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Etiquette

Asking guests not to wrap gifts for a shower

My mother and I attended a bridal shower this weekend for a cousin where the invite asked guests not to wrap presents. They used a poem that said something about putting ribbon on the gifts but not wrapping them because the bride wanted to mingle. I thought this was kind of rude (maybe because I love wrapping?) but my mom thought it was the perfect thing. She wants to do this for my shower now and doesn't think anything is wrong with the idea at all. I just wanted other people's opinions on this; am I overreacting? I don't want to make a big deal asking her not to do this if the general consensus is it's ok. 
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Re: Asking guests not to wrap gifts for a shower

  • edited September 2012
    It's not unheard of, I have been to many showers that request you wrap your gift in clear paper/cellophane. That is a pain in the butt, I'd rather not wrap at all.
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • I have never been a shower where this was requested. IMO, opening the gifts IS the point of a shower so I'd be kind of annoyed.
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    PrettyGirlLostmelbelleup
  • The only time a specific wrap job was asked for at a shower I attended was for recycled paper, not brand new wrapping paper. 
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  • I have heard of this before, but not witnessed it first hand.  I think if you are having a lot of people at a shower, it can allow the bride time to mingle.  But IMHO, I think the bride, should still open each card and thank the guest in person for the item they brought (in addition to the thank you card).  The one person I know who went to a shower like this said that the older generation did not like it because it took away the joy they saw on the brides face as she opened the gift that was carefully picked out and wrapped.

    If you want to open presents, then tell your mom you would rather not do what cousin Sally did.  Tell her you want to be surprised at what each guest gets for you.  Your mom should honor your wishes.
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • I think in general, the point of the shower is to watch the bride open the gifts people have bought, so I wouldn't appreciate an invitation where it asked my gift to be unwrapped.  To contradict myself however, I recently attended a shower where both the bride and groom have large families and since the shower was a joint one, there were about 120 guests (their wedding guest list is over 350).  Gift opening took a really really long time and you could tell several guests were getting bored and sick of it.  I think in that one particular instance I would have preferred to not watch the bride open all those gifts and have guests bring them unwrapped, but for showers of a smaller scale the bride should be opening her gifts.
  • I personally don't like it because it feels like the bride is saying bring me a gift but I can't be bothered to unwrap it.
    PrettyGirlLostmelbelleup
  • Bleh. Opening gifts is fun, and it gives you chance to say, "Oh! A blender! Thank you so much!" I like watching brides and new mothers open gifts at the shower.

    I think the exception would be if you have over 100 guests, though. Sometimes that can get a bit long, but if you have your MOH and a BM helping you, it can go faster than you think. I've been to small showers where it took forever to get through the gifts, and I've been to large showers where the gifts were opened (and thanked) at lightning speed.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Thanks ladies! My shower will definitely not be that big! I've already disagreed with my mom on a few things (she was thinking of inviting some people to the shower who were not invited to the wedding) and I just wanted to make sure I wasn't totally offbase with this. I feel like the point is to watch the bride open the presents too and I always kinda like seeing some of what she gets or when she is really surprised. I also felt it was a little weird to tell people what to do since I love wrapping gifts and I was kinda upset to just put a ribbon on a box. I have a lot of older aunts so I never thought about that aspect either.
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  • I've never heard of this, but my initial thought is that it's tacky. It's like saying "Please come bring me gifts, I don't even need them wrapped, I just want the gifts."

    I know the bride is passing it off like she wants to spend time mingling, but I just think its weird.

    After this went through my head, I did think of recycled paper, or a very earth-conscious bride, and I guess I could see that, but in those cases, I think Habs suggestion is better suited so it doesn't totally look like a gift grab.
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  • I can't imagine it bothering me one way or another as a guest to the shower, but I do think you should get what you want over what your mother wants on this one.

    Julie

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  • The only time I've ever heard of the bride not wanting the gifts to be wrapped is more for eco friendly reasons. 

    Not wanting to open gifts at a showers seems odd to me.
  • OP, I don't think it is tacky. I think it's a great idea and I wish my MOH did it. Unlike many brides, I am dreading opening up gifts with people staring and waiting for my reaction. Also, I think it is boring for people to have to sit through it- especially if there are a lot of people attending.
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  • In Response to Re: Asking guests not to wrap gifts for a shower:
    Bleh. Opening gifts is fun, and it gives you chance to say, "Oh! A blender! Thank you so much!" I like watching brides and new mothers open gifts at the shower. I think the exception would be if you have over 100 guests, though. Sometimes that can get a bit long, but if you have your MOH and a BM helping you, it can go faster than you think. I've been to small showers where it took forever to get through the gifts, and I've been to large showers where the gifts were opened (and thanked) at lightning speed.
    Posted by wrigleyville
    Do you go to many showers with over 100 guests? Because I would judge the hell out of that.

