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Dedicated October 2018

Not opening gifts at bridal shower

Kylie, on April 24, 2018 at 9:54 AM Posted in Parties and Events 0 24

Hi all! So I know the tradition is to open gifts at your bridal shower. Personally I get anxiety opening gifts from people in front of them. I feel like my reactions are so fake even if I really like the gift and the whole situation is uncomfortable. I have decided I don't want to do that at my shower. I don't really care if anyone brings me gifts anyway because I feel like the shower is time to really mingle and talk with guests because I know the wedding will be so busy.

So I have a few questions. Do I put something on the invitations stating that there will only be games and food? (Like come celebrate with the bride instead of shower the bride with gifts) What should the order of the party be like? I'm all for games, but is that enough to keep the guests happy? (P.S. there will probably be around 75 guests) Also, brides who have forgone opening gifts, were people disappointed? Thanks!


Latest activity by Paige, on June 9, 2020 at 4:03 AM
  • Mrs. Sponge
    Master April 2018
    Mrs. Sponge ·
    • Flag

    It's so rude to not open gifts at a shower. The whole point of a shower is to shower the bride with gifts. If you can't be bothered to open the gifts people have brought you don't have a shower. I hate it too, but when I was thrown a baby shower I opened my gifts in front of the people kind enough to bring me gifts to start my life with my new baby.

    • Reply
  • Mrs. Fall Bride
    Master October 2016
    Mrs. Fall Bride ·
    • Flag

    "I don't really care if anyone brings me gifts anyway because I feel like the shower is time to really mingle and talk with guests because I know the wedding will be so busy."

    Actually, no. The purpose of a shower is gifts, as in shower the bride with gifts. So if you're not going to open them, don't have a shower. Or cancel your registry, put "no gifts, please" on the invitations, and call it a bridal luncheon or something. But a shower means receiving and opening gifts, IMO.

    • Reply
  • MrsV1027
    Master October 2018
    MrsV1027 ·
    • Flag

    I have never been to a shower where the gifts were not opened there. I hate being the center of attention so at my baby shower I opened the gifts with the dad next to me to try to alleviate some of the pressure from me. Maybe your FH can be there to help you?

    I have been to one though that was really odd the way they did it. The bridal party opened the presents for her and then passed them to her. It was so awkward. So whatever you do please don't do that lol

    • Reply
  • Pegs
    VIP July 2018
    Pegs ·
    • Flag

    You truly should open them. I had the same mentality as you but realized that the purpose of having one is so that everyone can cherish you and "shower" you with gifts.

    My shower was this past Saturday. Everyone wanted me to open them so I did. It really wasn't bad at all. Just make sure you have someone helping you -

    1. One person should be writing down the names and gifts so that you can send thank you notes.

    2. One person should be handing you the presents.

    2. One person should be throwing away the trash (wrapping paper, ribbons, etc.)

    Trust me - everyone would love it! Don't feel the need to be "fake". Just say thanks, and smile!

    • Reply
  • PBiazinha
    VIP May 2018
    PBiazinha ·
    • Flag

    My shower was last Sunday and I am still so super happy for everything that happened! I have anxiety too but the room was filled with people I love and that know me. So they knew I was anxious and yet once I mingled and took the time to talk to everyone I got so relaxed that opening gifts was super fun! If you absolutely don't want to open gifts don't have a shower - some people ask for unwrapped gifts, which could be an option for you if you want to go hybrid. I am not sure about the logistics of it I just know it's becoming more common.

    • Reply
  • Allie
    Expert April 2019
    Allie ·
    • Flag
    TBH i feel bridal showers are dated traditions and are really only “necessary” in times when the couple is extremely young. I too find opening gifts in front of people awkward and my friends don’t want to watch me do that for 45 minutes.. but the aunties and the mamas do.
    • Reply
  • magnolia5
    VIP June 2019
    magnolia5 ·
    • Flag
    I would open the gifts. If you don't want to open gifts, I would suggest having a bridal luncheon without gifts.
    • Reply
  • KarenO
    Master June 2018
    KarenO ·
    • Flag

    My shower was last weekend and, honestly, for most of the time people were talking and mingling and barely paying attention to me opening gifts. I had to try really hard to get some people's attention just to say thanks. I'm very self-conscious, and it was overwhelming overall, but my bridesmaids helped keep me on track and moving quickly through the gifts.

    I was also going to suggest asking for unwrapped gifts as possibly a compromise.

