(Closed) Day after wedding present opening

posted 8 years ago in Traditions
Post # 17
83 posts
Worker bee

The day-after wedding present opening party is kind of a tradition in my family so I understand your situation. My parents invited only immediate family and our wedding party for a day-after brunch/present opening. It was just a really nice way to unwind, re-hash the fun we all had and have some help sorting out the gifts.


Can you maybe compromise and open some of the gifts the day after? Maybe just open the gifts from the people who attend the day-after wedding present opening party? Maybe your grandmother just wanted to see you guys open your gift from her in person. Then you can open the rest of the presents in the privacy of your own home with your husband.




Post # 18
2039 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@acfulhorst:  I think its awkward and uncomfortable too and that it makes people compare gifts and how much money was spent. I would not do this!

Post # 19
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I’ll agree with other posters. It seems like poor taste to have people over after the wedding to open gifts. Since gifting isn’t required at a wedding.

At our wedding we mostly got cards. We only got 1 physical gift at the wedding. Over half of our 45 guests gave nothing not even a congrats card. Not to say that will happen to you, but if it does, there’s no point in a party. Though it seems that if your family wants this kind of party that they plan to give physical gifts.

Post # 20
2247 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

My FIs family has this tradition but mine does not. We’re not doing it because I find it awkward and it feels like another shower. His family was upset but it didn’t really bother me. Well be opening our gifts at home alone the day after the wedding. Most weddings I’ve been to recently have only had a handful of presents and tonss of cards.

Post # 21
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I like  @ImHungry247:‘s advice – open some of the gifts, namely those from the people that will be at the party, as a compromise (assuming Fiance would be up for that). It would be a way to preserve the tradition but hopefully not be too awkward.  

Post # 25
7439 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Etiquette Snob here… lol

Unlike a Shower, where Gifts are expected (Shower the Bride) and the idea is that the present be useful and small

(Which is WHY it is also RUDE for a Shower Hostess to make any suggestion of what an Attended should give, or to organize in such a way as everyone is expected to throw in… altho it is totally acceptable if a couple of Guests go in together on a gift on their own… so you and your Sister buy a Shower Gift and give it together)

When it comes to a Wedding there are no restrictions on what is given (or not given, as a Gift is NOT A REQUIRED ELEMENT for attendance at a Wedding)…

A Gift Giver gives based on how close they are to the Couple, and what they can afford

By having a massive opening infront of others is therefore a way that everyone gets to see the Gifts… BUT it also a way (even in unintentionally) that those in attendance can compare the gifts (and therefore the Givers) one to another and that is rude.

The exceptions that I have known are…

In some areas the Bride & Groom will open the Gifts from immediate familly members and their Bridal Party at the Rehearsal Dinner… BUT this tradition is falling by the wayside in recent years

And, it is still acceptable for a Bride to show off her Gifts prior to the Wedding (usually in her Parent’s Home) for anyone wanting to see.  But Gifts are displayed without cards or names, just the items themselves assembled together in a room on tables usually adorned with crisp white table cloths.

This tradition based on Victorian customs, accumulating a trouseau for the Bride, is also falling by the wayside in recent years.

Intentionally having a Gathering after the Wedding to actually OPEN Gifts… whereby the Giver’s are apparent (and perhaps present) is RUDE plain & simple.

Especially now I think in these economic times… when not everyone may be able to afford to give us much as they may have liked to… or have given to others in the past

(Seriously, you want to embarrass someone by clearly showing that your Sister Sally got less than you did from Gramma Jane … or you got less than she did from Uncle Bob & Aunt Sherry… knowing that Uncle Bob got laid off from work 6 months ago)

Uh… NO


Hang in there, be strong.  It can only happen if you let it happen.

People will get over it.  As it really is only for their NOSEY benefit anyhow.  And deep down they KNOW THAT.


Post # 26
7439 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

As for the thought to getting Gifts or No Boxed Gifts.  You cannot predict that (or count on it in this scenario).  Every Wedding is different.  A lot depends on WHO is attending… and what is the custom in your area / family.

Money is a bigger deal in some areas than others (especially BIG cities). 

BUT just as many folks still like doing the Boxed Gift / Registry Gift thing if this is a first time Wedding for the Bride / Couple.

Hope this helps,


Post # 27
136 posts
Blushing bee

No way I would do that. It was awkward enough at my very small, modest bridal shower! I felt like an eight-year-old at their birthday party. It just made me uncomfortable and guilty to open presents that I didn’t really feel like I earned or deserved. I would skip the public present-opening tradition. Tell them you are going to be too overwhelmed and exhausted after the wedding to meet with family, plus you will want to spend some quality alone time with your new husband! 😉 I feel that people HAVE to understand that, right? 

Post # 29
1094 posts
Bumble bee

@acfulhorst:  First of all, let me endorse everything ThisTimeRound has said on this subject, on the subject of Showers with their properly small-and-useful gifts, on the NON-expectation of wedding gifts, and on the subject of both the propriety and the declining prevalence of pre-wedding gift displays. She is definately worth heeding.

Note also, that tradition — far older a tradition than this trend of the Sunday gift-opening that I first saw happeninng in the nineteen-eighties — gives your fiance the perfect way of avoiding this awkward innovation. He need only take you straight from your wedding reception to a honeymoon at an undisclosed location so that you two can enjoy your wedding night and the following day (or days) in undisturbed mutual — ahem — adoration. It doesn’t have to be for more than a single night, nor farther away than an inexpensive roadside motel on the edge of town (although a Holiday Inn that has room service is a litte nicer and not much more expensive).

The point of a honeymoon is not to have an exotic vacation, but to be alone together as husband and wife. You can still take your exotic vacation later if that is what you have planned, but you should never have to bound out of your marriage bed and run off to yet another family event unless that is what both of you want — so just announce that you will be “on your honeymoon” if the gift-opening subject comes up again.

Post # 30
717 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2008

@acfulhorst:  My husband’s family believes in gift opening parties as well. Everyone has had them. We simply told them we won’t be doing that. His mother asked why and I said “because we don’t want to. I don’t want everyone to know what we received.” She called him, he said no, end of story.

This doesn’t require a bunch of conversation. You guys are adults. Old enough to get married, Just tell them you don’t want to. It doesn’t matter if their feelings get hurt. That’s too bad for them. They’ll get over it.

Post # 31
1391 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I could see this being a little awkward if you don’t get boxed gifts. There’s always very few at the weddings I’ve attended, as in under 5. It’s generally a huge stack of cards. 

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