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  • I wouldn't do it.  I don't think it's polite to tell someone how to give you a gift, and I expect to see gift opening at a shower.  Even for eco-conscious brides, I think it's best left to the guest.  Several of my friends used alternative wrapping methods on their own (recycled calendar pictures, a kitchen towel). 

  • AlexaNPAlexaNP
    100 Comments
    member
    edited September 2012

    A lot of showers in my area are 100+ people, because generally all immediate family (grandmas, aunts, cousins) are invited from both the bride and groom's side, and when your mom and dad may both have 7-12 siblings, that adds up fast, and that would just be one side of the family.  Mine will be around 100 and that is only family and about 10 friends, most of whom live in my home town still or within a 10 min drive.  I think it depends regionally where you are from on how large or small showers are expected to be.

    EDIT: To answer OP, do what YOU want, if you want to be able to unwrap gifts at your shower, just tell your mom that you relaly enjoy it and would prefer that for your shower.  All the showers I ever went to (again they were very large) people unwrapped gifts and it didn't take too long, considering the number of gifts.  I think people go to a shower expecting you to open gifts.  If they would be that bored watching gift openings, they probably wouldn't attend.

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  • LoopysevenLoopyseven
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 5 Love Its
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    edited September 2012
    In Response to Re:Asking guests not to wrap gifts for a shower:
    I have never been a shower where this was requested. IMO, opening the gifts IS the point of a shower so I'd be kind of annoyed. Posted by achiduck
    This. I attended a wedding shower for a Greek friend. There were over 150 women there. Her wedding party helped prep the gifts and the unwrapping and stuff went pretty quickly even with that many people. I just dont see any need for this. It's almost as lazy as having guests pre address their own thank you envelope.
  • I think you can definitely do it if you would like to, but I personally think it leaches the fun out of the shower.

    Also, it turns the gift table from something pretty into some kind of gross showroom display of items.  Like a gameshow or something. 
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  • In Response to Re: Asking guests not to wrap gifts for a shower:
    OP, I don't think it is tacky. I think it's a great idea and I wish my MOH did it. Unlike many brides, I am dreading opening up gifts with people staring and waiting for my reaction. Also, I think it is boring for people to have to sit through it- especially if there are a lot of people attending.
    Posted by Leenie10

    If I can ask, then what are you planning on doing at your shower if you aren't going to open gifts. Yes, It's slightly nerve-racking, but the point, as PPs have said, is to shower the bride with gifts.
  • Meegles4Meegles4
    1000 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    edited September 2012
    In Response to Re:Asking guests not to wrap gifts for a shower:
    In Response to Re:Asking guests not to wrap gifts for a shower: This. I attended a wedding shower for a Greek friend. There were over 150 women there. Her wedding party helped prep the gifts and the unwrapping and stuff went pretty quickly even with that many people. I just dont see any need for this. It's almost as lazy as having guests pre address their own thank you envelope.
    Posted by Loopyseven
    Agree with Loopy. To answer J's question, I have been to a few showers of 100ish or slightly higher/lower. In our area, it's common to have a joint shower for both families and if it's a big Italian or Polish family, they tend to get large, especially when you add in friends of the bride.

    As Loopy said, in these cases I've seen the BMs begin unwrapping the gifts and opening the cards in preparation so that the bride just has to slide off the paper, ooh and ahh over the gift, and then pass it on to another BM who is organizing the opened gifts. I always felt that was a bit ridiculous too because it felt very much like an assembly line, but with large showers, it's probably the most efficient way and is still better than just asking guests not to wrap anything.

    To one of the posters who is nervous about having everyone watch her open presents: it's not that hard. It goes by quickly and presumably you're going to love everything if you've registered for the items. Most people stick to the registry and for the few that don't, I'm sure you can act excited (or perhaps be truly excited if it's a great gift!). Anxiety over opening gifts in front of people shouldn't give you an excuse to just tell the shower guests to bring the gifts unopened.
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  • BubbsNBubbsBubbsNBubbs
    100 Comments
    member
    edited September 2012
    I would prolly strain my retinas side-eyeing something like this!

    But I am the guest who at the last bridal shower I went to and they had guests fill out the thank you envelope, I didn't do it. I feel like if I am going to take the time to shop for a gift and attend a party in your honor...you can address my thank you envelope and you can sure as hell tear some pretty paper off that I spent the time and effort to cut and tape to said gift.