    • Reply
  • C
    Devoted September 2020
    Caitlin ·
    • Flag
    My cousin also gets severe social anxiety about opening gifts in front of other people. She almost didn’t show up to her last bridal shower because of it. I promised her that if she ever gets remarried I’ll asked people to bring unwrapped gifts so that they can just be displayed on a table and she can thank everyone/people can see them, but she doesn’t have to go through the actual opening. Would this work for you? It’s also more eco-friendly!
    • Reply
  • T
    Savvy July 2018
    Talia ·
    • Flag
    I went to a baby shower where my friend didn’t open any gifts. She lives in California with her husband and they had their shower home in New England where all their family and friends are. They requested any gifts be mailed directly to their home in California because they couldn’t fly home with all the gifts. People still brought envelopes with gift cards, pictures/ receipts with what they bought, and well wishes. It was implied on the invite that since everything was being mailed to their home she would not be opening any gifts, but when the official announcement was made that she wasn’t opening gifts, people just started leaving.
    I think it’s up to you at this point. I didn’t feel like it was rude considering their circumstances and I understand yours as well. Mental illness sucks and it’s not just a matter of “sucking it up” or “dealing with it”. It takes time and it doesn’t happen overnight (I work in mental health). But I did hear a few comments on people on the way out of that shower who said things like “well then what did we even come for?” And “well that was pointless”. I think it’s up to you and if you want to risk having a potential reaction like that.
    • Reply
  • Jennifer
    Master September 2018
    Jennifer ·
    • Flag

    I have not been to one shower in the last 2 years that the bride opened gifts in front of everyone, in our circle the host puts on the invite, please bring a gift wrapped in clear wrapping or ship the gift directly to the bride/grooms home. I don't think it is rude at all, then again, I don't get offended by much & I love not having to sit there and watch someone open gifts for an hour.

    • Reply
  • Amy
    Savvy April 2018
    Amy ·
    • Flag
    I have been to a few display showers, where attendees brought gifts unwrapped. I was a little uncertain about it at first but I loved it because we had time to talk and have fun with the bride instead of watching her open gifts for hours on end (both were large showers, so it would have been hours). I’m not sure if the etiquette around a display shower, but as a guest, I very much preferred the display shower!
    • Reply
  • A
    Devoted October 2018
    Ashley ·
    • Flag
    I am opting for a display shower myself. There is stuff on Pinterest that can help with the wording for the invites. With the number of guests that will be at the shower it would take a lifetime to open all that, lol! So like it was mentioned a display shower might not be a bad idea for you.
    • Reply
  • MrsDamico
    Expert April 2018
    MrsDamico ·
    • Flag

    I truly didnt want to and was very nervous about it, but tbh as i opened them it wasn't that bad and half the people were in conversation not paying much attention.. It's only going to be as terrible as you make it.

    • Reply
  • Elizabeth
    Expert April 2018
    Elizabeth ·
    • Flag

    As a guest I like watching my gift being opened. That's actually my favorite part of Christmas, seeing their face when they open the gift I picked for them. I will say at my shower while I opened gifts everyone was still mingling with each other. So it wasn't silent with all eyes on me. Then I opened a gift and people are like "omg I want an instapot" or "I love my instapot you will love yours". Just don't linger. If someone hands you a gift just casually open it. People will be talking to each other about the last gift and then be like "oh what's this one?" and you'll already have it open.

    • Reply
  • Claire
    Dedicated May 2018
    Claire ·
    • Flag

    I would open the gifts or specify no gifts in your invite beforehand. I had a lot of anxiety about opening gifts in my bridal shower, but it turned out okay - I was just so overwhelmed by the generosity that I teared up a few times. It helped that I had a mimosa beforehand!

    • Reply
  • dancingwiththekumars
    Expert May 2018
    dancingwiththekumars ·
    • Flag

    The guests really want you to open gifts. I don't like being the center of attention that way, so my shower felt weird lol. But I just put that aside because my sister & girlfriends went above and beyond to throw me a shower.

    Even if you have to fake it, they will love to see you open the gifts they got for you. We played a few games, but their fav part was seeing me open my gifts. I had a lingerie-gift only (females only) shower.

    • Reply
  • caitlin
    Super May 2017
    caitlin ·
    • Flag

    I've always got the UO on this one but i think it's fine not to open gifts. like you i have serious anxiety and also didn't want my friends and family to feel like they had to buy us multiple gifts so we made gifts optional for my shower and our couples shower. they were each wine/cocktail themed so the hosts gave people the option of buying us a bottle of wine or something for our home bar rather than a gift. the focus of the events was on hanging out, seeing people, doing a wine tasting, etc, rather than on the gifts. i'll also say that in my social and family circles it's not common to open gifts at showers so this informs my opinions about it--i just haven't seen gift opening done that many times so i felt comfortable asking not to have to do it myself (and the hosts of both events asked us whether we wanted to do it or not). be sure you acknowledge your guests' generosity during a thank you toast or speech and in individual conversations and don't forget to write your thank you notes.

    • Reply
  • Karma
    Devoted April 2018
    Karma ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Exactly this!!! Your guests want to see your excitement opening their gift to you!!! Rude!!!
    • Reply
  • Rachel
    Super May 2018
    Rachel ·
    • Flag

    I think you should open your gifts, but you don't have to make a huge to-do about it. Like don't have everybody circle around you, don't turn off the music or hush people. Just make an announcement that you'll open gifts, and quietly do it. As you open each gift, just say thank you, tell a little bit about why you're excited to have that/use it in the future, and then move on. It doesn't need to be a big spectacle.

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