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Etiquette

Unwrapped Presents at Bridal Shower?

So, my FMIL is hosting a shower for me soon.  I'm very grateful for this and it should be a fun time.  There's just one thing I'm not sure how to respond to.  My mom told me on her invite it said to please bring the presents unwrapped so everyone can see what they are.  Neither of us had ever heard of this before and my mom was kind of disappointed we wouldn't get to make a bow bouquet.  I didn't know about this beforehand, and I think I'll just leave the request alone.  So I guess I'm wondering 1) Has anyone ever heard of this before? and 2) What should I do if someone does bring their present wrapped?

Re: Unwrapped Presents at Bridal Shower?

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    So, my FMIL is hosting a shower for me soon.  I'm very grateful for this and it should be a fun time.  There's just one thing I'm not sure how to respond to.  My mom told me on her invite it said to please bring the presents unwrapped so everyone can see what they are.  Neither of us had ever heard of this before and my mom was kind of disappointed we wouldn't get to make a bow bouquet.  I didn't know about this beforehand, and I think I'll just leave the request alone.  So I guess I'm wondering 1) Has anyone ever heard of this before? and 2) What should I do if someone does bring their present wrapped?
    Unfortunately being on this forum I have heard a lot of things and this is one that is becoming popular.  I am not sure of the idea behind, maybe to cut down on the "opening presents" time but isn't that the entire point of a shower, to open presents?

    Anyway, I would just ignore the request because there isn't much that can be done about it now since the invites have already been mailed.  If someone does bring a wrapped gift then you thank them and open it.

  • larrygagalarrygaga Czechoslovakia member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    What the
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  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    A giant shower held in a public place is the only time I've heard of this by TK posters. Of course you open the gifts.
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    What an awkward request! I would feel so weird bringing an unwrapped present. But there's not much you can do about it now. If someone brings a wrapped gift just do what @Maggie0829 said, thank them and open it. That's what you would normally do at a shower anyway :)


  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited June 2014
    I never heard of this until I joined TK. It's called a 'display shower.' The gifts are brought unwrapped and set up on tables for the guests to look at. It rubs me the wrong way because it denies the bride the pleasure of opening the gifts and the guests the pleasure of being thanked verbally as their gifts are opened. I hope if anyone does bring a wrapped gift that the host doesn't snatch it away, unwrap it and place it on display. I've heard that is what happens to people who break the no gift wrap rule.

    What's next - having the guests address their own thank you notes? Oh, that's right, it's been done. 

    By the way, I'm sorry you had to learn about this practice on your own shower invitations. 
                       
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  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Did they assume you wanted a display shower, or did they ask you first?  Sounds like they assumed, and they assumed wrong.  I'd be horrified if I were you, especially if you were looking forward to opening your gifts.  I guess what's done is done now, and as the hosts they can choose to do as they wish for you, but they really should have consulted you on important things, like gift opening.  I'd totally be tempted to call the hosts and explain that I wanted to unwrap my own gifts and see if they could let guests know to wrap them, but on the other hand I think that might be rude and improper to ask. I'm sorry your hostesses put you in the middle of a rudely planned shower.  That totally sucks and I'd be embarrassed too. You didn't even get a chance to express a preference, or decline the shower.
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited June 2014
    I've unfortunately heard of this before. Don't like it.

  • ladyamanuetladyamanuet member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    edited June 2014
    I love wrapping and unwrapping presents, and honestly, unless it's a new car or refrigerator, I do not understand not wrapping a present. But maybe I'm weird.

    I'm an ever-so-slightly confrontational person - and if I were to bring a wrapped present and said wrapped present was taken by the hostess and unwrapped for display, and not unwrapped by the bride-to-be, I would promptly (and quietly) LOSE it on the host. For that reason, so as not to embarrass my friend the bride, I would likely bring a card to the shower - either with cash, or a note explaining her (wrapped) gift had been shipped to her home.

    Edited to fix paragraphs... stupid TK, and to ask:

    How does one attach a card to the present so you know who it is from if it is not wrapped? Just tape an envelope to the box? What if it's not in a box? This is all kinds of weird....
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  • I love unwrapping gifts too. And I'm a sucker for pretty paper. But... it seems like the purpose of unwrapped gifts could very well be an effort to be environmentally friendly, rather than simply to "display" the items? Seems like an okay idea to me if the same process of handing over the gift and looking at the card and then thanking the person happens.
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I feel like if it was done to be environmentally friendly, they'd have mentioned that on the invite. And even then I'd probably wrap it in newspaper.

    I'm sorry op, it was a bit awkward opening gifts in front of people like that, but display showers seem super awkward.
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  • slothiegalslothiegal The Sloth Farm member
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    1)  Wut?

