Post # 1
Hi bees, just looking for some input.
I have a major issue with attention. I don’t like the whole “all eyes on me” aspect of anything. I get anxiety over my bitrthday which is why I don’t celebrate it because I don’t like things being about me. I much prefer focus and attention to be on someone else and I can just be there in the background.
Fiance and I were even going to elope because of this but are now having a traditional wedding (long story – and we have set conditions on certain things to make me more comfortable). Which brings me to a slight dilemma. My Maid/Matron of Honor has kindly offered to throw me a bridal shower. I love the idea of having an opportunity to spend time with all of my girls at one time. I’m just freaking out a little at the prospect of sitting there with everyone watching me opening gifts, waiting for my reactions. I even suggested simply calling it a “bridal brunch” so people don’t bring gifts and we could bypass that part of it altogether however my Maid/Matron of Honor and sisters are insisting people will want to bring gifts anyway and they say they think it should have the traditional “bridal shower” title.
So my question is this: Can you skip the gift opening portion of a bridal shower?
I will of course be sending out thank you notes right away and am also planning on personally phoning them to thank them for attending as well. Would it be rude if I just don’t open any gifts we may receive in front of the guests? I know with every shower I’ve attended, I always kind of found that part boring anyway. Plus I’d much rather spend that time catching up with everyone.
What do you all think? I’m open to all opinions. TIA!!
Post # 2
Short answer: no you can’t skip it.
Longer answer: the whole point of a shower is to “shower” the bride with gifts. So opening gifts is a major part of a shower. If you don’t want to do this, then it should be another type of event. The idea of having a bridal brunch is a good one. If your Maid/Matron of Honor isn’t ok with that, you can either have the shower and open presents or decline their offer of a party altogether.
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom
I have anxiety too, and I remember my stomach being all twisted in knots about my shower too. I got lucky and my infant niece was in attendance, so she took some of the spotlight off of me. DH’s godmother was REALLY good at running interferance while I was opening my gifts and made sure at least the conversations kept going so people weren’t staring at me in silence while I unwrapped things.
Post # 4
- Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club
I think many of the attendees might be disappointed that they do not get to see you open their gifts for you. I look forward to the bride to be to open my gift especially because I usually custom make things. So, I would say it may create a negative vibe if you skip it. Talk to your Maid/Matron of Honor, maybe she can plan and play a bridal shower game while opening gifts and that could take some of the spotlight off of you.
Post # 5
I once went to a bridal shower where the host (I assume on the behalf of the bride) asked guests to bring unwrapped gifts, or gifts in cellophane. I actually loved the idea and am considering it for my own bridal shower. The spotlight is off of you, but you still get to thank each guest for the generous gift. Plus, it leaves much more time for socializing and having fun.
Post # 6
I felt really un comfortable, but just did it.
You can always get your bridesmaids to half unwrap the gifts so it goes quicker and you just show the gift and thank the person.
Post # 7
I hate being the centre of attention and have had a fair bit of anxiety around wedding related things. However, my shower was lovely and I enjoyed it far more than I had anticipated. Its always awkward opening gifts infront of a room full of people, but hopefully they will be women that love you and support you and you will feel comfortable.
Post # 8
My sister wanted to skip this at her baby shower recently and honestly the only person who cared was my grandmother. She opened them a little bit later after the crowd had gone but with family and a few close friends still there. So really it’s up to you and your crowd. I know people say you have to but I really don’t think it’s an absolute must. Yeah the point is to shower you with gifts but that happens whether you open them or not. A lot of people want to see you open theirs but others will be glad to avoid having to sit though so many gifts so you will probably find guests on both sides of the fence.
Post # 9
Just do a bachelorette instead with all your girls.
Post # 10
- Wedding: October 2016 - Bloch Chapel
Did you do a registry? I ask because I think that made my shower easier. I didn’t feel like I needed to give these grand reactions because people already knew I wanted the gifts–I had asked for them! But I’m also having a small wedding, so it was just my mom, aunt, sister, and bridal attendants, and they all know I have this anxiety.
I always stress that I’m not giving people the reaction they want, but keep in mind you can elaborate all you want with the thank-you note.
What if you maybe open gifts as your guests arrive? That way each guest can watch you open their gift, and all the guests can view them later if they want. All eyes won’t be on you, but each guest can still feel appreciated.
Post # 11
YES YOU CAN SKIP IT. You’ll have a lot of other people telling you that you can’t, but know that this is a huge debate with people on both sides. There is an entire contingent of people who would be happy for you to skip opening the gifts, as they find it rather tedious and boring (myself included). I don’t need my gift to be opened in front of everyone and shown off – that’s not the point of a gift. I’m happy to get the bride something and eat and drink and socialize. Don’t need the whole gift opening spectacle (and I’ve been to MANY showers where the gift opening has been skipped – it’s becoming quite trendy to shift the focus off gift opening to socializing). So you do you.
Post # 12
Yes you need to do it. Its the least you can do for all those people who made the effort for you. Its not like everyone stops silently and stares. People keep mingling etc. If you dont want to have a shower you dont have to, but if you do you are obligated to bear the terrible burden of opening your presents 🙂
Post # 13
I didn’t have a wedding shower and was specific about not wanting one. However, if I would have been to have one / when I have a baby shower, I would take every guest aside when I’m opening their gift and open it in front of them as the rest of the guests partake in some game or activity. I don’t like the idea of comparison of who got what, and this seems like the best way to go around it.
Post # 14
I wouldn’t care, but it seems like people who are more traditional would. I also think it is important to personally thank everyone who gifted you something at the shower, and I’m not sure that a phone call would be as well-received (unless that person didn’t attend).
Here’s an idea that could work for you: You could ask guests not to wrap presents (this is usually done with the intent of being eco-friendly), and have your bridesmaids lay them out on tables for display. This way, your guests would be able to take time to admire the gifts between socializing if they chose to do so, but you wouldn’t have to make a big show of it. Your bridesmaids could create a list and help you figure out who brought what so that you would still be able to thank your guests in person, as you’re socializing with them.
Post # 15
Honestly, about half way through opening gifts, all the people who were there started talking to eachother, and only paid attention when I said gift was from person A.