FMIL wants to be there when we open presents

posted 1 year ago in Family
Post # 2
9606 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

stunnerrunner :  definitely wouldn’t be something I’d like but I dated a guy in college and when his brother got married his entire family (even me! I’d been dating him for weeks at that point!) got together for a potluck after the bride and groom returned from their honeymoon and watched them open gifts.

Personally, I’d say no. But if your husband is very much “for” it I’d only open the physical gifts and leave the cards to open without an audience.  Otherwise, if he doesn’t feel strongly for her idea just say no. Your marriage, your gifts, your home, your time. You can just say no. Really.  You don’t even need to make a big deal of it ahead of time.. just cancel Sunday morning because you’re too tired from the wedding. Woops.


Post # 3
2755 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Is this a hill you want to die on? I’ve never heard of open the presents with family after, though bringing gifts to the reception isn’t unusual. 

This could be one of those occasions where it’s easiest just to say yes rather than dig your heels in. If you do agree I’d put Mother-In-Law in charge of gathering all gifts and taking them to your house after the reception. 

Post # 4
1860 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

Seriously it’s not that weird.  My parents and in laws both wanted to be with us when we opened presents. We didn’t open all our presents at once though. 

Post # 5
752 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I wouldn’t be surprised that when it comes to it, my mil will be the same. They open Christmas presents one by one passing them around and watch each other open them. It takes an hours. 

I find it really odd and incredibly uncomfortable for someone to watch me opening gifts. I would put my foot down and say no. 

Post # 6
5370 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

It isn’t something my family do but I don’t think it’s that weird. It seems unnecessary to make an issue of it though, is it really that annoying to just invite them over?

You sound pretty ungrateful that they plan on bring you wrapped gifts to your wedding, that’s a fairly normal occurrence.

Post # 7
109 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Not super unusual I think, we had wrapped gifts at the wedding and we opened everything the day after the wedding with both sides of the family present. It was more that they wanted to spend time with us but we had grandparents, parents and siblings around for it.

Post # 8
4522 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

stunnerrunner :  Usually every wedding I’ve been a part of has a get together (usually involving food and drink) with the family and bridal party the day after the wedding. sometimes it involves gift opening. I don’t personally see it as a big deal that your Future Mother-In-Law wants to be around for that. It is a custom for a lot of people to do that. 

Also you sound a bit rude to stick your nose up at physical gifts that people have taken the time to shop for and lugged to your wedding. The least you can do is be grateful that someone spent time and money to give you something to wish you well on the occasion of your marriage. If you have too many things that makes you ungrateful for physical gifts, maybe you should have let people know that gifts are not required and their presence on the day is enough.

Post # 9
2669 posts
Sugar bee

It sounds normal to me. I also don’t get your attitude towards wrapped gifts. What are you going to do with them? You’re going to unwrap them, thank the giver, and use the item (or return it if it’s something you won’t use).

Post # 10
124 posts
Blushing bee

stunnerrunner :  The “morning after family gift opening” is a huge thing where I live. It’s incredibly common, and I’m not a fan of it. Back in the day, when I got married the first time, I protested against this family “event”. But it wasn’t a hill to die on. Either let it happen and move on, or politely ask her not to join. 

Post # 11
216 posts
Helper bee

If it is something you are not comfortable doing, then don’t.  My former mother in law did this, and wrote down what everyone gave us–and made comments about whether is was more or less than what she had given at their weddings, their kid’s weddings, etc.  It was awful.  

Post # 12
1111 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

It’s very, very easy to say “no” or “that doesn’t work for us”. I don’t agree with PP’s. You don’t get one “hill to die on”. You may have 100 of them, if you want. If you don’t feel comfortable with something, simply say no. You are not a child and she doesn’t get to dictate what you and your husband do. 

Post # 13
1727 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I’ve never heard of anyone doing this before. It seems very odd to me. We had very few wrapped gifts at our wedding – most guests either gave a gift prior to the wedding, left a card, or sent something in the weeks after the wedding. So having people over to watch us open like 3 gifts would have been so silly. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable opening cards in front of people. 

Check with your FH to see if it’s something he wants to do. If it is, you might as well just do it (to the extent that you’re comfortable). If he isn’t too keen on the idea, he should tell his mom NO.  If it’s just that his family wants to spend time together, you can still do that without the performative gift opening. We went out to brunch with my and DH’s immediate family on the morning after our wedding. That was nice and we had no weird gift opening event. 

Post # 14
1974 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre

We opened our gifts with our families the day after our wedding but we didn’t open any cards until we were alone maybe you can compromise like that

Post # 15
7411 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

It’s not that weird. You can still say no, though. Or you can give her the job of keeping track of who gave you what, which is kind of a pain but some people get really into it. That’s useful for when you write your thank you cards.


PS givers should give whatever gift they want. Some social circles frown on gifts of cash. So those boxes gifts should be seen as generous and kind,  not an inconvenience.

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