Registry and Gift Forum

display bridal shower

my mom and sister are throwing me a display shower where no one wraps the gifts....do  i still hold them up and read the card?
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Re: display bridal shower

  • I don't understand the point of this.  To me, it seems silly.  People come to showers to give the bride a gift, not plop a box on a table for everyone to ogle.  When I go to showers, I like to see the bride unwrap things and react to them.  This, to me, just seems like "yeah, yeah, skip the wrapping, just bring the loot."

    I'd talk to them and see if they would reconsider.
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  • I also didn't think your mom could throw the shower? I wouldn't like that, I think the unwrapping is fun.
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  • I also really don't understand the point of these. Ditto everything that Brie said.
  • I'd talk to them and see if they'd reconsider too.

    And if they don't, I'd honestly say, "I'm really not comfortable attending a party like this."


  • This is very common in my hometown, and I actually prefer it. I'm very shy, so sitting in a room with 20 or 30 sets of eyes on me while I open gifts is nervewracking - however, the gifts still come wrapped. The hostesses take the gifts when the guests arrive, open them in the back, and them put them out on display with the name cards. The bride and mothers are then free to mingle with everyone for the duration of the shower. But I agree with PP, your mother shouldn't be hosting a shower.
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Wow, this seems really tacky to me.  Having the WP unwrap the gifts in the back room?  If you aren't comfortable enough with a person to unwrap gifts in front of them, then you aren't close enough to them to invite them to your shower.  If you cannot be bothered to unwrap gifts, you should decline the shower and have a bridal tea instead.

    I agree that you really should ask them to reconsider. 

    About mothers hosting showers: according to traditional etiquette, it was improper for mothers or anyone in the immediate family to host the shower.  However, this has changed, since most brides are no longer dependant on their parents by the time they are married, it isn't universally a no-no anymore.  It depends on your circle. 
  • So let me get this straight. You invite people to a shower, they bring a wrapped gift for YOU and someone in your wedding party unwraps it? Really, you can't be bothered to open your own gifts??

    Then gifts get put out on display so everyone can stare at them???

  • I have never heard of this. So do they bring unwrapped gifts? Or someone unwraps them for you?
    If they are bringing unwrapped gifts I think this is a geat "green" shower! What a great way to save trees! Good for you.
  • Why is it green?  You're still getting people to spend money on items in packaging and they're presumably driving to get there.

    The ultimate way of being green is to decline a shower.  :-)

    (just playing devil's advocate)
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_display-bridal-shower?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:34Discussion:e8ec4c32-22e3-4e0b-a3ea-ccf0996b09b2Post:5c729805-3126-4974-ad39-8639139efa75">Re: display bridal shower</a>:
    [QUOTE]Why is it green?  You're still getting people to spend money on items in packaging and they're presumably driving to get there. The ultimate way of being green is to decline a shower.  :-) (just playing devil's advocate)
    Posted by banana468[/QUOTE]
     
    Reduce, reuse and recycle...in this case it would be "reduce". Not that there is no impact, but that there would be less. I think there are lots of ways to 'reduce' and still have a fairly traditional wedding, so I think this is a great idea!
  • Knot AnnieKnot Annie member
    100 Comments
    edited January 2010
    Thought I would reply because I'm starting to see these in NYC a lot lately. They seem to happen when a bride has a larger shower and the guests might not want to sit through all of the unwrapping. I must admit that I am grateful for this. I also have a lot of fun checking out the gifts on the table while mingling over drinks.  

    Just throwing in my experience.
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  • I've been to nothing but display bridal/baby showers for the past 3 years. They are very common in my circle. Put a little poem on the invite about not wrapping your gift something along the lines of.....Adorn your gift with only a ribbon or a bow, no wrapping paper please so your gift can show. Have a table set up where the gifts can be displayed, and have the guests put a tag with their name on the gift so everyone can see who brought what. Encourage the guests to walk around and look at what the guest of honor recieved. If your planning on having any lingerie gifts keep those wrapped for the bride to open to embarass her a litle.

    A display shower can be a relief when your guests list is long (50-70 people) And it gives you more time to spend with your friends and family, and guests have always been thankful to not have to sit around and ooh and aah over hand towels.

    If they are not common in your circle it is possible it won't be well recieived at first.
  • I've never heard of this type of shower, but it sounds fabulous!  Especially if you are having a large shower, or didn't love being the center of attention.  I'd rather spend my time at a shower mingling and talking with the guests than sitting in a circle and opening gifts.  And as a guest, I think it would be much more fun!
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  • I attended a bridal shower where the bride would greet the guest as they arrived and unwrap the present on the spot, then put it on the table with the others. This way the gift-giver had the satisfaction of seeing the reaction, the bride got to actually unwrap the gift (but not in front of eeeeveryone) and there was more time to mingle.