    FWIW....I am a great gift wrapper and really try to make gifts look nice with my wrap job. I am known even for matching the wrapping supplies to the event. It's a sickness. I know.
  • In Response to Re: Asking guests not to wrap gifts for a shower:
    OP, I don't think it is tacky. I think it's a great idea and I wish my MOH did it. Unlike many brides, I am dreading opening up gifts with people staring and waiting for my reaction. Also, I think it is boring for people to have to sit through it- especially if there are a lot of people attending.
    Posted by Leenie10
    Then you shouldn't be having a shower.  I know that sounds mean and I'm not saying it that way, but the entire point of a shower is to open presents.  This is like saying "I want to have a Super Bowl Party!  We will each nachos and drink beer, but we don't own a TV so we won't be watching the game." 
  • I guess maybe it's a cultural or social circle difference then, because in my experience, showers with huge guest lists are nothing but a gift grab.  Interesting, thanks for the responses guys.

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  • I just thought I'd throw this out there, but I hate watching people open gifts, so for my shower, I wanted to make this part of the day a little more exciting. We're doing bridal bingo during gift opening (my aunt's idea as she is my host). Everyone will be given a bingo card (and maybe the registry list) to fill out what gifts they THINK I will receive. Then as I open them, they mark their cards and try to get a bingo!!! Just a silly little game, but also a fun way to not only take some of the focus off of me, but also give the guests something to do while they wait for me to open gift after gift. Haha. Smile

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  • Joy, that's an excellent metaphor.

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    Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
  • In Response to Re: Asking guests not to wrap gifts for a shower:
    I just thought I'd throw this out there, but I hate watching people open gifts, so for my shower, I wanted to make this part of the day a little more exciting. We're doing bridal bingo during gift opening (my aunt's idea as she is my host). Everyone will be given a bingo card (and maybe the registry list) to fill out what gifts they THINK I will receive. Then as I open them, they mark their cards and try to get a bingo!!! Just a silly little game, but also a fun way to not only take some of the focus off of me, but also give the guests something to do while they wait for me to open gift after gift. Haha.
    Posted by lcatterton
    I love bingo at showers.  In fact, I like bingo in all forms as long as there are prizes! 
  • Gift bingo is the only bridal shower game I like.  It gives people something to do (and an incentive to sit through the gift opening, haha) and prizes are fun.

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    Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
  • At my sister's baby shower we also set a timer randomly and whatever present she was opening when the timer went off got a prize. I like the bingo idea too, I may have to float that out there. It's a weird situation, my MOH is my sister who is 21 and a full time student with a full time job and a baby. So she doesn't have a lot of time and my BM is in CA until May '13. So my mom is essentially planning my shower for them but shes not good and is asking for my help with planning and favors while still trying to keep it a suprise. Its also super early so my BM can attend when shes home in Dec or Jan. I'm not comfortable telling guests not wrap presents or to wrap them for that matter so I will try to let her know as nicely as possible. It will most likely be in the 50ish range. 
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  • In Response to Re: Asking guests not to wrap gifts for a shower:
    At my sister's baby shower we also set a timer randomly and whatever present she was opening when the timer went off got a prize. I like the bingo idea too, I may have to float that out there. It's a weird situation, my MOH is my sister who is 21 and a full time student with a full time job and a baby. So she doesn't have a lot of time and my BM is in CA until May '13. So my mom is essentially planning my shower for them but shes not good and is asking for my help with planning and favors while still trying to keep it a suprise. Its also super early so my BM can attend when shes home in Dec or Jan. I'm not comfortable telling guests not wrap presents or to wrap them for that matter so I will try to let her know as nicely as possible. It will most likely be in the 50ish range. 
    Posted by jessjunk88
    That's a neat idea too, I've never heard of that! I love shower games, but I'm like a little kid at heart. If you pull out any type of silly thing to do, I freak out! Haha. I will say I hate the toilet paper dress game and the baby poop/candy bar games, as I think they're just dumb!!! Haha. But, I do love me some bingo!!! BINGO!!!!!

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  • Joy2611Joy2611
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
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    edited September 2012
    In Response to Re: Asking guests not to wrap gifts for a shower:
    baby poop/candy bar games
    Posted by lcatterton
    I was at a shower where they melted the candy bars and made people eat it off of diapers.  My love of Hershey candy bars nose-dived.
  • Wow!!! That's terrible, I mean, it's bad enough to ask me to stick my nose in it to figure out what it is, but now you want me to eat smeared chocolate. I'll keep this in mind as what NOT to do if I ever have a baby shower. Haha.

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