FMIL wants to be there when we open presents

posted 1 year ago in Family
Post # 31
7638 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

stunnerrunner :  people shouldn’t be bringing large wrapped gifts to the reception – that’s pretty inconsiderate and they should be shipped to the couple so they don’t have to try and deal with all that stuff on their wedding night. The hotel let one of our guests leave their gift in our hotel room to find later that night at 1am. It was a vacuum. Taking up half of the available floor space in the hotel room. While it is a lovely vacuum we were kind of like “wtf do we do with this now?!” and it was a pain in the ass to maneuver around especially as we were trying to get me out of my giant dress!

Post # 32
6535 posts
Bee Keeper

I didn’t do this but my sister did–it’s the norm with her ILs to have brunch the next day and open gifts (but not cards). It’s not that uncommon. In some circles there was a time when it was even common to display the gifts received for visitors to ooh and aah over. Watch some old movies…

Talk to your F I and make a decision together based upon how much you really don’t want to do this vs how hurt your F M I L will be if you don’t and go from there. 


Post # 36
166 posts
Blushing bee

Apparently I’m in the minority here, but I find this really weird lol. Maybe it is a regional thing, because none of my married friends have done this. I’ve never heard of anyone doing this. I just think it’s kind of strange … like, the gifts are for you as a couple, why do your families need to be present? But I also am looking at this through my own lens, and I have a Future Mother-In-Law who feels very entitled to be part of “couple” things and thinks she belongs everywhere in our relationship haha. So I could totally see her pushing for this and feeling entitled to be part of our gift opening as if the gifts were for all 3 of us haha. She doesn’t have boundaries. I guess if I had a normal Mother-In-Law maybe I wouldn’t think this was as weird of a request, but I’d still say no. But I’m also someone who’s very big on boundaries, privacy and personal space, and I like to keep lots of things just between Fiance and I. I don’t feel a need to include our families in things that have nothing to do with them usually. But to each his own. 

I don’t find it weird that people would bring wrapped gifts to a wedding though. Most people bring cards, but every wedding I’ve been to there have been a small table of wrapped gifts also. 

Post # 37
3075 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2006

stunnerrunner :  Then id either try to minimize it or eliminate it. Minimize/compromise might be easier, especially if your Mother-In-Law is pushy. You don’t want your marriage to start that way. Lol. You’ve got her for a lifetime unfortunately. Ugh….

id probably suck it up and do it, just no cards. 

Post # 38
2917 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

stunnerrunner :  What does your husband want to do? I think it’s weird but I’d probably go along with it if it was important to them since it doesn’t sound terribly inconvenient. Maybe only open the large/physical gifts and save the cards to open alone together?

Post # 40
1920 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

stunnerrunner :  Receiving wrapped gifts at a wedding is not uncommon. Usually the Maid/Matron of Honor, MOB, or Grooms famiy will collect the gifts and take them to the Brides/Grooms house. I would keep any cards with you two though. 

As for the Mother-In-Law wanting to come over to unwrap the gifts… yeah, that’s a bit odd. Especially the day after the wedding. This day should be alone time for you two. We didn’t even get to opening the gifts tiil after we returned from our two week long honeymoon. 

When are you leaving for your honeymoon? Maybe delay the gift opening till you return then have his family over for lunch and gift openeing..? Yes, it is still odd but this way it is a compromise. Have your Maid/Matron of Honor drop the gift off at your house till then. OR if you decide to go with the day after the wedding have Mother-In-Law collect all the gifts at the wedding, except the cards, and bring them with her. 

** Just read your update on your husbands opinion. Since this is a boundries issues, he needs to tell his mother no. 

Post # 41
1921 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I totally understand OP. I enjoyed opening gifts with just my husband. The majority of our registry gifts were shipped directly to us; we opened them immediately to be able to write thank you notes. However, after we returned for our honeymoon, we went to my parent’s house to get the gifts that my parents transported home after the reception, and they wanted to watch us open gifts. We ended up opening them there. My parents really enjoyed seeing what we had gotten from family members. I’m not sure of the etiquette of it, really. It didn’t make me uncomfortable because it was my parents. It did appear to make my husband uncomfortable. For some reason your situation feels different because your Future Mother-In-Law is actively planning to ensure she gets to see you open gifts. I don’t know why, but that feels different to me.

I would try to politely decline, but though I understand your reluctance and hesitation, I agree with PPs that I wouldn’t make this a hill to die on if your Future Mother-In-Law continues to insist. If your husband is not against it, and it’s important to your Future Mother-In-Law, I would probably allow her to visit and watch.

Post # 42
9607 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

stunnerrunner :  if he says f no it’s f no.

Done and done.

Post # 43
6092 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

Other people might be familiar with this practice but what really matters is if you are willing to do it. That’s all. I agree with those saying it can be helpful to have someone take notes on who gave you what but you WILL have an adult human male present, who is also a recipient of those gifts. His mother isn’t really necessary to the gift opening process.

I wouldn’t want to get dressed and host anyone for anything the day after my wedding. So I would just tell her no.

Post # 44
11963 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

You don’t have to agree to opening gifts in front of them and personally, I wouldn’t. But I don’t think it’s so very unreasonable to share with them what their relatives gave. Whether it’s strictly speaking right or wrong, a lot of people like to reciprocate in the future with nieces, nephews etc. 

That said, it’s your prerogative, and if H has boundary issues with his parents, I would not choose to indulge them on principle. 

Post # 45
8261 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

lindsayE :  

I just want to say that this I”’ve never heard of anyone doing this before. It seems very odd to me”  is not terribly culturally sensitive  is it ? Just because you don’t do it  in your neck of the woods doesn’t make it ‘odd’ 

stunnerrunner :  

‘Literally bringing large wrapped gifts’ . You make it sound like it’s some awful imposition they are placing on you …………..I hope you don’t display your disdain to them on the day. 

I have to say , (in a  disapproving dowager kind  of way , think Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey)   that  both of you sound rather intolerant and parochial . Perhaps you aren’t irl as OP at least seems sensitive   to the amount of the card money anyway .  And as OP’s fi is against  let him tell his mum gently and  firmly that  it’s a  tradition you don’t want to  follow,  like garter toss or whatever.  

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