    As a guest I didn't think it was tacky at all... I was a little relieved I wouldn't have to sit through an hour of gathering wrapping paper, actually. Maybe this would work for you?

    (Also I don't really see anything wrong with your mom co-hosting the shower... and I don't know anyone that would care about that either.)
  • i think its really depends on the size of the shower.  i have been to small showers where the bride unwrapped each gift herself because there werent that many gifts.  Personally im having a very large shower (400ppl are being invited to the wedding) so i think we are going to have the bridesmaids unwrap the gifts and pass them to me with the cards.  It is to save time. It takes a long time to open all of the gifts, hold each one up, and say thank you.  otherwise, the whole shower would be me opening gifts and the guests would get bored watching me open every single gift.  I understand that you might feel uncomfortable but i think its kinda weird to not have them wrap the gifts. LIke the other person said, it would be almost as if you dont care who bought u the present just that u got stuff    Maybe instead of traditional wrapping paper you could have them wrap them in clear or colored plastic (the stuff ppl use for basket) this way u can see the gift but dont have to spend as much time opening each one. If ppl are nice enough to go and bring you a present then u should go through them to show that you appreciate the present. 
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_display-bridal-shower?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:34Discussion:e8ec4c32-22e3-4e0b-a3ea-ccf0996b09b2Post:f3de3d67-422a-4190-bf29-957d4e824e61">Re: display bridal shower</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't understand the point of this.  To me, it seems silly.  People come to showers to give the bride a gift, not plop a box on a table for everyone to ogle.  When I go to showers, I like to see the bride unwrap things and react to them.  This, to me, just seems like "yeah, yeah, skip the wrapping, just bring the loot." I'd talk to them and see if they would reconsider.
    Posted by Brie2010[/QUOTE]

    Wow, even Knot Annie is open to this concept- maybe you should take a lesson from her and be a little more accepting of other ideas.

    You really set an intolerant example for this board.
  • ode2slappyode2slappy in Slappy's happy little hut. member
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    Wow, in my circles, the mother of the bride always seems to host or cohost the shower.  Granted, all of the brides I can think of have been on their own before getting married... maybe that's why?  I don't know - we've had many friends that wanted to throw a shower for me, but my mother said that she was adment to them; that she wants the honor.

    Anyways, I've never heard of a 'display shower', sounds interesting.  If that's what's being done in your area, and you're comfortable with it, then go for it!
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  • I think in the case of large showers this could be a god-send.

    Some friends of my MIL hosted a very large shower for DH and I, and I for one would have been grateful it had been done in a display style instead. I walked into the shower, was greeted by a few people and then sat down on a couch and opened gifts from people I had never even met (we live a long way from his home town and it was my first time meeting people outside of his family) for 2 hours, while they all mixed and mingled and ate.  I was so busy opening gifts I did not get to meet any of them and only got to have cake at his parents' house later, when we opened the leftovers.

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  • Annie, I'm curious about this.  You mentioned that they're great for larger showers.

    The general etiquette rules i've seen hold that showers should be more intimate.  Do you know if larger showers are a NYC custom or if there's a cultural aspect to them?

    I know MIL has mentioned going to some where she didn't even know the bride all that well and that was so large, the guests had to hold up a sign just so she'd see who gave the item.

    But that sort of seems like it begins to detract from the idea of a shower being a more intimate gathering - unless of course this is something that's part of the cultural or social custom in the NYC area.


  • I recently went to a display shower.  Maybe it was just handled poorly, but it came accross as very tacky.  The bride walked in and headed straight for her gift table.  She squealed and fawned over some gifts while barely giving others a second look.  I was actually embarassed for her.

    This type of shower is not the norm in my family, so maybe we were just put off by something different.  But people are still talking about it months later, and not in a good way.  So if you do have a display shower, don't do it like that. 

    And this is just IMHO.  My mom is throwing my shower, so who am I to talk.  :-P
  • interesting.  I wasn't sure at first but after reading the explanantion would prefer this to the traditional sit down and everyone watch gifts be opened for hours.  I would much rather visit and mingke with the guests.  Seeing people is more important to me than gifts.  I wanted to have a no gift shower or make donations to a specific charity but my mom insisted on following the traditional play games, open gifts...  but i think the answer to your question is to display the gifts with cards, smile, thank everyone profusely.
  • Personally I would prefer my gifts be wrapped, but I am having a small shower and I want to have each present be an exciting thing to open. Not just ok "Heres another gift, and another, and another" It ruins the excitement for me.

