Bridal Shower - does the bride have to open gifts?
Hi all,
I'm planning a bridal shower for my friend. She's going to be travelling from out of town to attend her shower. She has both a honeymoon registry and a regular store registry. She asked for us request that gifts be sent to her apartment because she can't carry a bunch of gifts onto a plane...

1) Does she need to open gifts at the shower? I know this is typically the custom, but how do you open a honeymoon registry gift?
2) Is it OK for me to put a note in the invitation that when purchasing gifts online to send it to the bride, rather than bringing it to the shower?

I didn't open gifts at my own bridal shower, so I think I have a biased opinion about this and want to get some more opinions/

Married: 07/31/2010
Reviews: 3
Posted On: Jan 10, 2011 at 4:02 PM • Vendors are allowed • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate1 like

14 Comments | Login or Signup to post a comment!

2d Bride ®
Married: 10/06/2009
Reviews: 12
Jan 10, 2011 at 4:05 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Typically, opening gifts is the main entertainment at a shower. You might want to call it something else (e.g., engagement party) if that is not going to happen.

Married: 08/20/2011
Reviews: 3
Jan 10, 2011 at 4:10 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I agree with 2d. The whole point of a shower is to open gifts and socialize. You can requests that gifts be "smaller than a breadbox" or something similar. I've been to showers where gifts were requested to be wrapped in a shoebox.

There are all sorts of cheesy things you can do to incorporate that into the invite.

Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 1
Jan 10, 2011 at 4:11 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
A friend of mine ran into this issue for her baby shower. She lived in CO, the shower was in VA. Her mother and aunt (who threw the shower) spread the info through word of mouth. They told everyone that she was VERY limited to what she could take on the plane.. So they suggested gift cards, money, or that they shipped any registry gifts directly to CO. It worked for the most part.. Some people still brought some outfits or other gifts that she either packed in her suit case, or her mom shipped it to her once she got back. As far as the honeymoon registry- I'm sure people will just give cards with money. So that should be easy.

Married: 05/06/2011
Reviews: 2
Jan 10, 2011 at 4:13 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Another idea- request gift cards only. My cousin did this when she flew back home for a shower. She didn't sit there and open the cards, but we ate, drank, and played shower games anyway.

Be careful if you request 'small presents'... b/c even those can be a hassle if there are a lot of them.

Married: 08/20/2011
Reviews: 3
Jan 10, 2011 at 4:20 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
The good thing with small presents is she can bring one additional suitcase and pack them all in it. The additional bag would be $25 to take on the plane.

As the shower hostess, I'd offer to cover the cost of shipping the gifts/the extra baggage fee to get her gifts home. The post office has flat rate shipping boxes that are pretty reasonable in price. UPS is actually cheaper for larger boxes.

You can request that people ship gifts, and bring a card with the print out of what was purchased if you really wish. But half the fun is actually opening the presents.

Married: 06/25/2011
Reviews: 6
Jan 10, 2011 at 4:30 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I have an idea!

How about, when you send the invitations to the guest, you ask that they be sent to her apartment... BUT that they also bring a cute card of some kind in an envelope to the shower itself that says what they got her on it. :) That way she can "open her gifts" at the shower, but not have to worry about flying home with anything more than the cards she was given.

Plus, it'll be really easy for her to remember who gave what, since it will be written on the cards along with the gift-giver's name.

Married: 06/25/2011
Reviews: 9
Jan 10, 2011 at 4:36 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I was in a similar situation as your friend for my shower. Some people mailed them to my apartment, others brought them to the shower, I unwrapped them at the shower, than packaged everything up, and became one of USPS's best customers. Between myself and FMIL we probably spent about $200 shipping everything to our home. Not ideal.
However, we also did Christmas while we were there, had it just been the shower, the shipping would have been less, as I would have been able to fit more into our cases. Still, as the airlines now charge for checked baggage, not ideal.

I really like Rachel's and Megan's idea of people just bringing a card.

It was fun unwrapping all the gifts though, some were handmade, or passed down through the family. I am pleased I was able to open those in front of people at the shower.

Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 1
Jan 10, 2011 at 4:36 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Rachel- Good idea! Some could maybe even give her pictures :) There was a guest at the shower I attended (from above) that gave her $100 but printed out a picture of the Burberry blanket she wanted to get her IF she was allowed to bring gifts lol

Married: 05/15/2011
Reviews: 1
Jan 10, 2011 at 11:21 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I really like Rachel's idea, but I love to make cards so I am more than a bit biased.

rock-n-roll bride
Married: 04/30/2011
Jan 11, 2011 at 12:43 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I have been to MANY showers like this where most people will purchase off the registry and send it directly to the bride. Printing out a picture is a good way to do this. I usually print up a little card, like a gift certificate to indicate what I have purchase and is waiting for them. Another way I have seen someone do this is to return the items to the store they were purchased in, get a receipt or "voucher" to repurchase in their home state. This depends on the store policy. The worst I have seen is that the tax difference had to be paid, but it was cheaper than mailing them back home. For the invitation, I would request whatever you decide to do. People will ignore it, but you will find that most do what you ask since technically they are still opening a gift.

Married: 10/30/2010
Reviews: 6
Jan 11, 2011 at 12:54 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I had a few people who printed out photos of their gift (because it wasn't here on time for the shower), and I also seen this done at a baby shower. All of them put the photo in a card.
Jan 11, 2011 at 8:57 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
The ritual of opening gifts is not only entertainment at a shower, it is a chance for the giver to be recognized and appreciation expressed. All those ohhs and ahhs are very gratifying for the people who have taken the time to select and wrap a gift and everyone deserves to have their generosity acknowledged. Requesting gift cards only is not in good taste, in my opinion. It's sort of like requesting money as a wedding gift. However, having the gift shipped to the home of the bride is a definite possibility. The idea of bringing a card with a photo of the gift to the party is great.

Married: 07/31/2010
Reviews: 3
Jan 11, 2011 at 9:17 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Thanks for all the feedback! I'm going to share this with the bride.

@rock-n-roll bride - do you know which stores give a re-purchase voucher?

Private User
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 5
Jan 11, 2011 at 9:35 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I've been to several showers at restaurants, and typically the brides didn't open gifts there. Usually they reserved a private room and we enjoyed a nice lunch and mimosas. The gifts were loaded up and taken home to opened.
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