    2)  Ick.
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  • Thanks, it sounds like I'm not alone in feeling a little weird about this. I don't think the hostess would unwrap a present herself if someone did bring one wrapped. However, I wouldn't have thought any host/hostess would have ever done that though. I'll keep an eye out for it and try to intercept if she does try to. If I had to guess I'd bet it was just done to save time. I just wanted to not make anyone feel uncomfortable for either wrapping or not wrapping their gift. Oh and I definitely would feel a bit awkward opening the presents. I thought that was part of the point:)
  • @scrunchythief Unfortunately, these are big where I live too.  I hate them.  They make me want to die.  And I think that the shower being thrown for me is going to end up being one.  Even though I have politely let the hostesses know that I do not like display showers, they are claiming that there will be too many people and no one wants to sit through that many presents.  While I understand that everyone doesn't care to watch, to me, that's pretty much the point of the shower.  

    I hope you still have a lovely time at your shower.
  • InkdancerInkdancer The Shire member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I love wrapping and unwrapping presents, and honestly, unless it's a new car or refrigerator, I do not understand not wrapping a present. But maybe I'm weird.

    I'm an ever-so-slightly confrontational person - and if I were to bring a wrapped present and said wrapped present was taken by the hostess and unwrapped for display, and not unwrapped by the bride-to-be, I would promptly (and quietly) LOSE it on the host. For that reason, so as not to embarrass my friend the bride, I would likely bring a card to the shower - either with cash, or a note explaining her (wrapped) gift had been shipped to her home.

    Edited to fix paragraphs... stupid TK, and to ask:

    How does one attach a card to the present so you know who it is from if it is not wrapped? Just tape an envelope to the box? What if it's not in a box? This is all kinds of weird....
    My parents wrapped a 60 inch TV for me, and a new bed frame for my brother. Any gift can be wrapped. And IMO, they should be!
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  • Presents are made to be unwrapped...it's anticlimactic not to wrap them...  booo


    I hope people wrap them anyway, I would.

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  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I've gone to one of these "display" showers. It was called a "green" shower I think. It was for someone I didn't even know (cousin's now wife). It was the longest drawn out shower. It was good to see some family members, but it was a long long shower, and presents were not even opened. Don't ask me what we did, it was a lot of sitting and chatting.
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  • I went to a shower last year where we were "instructed" to wrap the gifts in clear cellophane, and at the shower they were all put on a table for everyone to "ooh-and-ahh" over. Was very odd. However, there were about 75-ish guests at this shower, so perhaps the hosts thought the guests would get annoyed/tired at having to sit through so many gifts?

    either way, was still odd. 
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  • casey8784 said:
    I went to a shower last year where we were "instructed" to wrap the gifts in clear cellophane, and at the shower they were all put on a table for everyone to "ooh-and-ahh" over. Was very odd. However, there were about 75-ish guests at this shower, so perhaps the hosts thought the guests would get annoyed/tired at having to sit through so many gifts?

    either way, was still odd. 
    At that point why bother wrapping them?  I guess it could have been worse.  Though from reading other posts here, that seems to be a theme...

    I think it'll still be fun.  There'll be ice cream sundaes so it pretty much has to be.
    casey8784
  • I remember a few years ago some brides were asking about these "green" showers. Same over at the Bump. "I'm really into the environment and don't want to waste paper!" Well, that's great. Except guests can use newspapers. Or recycled wrapping paper. And so many people use gift bags these days, anyway, which are totally reusable. So then the brides/MTB started in with "But it takes so long to unwrap gifts..." Aha. The real reason comes out. You can't really hide behind "I'm in to the environment" when it's just not your real reason. I mean, you register for so much crap made out of plastic and whine about how you want a "green" shower? Knock that shit off.

    I think they just read these random ideas on sites like TK and want to jump on the trendy bandwagon without even considering the logistics or the real reasons.
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  • i know if i got invited to a shower like that i would still wrap the gift i know some other people in my family who would still wrap a gift..

    you will get a good amount of people who are old fashioned and like the gifts to be wrapped 
  • I attended a shower like this where it was mentioned that the bride liked the environment and to use cellophane...which is far worse than recycled paper or newspaper or bags, as mentioned.

    All of the gifts were on a table and people were "expected" to walk by and browse.  The shower was till 4+ hours long (don't ask). After being there for 3.5 hours, the bride started to open "some" gifts.  The gifts from the bridal party, her mother, MIL and some other "important" people were wrapped in paper and set aside for her to open. They were "big" gifts, and I guess intended to be showy.

    But, a friend of hers from college was sitting with me, and didn't see the part about "wrapping in cellophane." So, she used paper.  It got mixed in between the mom's gift and the bridal party gift. So, it was like "Alllll your china! 12 place settings, a tea pot, a sugar bowl, a veggie bowl, a serving platter."  And then, next gift: "a plastic cutting board."  Gift from your mom: "12 place settings of Tiffany silver in the pattern of your choosing!! Isn't that lovely?"

    The college friend at my table said she wanted to crawl into a hole and hide. She had no problem with the "level" of her gift, but didn't expect it to be "featured" amongst the other obvious wealth displays.  And, not for nothing, it totally made me (and I'm sure other guests) feel that the gifts are "tiered." As in, "yeh, sure, you gave a nice gift, but it doesn't need to be opened by the bride. It's not that great. Just put it on that table over there. The REALLY NICE STUFF will be opened after you have all been sitting there for 3.5 hours."

    Yikes.
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  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
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    I feel so terrible for the college friend. Omg.
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