(Closed) Not Opening Gifts at Shower

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: As a guest, how would you feel if your gift wasn't opened.

    Hurt. I like to be thanked right then and there.

    Whatever. Showers are boring either way.

    Psyched. We don't have to sit through an hour of unwrapping presents? Thank goodness.

    Other, please explain.

  • Post # 17
    7384 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Bleh, I hate the opening gift part, as a guest AND will hate it as a bride. I posted in another thread earlier about my hatred for opening gifts in front of others, and I really hate watching people open a million gifts. Boring and awkward.

    Post # 19
    561 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    @route507too:  Do the display shower and have a basket for the cards. If someone is giving you a card with their gift, they’ll tape it somewhere to the gift.

    Post # 20
    23 posts
    • Wedding: May 2013

     Our shower is this Saturday. There was some polite wording, on an attachment to the invitation, to the effect that if you would care to bring a gift to the bride, please do not wrap it. The shower is being held in a private club (80 people) and we don’t want to end up with bags and bags of wrapping paper waste. Instead, the bride will read the card/gift tag and announce who gave the gift, ask the giver to stand, so they’re introduced to the guests. They’ll also hear a little bio, so the other ladies will know how they’re connected to the bride/groom/their parents. We hope this will be interesting and then the ladies will know enought about each other to help with conversation at the wedding.

    Post # 21
    232 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    You could “go green” and ask that people don’t wrap their gifts.  Display them on a table with their cards on top so that others can see what you got, but you don’t have to go through the arduous process of opening them.

    Post # 22
    1125 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Hmmm while I wouldn’t care either way, I think some feel this is the point of a shower??? Isn’t it the reason showers exist in the first place? Traditionally guests were to bring gifts to the shower for the bride going to a new home into a new relationship and gifts weren’t really meant for the wedding…I don’t know if that’s 100% accurate but I believe that’s why they were ‘invented’ in the first place. Maybe that’s why people would get upset at not opening them? Like maybe you were being gift grabby but didn’t have the decency to open it and show everyone what was gifted?

    Post # 23
    3479 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

    and the “display” gift idea is eco-friendly!!

    Post # 24
    493 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    i voted psyched to not have to sit there….

    however, i think it’s kind of weird to not open them at a shower.

    having a gift opening for your WEDDING gifts however, who cares.

    Post # 25
    1727 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @route507too:  I asked the older invited guests and my closest friends what they thought. While the younger people were more OK with it there were only a couple who actually thought it was a good idea. Most said they would be dissapointed. So it was not really an age thing. 

    I too find the gift opening piece really borring. And I hated being in the spotlight. 

    Post # 26
    3389 posts
    Sugar bee

    Actually I love to see the gifts opened, then they get passed around for everyone to hold and see up close. Anyways, that’s how it works in my family!

    Post # 27
    1082 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I wouldn’t be hurt, I would just be … confused. The gift opening is the point of a shower, IMO.

    Yeah, it might get boring after awhile, but every guest does want to see you open their gift. And it’s nice to see the bride’s reaction.

    I’ve never been to a shower where the gifts weren’t opened. I’m not sure why anyone would NOT want to open the gifts … (scratches head)





    Post # 28
    580 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    I think it’s kind of rude. I put a lot of thought into the gift and so did all of the other guests. We want to share in the excitement; in your “moment”. It’s part of the shower, right??? 

    Post # 29
    1875 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    The whole point of the shower is to give the bride and groom gifts.  I think it would be rude and weird not to open them and thank the guest at the shower.  A display shower could work, but to me it seems like a cop-out.  People do put some time and thought into your gifts and do appreciate it when you ooooh and awwww over it in front of everyone.  And with a display shower, I feel that would get lost.

    Having said all of that, I do understand that gift opening can get boring.  So why not make a game out of it?  I co-hosted a shower and we played bingo during the gift opening.  I made a bunch of cards and filled in the squares with stuff from her registry and other common gifts and the winner got a gift.

    Post # 30
    131 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I’m marrying into a Chinese family, and I love the way they do gift giving – you recieve the gift, say thank you, and open it later.


    I specifically indicated to my Mom that I just wanted to have a “drop-in” high tea with my lady family members and friends.  I hate sitting there and having to address each person directly and say thank you for the gift.  


    Personally, I’d rather have the opportunity to sit for a while and put my thank you in to words that have been thought out and really convey how I feel so it isn’t rushed 🙂

    Post # 31
    8066 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    A shower is usually meant to give gifts, so I would expect you to open them there.  That’s part of the fun.  It’s the same thing with a baby shower…who expects there to be no gifts at a baby shower?? Not many.  And that’s part of the fun too, looking at the cute baby stuff!  People’s reactions are fun!

    You might not enjoy opening the gifts, but I think you should take your guests into consideration.  It’s one day of your life.  I think the display gift thing is actually more boring than watching someone open them.  At least we get to how the bride reacts!

    If you don’t want to do that I would suggest specifically informing everyone that there are to be no gifts.  That way you don’t have to deal with it at all.

    It can get boring, so you should make a game out of it.  I’ve seen the Bridesmaid or Best Man write down comments the bride says about gifts and then they read them out at the end as things that the bride will say on the wedding night.  Find a way to make it fun.

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