(Closed) Do I have to open the presents AT my shower?

posted 12 years ago in Parties
  • poll: Do I have to open the presents AT my shower?

    Yes, it's rude not to.

    No, your guests will appreciate not having to sit through it.


  • Post # 3
    194 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I’m curious about the response to this one – I HATE the gift-opening part of showers too! I am hoping to avoid opening gifts and sending out heart-felt thank you notes later, but have a feeling that some guests will really want to see the bride open her gifts, the reaction etc…so even if it starts with one guest saying “can you open just mine?” it’ll turn into opening gifts from everyone. It might be unavoidable, especially since it’s important to keep your guests happy, since they’ve not only shown up but also brought you presents 🙂

    Post # 5
    8941 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    Honestly, I think it is expected to open presents at the shower by at least some of the guests.  I mean the whole point of a shower is to ‘shower’ the couple with gifts.

    Post # 6
    30 posts
    • Wedding: March 2010

    We had a couple’s shower, fairly casual little party.  We didn’t make opening the presents a big deal.  The hostess wanted us to open them (I’m like you, would rather just take them home and write a nice thank you note).  So we just quietly opened them and announced what they were and said thank you  while everyone just continued to mingle and drink.  I wasn’t offended one bit that people didn’t stop to watch.  It’s a bit weird and there’s some pressure to have a surprised and excited reaction to every present, when in reality, you registered for the gifts, so of course it’s what you wanted!


    Post # 7
    820 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2010

    There was another thread like this but I can’t find it. I know I’m going to have to open things because my Mom’s old fashioned & she’ll flip if I don’t.

    I’m with you 100% on how boring it is to sit there while the bride opens presents. But to be honest, I’ve been to 3 showers where the bride didn’t open gifts and as guests we were all sitting around thinking,  “uhh, what are we supposed to be doing?” Without opening the gifts, it’s just a plain ol’ brunch/BBQ, etc with a bunch of women hanging out.

    Post # 8
    1646 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    i recently went to a baby shower where the mom-to-be didn’t open the presents, and honestly it felt really weird. fi came too, and we agreed it was really awkward. we didn’t know when we could leave because typically you wait until all the presents are opened, and we didn’t know most the other people there, so it was a lot of small talk and waiting around before we realized other people were leaving. the present opening gives the whole group an activity that breaks the ice, i think. plus, with a baby shower, it’s so fun to oooh and ahh over all the teeny baby things 🙂

    Post # 9
    1354 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    I don’t enjoy this part either, but honestly, I think it is pretty darn expected. Unless you are doing a really non-traditional shower (sky diving? shooting range?), they pretty much all follow the pattern of shmooze, activity of some sort, presents, good byes. If you don’t want to open presents, I would work on busting up the pattern, not on ushering everyone out after the activity.

    Post # 10
    1300 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    yeah sorry – the whole point of a shower is to shower the bride with gifts, so you have to open them. if you dont then why have a shower? just have a tea or party or something of the like where there isnt a requirement for presents.

    if folks are bringing them you should open them – i would consider it rude not to…..

    Post # 11
    4005 posts
    Honey bee

    I voted that you should open the gifts at the shower. Personally, I would be thrilled that I didn’t have to sit there and watch someone open their gifts, but I know that there are several people from my family who would have been highly offended had I not opened my gifts at my shower. I think that it’s just a little too risky to not do it. I think some people feel that they need to be thanked in front of everyone for coming to your shower and giving their gift. I don’t know that it’s necessarily how I feel when I go to a shower, but I definitely know that others feel that way.

    Here’s a thought – have you ever heard of a no wrap shower? You basically just put a bow or a ribbon on the gift to hold your card in place, and bring the gift to the shower. Then, your bridesmaids can put everything on display so that people can “see” what you got, and you can relax and have your BBQ! A friend of mine did this and it was fine by me! I think that the other people felt the same way b/c at least their gift was on display for everyone else to see…

    Post # 12
    598 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2010

    I feel like it’s kind of expected and people want to see whether you liked the gifts.  I also think that it’s kind of the last thing and the sign that the party is officially over. 

    Post # 13
    2385 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

    The whole point of the shower is the gifts, so if you’re having one, it doesn’t make sense to just ignore that part. People want to see your reaction, and I think it would be weird to have a party for the presents and then hide the presents from everyone.

    Post # 14
    335 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2022

    I actually think it’s okay not to open them there at the shower.  We’re having a couples shower this coming weekend and I’m hoping we aren’t going to be expected to open our gifts.  I’m against it mainly b/c there are so many people coming that it would be a total drag and bring all of the fun mingling and conversations to a screeching halt, just to make everybody sit still and quiet for an hour or longer and watch us open gifts.  Ugh.  I’m going to let the hosting couple decide but I have told her that we would be FINE not to open them that night at the party. 

    Post # 15
    1174 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    Open them. I was a guest at a shower where the gifts were not opened and I was (and still am) hurt/angry/disappointed/offended. Also, we brought multiple gifts but only put our name on one of them because we expected them to all be opened together at the shower. I guess they got split up when they were put in the car because we only got thanked for one gift in their thank you note.

    Post # 16
    84 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: June 2010


    I had the same question!  = )  We ended up opening gifts and it was not bad at all.  Even though I overanalyze things like that, causing me to conclude that it’s a strange practice, most people don’t.  Most of your guests will fully expect you to open the gifts and not be at all offended or bored (well, they might be bored, but they’re expecting that!) when you do so.

    Good luck!  Just remember to smile, say thanks, and keep the gifts moving so it doesn’t take too long!

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