FMIL wants to be there when we open presents

posted 1 year ago in Family
Post # 16
1278 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

My husband and I opened our cards alone the day after the wedding day and it felt right for us. We received 40 envelopes of cards/money and 1 wrapped picture frame. It would have felt odd pulling out money in front of everyone so they can see who gave how much.

Post # 17
1839 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

What’s the problem of just letting her watch? Not a battle I’d care to fight.  I think its kind of sweet actually. Assign her to bring breakfast and help with trash. 

Post # 18
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2018 - City, State

A friend of mine did this after hers. only person I know who got gifts though. church families. were moving in so very traditio am bed sheets and crockery stuff for their new life. 

Post # 19
409 posts
Helper bee

It’s not that weird. In my area, physical gifts for weddings are the norm, not something to be scoffed at. The married couple often gets together with immediate family members following the wedding to visit and open gifts and cards. While it certainly was rude of pp’s Mother-In-Law to be comparing gifts, it’s important to have somebody write down who gave what so you can write appropriate thank you notes.

In the end, it’s your wedding and your preference. If you don’t want to do it, just tell her no and that you’re opening them at home alone. But this isn’t just some bizarre thing she made up to make you uncomfortable. 

Post # 20
7639 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I have never heard of this being a thing. I don’t know anyone who opened their wedding gifts with an audience and I certainly didn’t. My Mother-In-Law asked us how much her friends gave us (so she could decide how much to give their kid at his wedding the next month) and we flatly refused to tell her. 

Post # 21
2014 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I would say no. 

The day after the wedding I felt like a bus hit me. I could barely move I was so tired. I woudln’t want to get presentable and then be cherry for people to come over to open gifts. 

Just say something like “I’m sorry, we would rather do that in private as I’m sure we will be tired the next day and would like to take time to recover”

Post # 22
3907 posts
Honey bee

stunnerrunner :  Argh. My husband’s family did the same thing, and they’re all about who gave what, very materialistic. We had a day wedding and reception (since I hate staying up late) and they wanted us to come over and open gifts that night. I told my father and he said, “sunburn, don’t you have something better to do on your wedding night?” Lol. So I told the in-laws it wasn’t happening. We opened them ourselves the next day and told his mother what people had given on a list. I found the whole concept of keeping score to be so distasteful, and I had to listen to Father-In-Law complain about how some people don’t know how much a wedding costs (and they should pay more). It was painful and it really highlighted the difference between our families. 

Post # 23
704 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012 - Iowa

This is common where I live, I was even invited as a bridesmaid to watch the couple open presents the next morning. My parents came to our house to watch/help us open gifts and it was fine, mom wrote down who gave what to make it easier to write thank you’s / less work for me.

Post # 26
3225 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

Maybe it’s a regional / cultural thing, but in my circles it is the norm to have brunch the next day with immediate family and open gifts. 

Post # 27
410 posts
Helper bee

We opened presents with my family the next day, I thought it was fun. I don’t really see it as a private moment between the couple, its pretty much just like a bridal shower.

Post # 28
506 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Hubby and I left for our honeymoon the day after our wedding, so my parents took our presents back to their house. They also picked us up from the airport afterwards, so we had a casual present-opening at their house and headed home the next day. It was fun, but we’re also super close with my parents. I absolutely would not have wanted to open presents the day after our wedding, as 1) I would be tired, 2) We would probably get pointed looks and snickers about “The wedding night”, and 3) HONEYMOON! But to each their own. If you don’t want to open presents the day after, just say you’ll be too tired afterwards and arrange for your bridal party to wrangle the presents.

Post # 29
906 posts
Busy bee

stunnerrunner :  The coming over to watch gift opening seems like a regional cultural thing and isn’t a hill to die on. I don’t see what’s so private about the whole thing. It’s gift… opening a toaster in front of your Mother-In-Law isn’t embarrassing. I’d have a gift table at the reception. 

Post # 30
3075 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2006

I think it would weigh heavily on the type of family dynamic I had. If I knew my Mother-In-Law would sit and make snarky comments or compare gift prices etc, I’d probably try to find a way out of it. Now, my mom on the other hand would make it enjoyable. Fix brunch, make the list for me as I opened stuff, recap the wedding, visit, etc. 

I don’t think it’s intrusive in the least, but I may not open cards in the presence of others. Then again, my family is pretty open and non-judgemental, so I may. Just depends on how I knew the experience would go based on everyone’s personalities. My Mother-In-Law would spend 30 minutes on each thing ooohhhing and aaaahhhhhing and discussing every detail so it would be exhausting. Christmas at their house consists of everyone sitting in a circle and opening presents one at a time and staring at the opener. No thank you. And she sits there til the very end with a pile on her lap and opens them slowly one by one without ripping the paper so she can reuse it. Omg it is maddening. 

I’d probably wait until a different day though because the day after the wedding I more than likely would want sleep. Lots and lots of sleep. Lol

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