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)
FIGHT THIS ONE TOOTH AND NAIL… DO NOT DO THIS.
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.