a burgandy lined interior. All but two of our guests gave us cards and money as this is what we had asked for. It was a simple elegant solution that didn't scream 'card box' and I now use it to hold pens and other small items on my desk.

  • I'm using an old suitcase and cutting a small hole in it for the cards. And yes, I'm planning to have someone empty it out throughout the night and put the cards in a safe place.

  • I think a card box is a must for a wedding! You definitely want to have one place for guests to deposit your cards so they don't get lost. Card boxes make great storage for your wedding keepsakes as well.
    I create custom and unique card boxes to coordinate with the colors and style of the wedding. They can be simple with a satin bow... personalized with an embroidered monogram... or over the top glitzy with Swarovski crystals!

  • Check out the original card boxes at http://www.cardboxboutique.com!

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