FMIL wants to be there when we open presents

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 46
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1995

We opened presents the day after the wedding.  Both sets of parents were there, along with a few other family members that were still around.   I don’t think it’s an odd request from her.  

Post # 47
101 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

I can see why you would be uncomfortable about it. Not everyone likes or wants to open presents in front of an audience. I know my husband and I didn’t want an audience when we opened gifts mainly because my mother in law is the type who gets all frazzled when she sees someone gave her a better/ more expensive gift than she did. She’s nosey about gifts on holidays too. My parents didn’t ask because where I’m from that just doesn’t happen. I’ve never heard of it before this thread so I did think it was rather odd and invasive. But again, maybe this is a cultural/ regional thing. 

Post # 48
600 posts
Busy bee

I’ve never heard of this before but where I’m from almost everyone brings cash in a card, so it would be pretty strange to have an audience for opening them.

If you think she’s doing it just to be nosey or to compare what people give, I would have your fiancé tell her that you’re going to be opening the gifts privately. If she just wants to do it out of tradition, I would open the boxed gifts with her (not the cards).

Post # 49
7641 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

In our family, it’s the norm to have a brunch to open boxed gifts the day after the wedding. It’s also fairly normal for people to bring boxed gifts to the wedding. So no, I don’t think it’s unusual or nosey for her to ask about this unless you have other reasons for thinking this.

Post # 50
8240 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I wouldn’t have enjoyed this AT ALL. dh and I opened gifts privately the day after the wedding. 

FWIW mil did ask us how much so and so gave when they attended their kids wedding after ours. So they dont have to be there to be nosy!! They were absolutely wondering how much to give and I think gave the kids the exact amoutn their parents gave us lol. 

Post # 51
2701 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I don’t think it’s that odd of a request. We had a brunch the day after the wedding at my parents house and invited close friends and family to hang out and eat while we opened gifts (my brother did the same after his wedding). It was nice to have the family around and talk about the wedding and just hang out. If I recall correctly, we only opened boxed gifts and saved the cards for later. 

It was actually really nice to open the gifts with the person(s) who got us the gift (and I know my family enjoyed watching us open the gifts they got us). We got some really personal and unique and special gifts. For example, my grandmother gave us some beautiful champagne/punch crystal glasses that had been in the family for over 100 years. We also got a US flag from the cemetery where my grandfather is buried. 

Maybe your Mother-In-Law just wants to be there when you open her gift? If there’s other family that wants to get together it might be worth compromising on and just doing a small brunch and opening the boxed gifts. Or just have your Mother-In-Law over at a later time to open her gift and do the rest just you and your FH.

Also, FWIW, I don’t think keeping and sharing a list of who got you what is a super terrible idea. It’s a nice reference for when you and/or your Mother-In-Law are invited to a wedding of one of your guests. While gifts aren’t tit for tat, I personally like to at least make sure I’m in the same ball park as what someone else got me so as not to seem super cheap or over do it. Like if someone gave me $150 china set, I’m probably going to get them something equivalent and not like a $25 toaster or $500 vacuum. However, if your Mother-In-Law is extra judgy, then I might skip on passing along that information. 

Post # 52
753 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

My Future Mother-In-Law keeps insisting we have this, too. No one on my side has ever heard of or done this so I was pretty taken aback by the request. I said no and my FH agrees. I am not comfortable with it and I want it to be a special time for JUST us. I want to drink bubbly and giggle on our floor without a peanut gallery telling us what a wonderful gift every thing is. Just because people gave you gifts doesn’t mean you’re obligated to open them for them – it’s not a birthday party.

It is interesting how this does seem completely normal for some! My family and friends were completely horror stricken by the idea, LOL.

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