    Also my mother will be throwing my shower, and I am getting really sick of hearing people say (on the knot, no one in real life has ever mentioned it)  that it is tacky. Seriously, I have not lived at home in 3 years, I own my own home, and if my mom is my best friend, then why the hell not. All this ettiquette stuff is really starting to drive me up the walls.
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  • I agree with the previous post (the part about her mom throwing a shower).  My mom threw my shower and I haven't lived at home in years.  It is so annoying to hear this ettiquette crap.  It is really no one's business why someone mother is throwing their shower.  My MIL did not offer to have a shower and my bridesmaids were already throwing my bachelorette party, family friends throwing my bridesmaid luncheon, and I have no aunts that live anywhere close to me.  So who is suppose to throw the shower?  Traditional etiquette went out the window years ago... and I am tired of people using that for an excuse.
  • Dancr, traditional etiquette didn't go out the window years ago.

    However perhaps there are certain elements of etiquette that are no longer followed. It used to be considered rude for a mother to say "Come buy my daughter presents," (the message she sends by hosting a shower) because it was also viewed as looking for other people to make up for her inadequacies.

    Now, that has relaxed a bit but it could still be perceived as inappropriate by some.


  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_display-bridal-shower?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:34Discussion:e8ec4c32-22e3-4e0b-a3ea-ccf0996b09b2Post:83017aac-fbde-411d-8d72-188b781adce8">Re: display bridal shower</a>:
    [QUOTE]I agree with the previous post (the part about her mom throwing a shower).  My mom threw my shower and I haven't lived at home in years.  It is so annoying to hear this ettiquette crap.  It is really no one's business why someone mother is throwing their shower.  My MIL did not offer to have a shower and my bridesmaids were already throwing my bachelorette party, family friends throwing my bridesmaid luncheon, and I have no aunts that live anywhere close to me.<strong>  So who is suppose to throw the shower?</strong>  Traditional etiquette went out the window years ago... and I am tired of people using that for an excuse.
    Posted by dancr214[/QUOTE]

    You do realize that you don't have to have a shower, right? You sound a bit entitled.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_registering-gifts_display-bridal-shower?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:34Discussion:e8ec4c32-22e3-4e0b-a3ea-ccf0996b09b2Post:eed41e9c-3515-4d9a-b696-2dc600d0e190">Re: display bridal shower</a>:
    [QUOTE]The general etiquette rules i've seen hold that showers should be more intimate. 
    Posted by banana468[/QUOTE]

    This.  I've always been taught that inviting more than about 30 people to a shower is really gift grabby. 
  • I did not mean for my post to sound entitled.  I just think it is ridiculous to say that even though my mom wanted to throw me a shower, that she can't because she is my mom and that I shouldn't be allowed to have a shower because my mom threw it.   It is not like I had multiple showers, I had one.  I was just trying to defend the fact that I think it is okay if your mom wants to throw you a shower.  Most posts before me said that it shouldn't be done, well if this person's mom and sister are throwing her a shower I don't think we should judge her, especially since that fact has nothing to do with her question about a display bridal shower. 
  • When you have a come and go shower, it is typical (at least in my city) for the hostesses to unwrap the gifts and display them with the name cards.  That is because guests will COME AND GO during the two hour span which doesn't allow a time for all the guests to watch the bride unwrap the gifts.  Come and go showers are so much better than having to sit in a room and watch the bride be subjected to stupid games and unwrap five million gifts.  SO boring!!!

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  • I LOVE these showers and all of my friends other girls I know think they are a great idea too.  My group prefers enjoying a conversation and more of a party atmosphere than all the unwrapping and games, which get boring when you have as many showers as we do to go to. Unfortunately, the problem comes in with older guests, many of whom still prefer the traditional shower idea and like to see their present opened. I would love this kind of shower, but my mom nixed the idea, based on the large number of older relatives I will invite.
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  • I live in NYC and went to a shower like this last year. Everyone just put a bow on the box and then their was a display table. I LOVED this idea because honestly their is nothing worse then sitting there and watching someone open a million gifts for 3 hours. No one seemed to think it was tacky at all. However what i did think was horribly tacky was that on the thank you card for the shower she just wrote "thank you for your gift" not even stating what you got her or if she liked it or not. I think if your  not gonna open your gifts at the shower then you should spend some extra time on your thank you's and write a personalized message for each gift. 

    also, for every bridal shower i have ever been to the mother of the bride has always thrown the party. Bridal showers are big deals where i am from and most of the time its the mother who can really afford to throw such a nice party.

    I hope whatever you do you have a wonderful bridal shower!
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