Author Topic: Gifts Unwrapped?  (Read 3742 times)

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CLE_Girl

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Re: Gifts Unwrapped?
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2013, 11:55:40 AM »
I would have preferred this over what happened at a cousin bridal shower. 

Since the shower was so large, the gift unwrapping became an assembly line with 1 bride's maid cutting the ribbon, 1 opening the card and discarding the envelope, 1 unwrapping the gift and throwing out the paper, and a 4th handing the bride the now open gift and card to ooh and ahh over before (quickly!) moving on. 

I'd rather have brought the gift unwrapped then spend the time and money on wrapping that won't be seen by the recipient.

JenJay

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Re: Gifts Unwrapped?
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2013, 12:01:48 PM »
I would have preferred this over what happened at a cousin bridal shower. 

Since the shower was so large, the gift unwrapping became an assembly line with 1 bride's maid cutting the ribbon, 1 opening the card and discarding the envelope, 1 unwrapping the gift and throwing out the paper, and a 4th handing the bride the now open gift and card to ooh and ahh over before (quickly!) moving on. 

I'd rather have brought the gift unwrapped then spend the time and money on wrapping that won't be seen by the recipient.

No kidding! And I'm sure you would have enjoyed socializing more than sitting and watching that conveyor belt for an hour.  :P

SingActDance

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Re: Gifts Unwrapped?
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2013, 12:45:30 PM »
We do this in the South. It's usually called a bridal tea. The gifts are displayed around the house with the card, people can come and go as they please and the bride has more time to socialize with her guests. This makes so much sense to me, especially for weddings where a registry is involved. It's not like there's a true element of "surprise" that would require wrapping.

If you're the type of person who loves seeing the bride's reaction to opening her present or you've made something personal, perhaps arrange a time to have brunch with her and give her the gift then.
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ddawn23

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Re: Gifts Unwrapped?
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2013, 01:00:54 PM »
CLE_Girl's assembly line shower notwithstanding, I'd hate to see the opening of the gifts go because I enjoy the traditional ribbing of the bride each time she breaks a ribbon.  It would also mean the end of the bow bouquet at the rehearsal.  Etiquette-wise I don't see anything wrong with a wrapping paperless shower, but darn it I'm a gal who likes silly old traditions.

TootsNYC

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Re: Gifts Unwrapped?
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2013, 01:13:17 PM »
I would have preferred this over what happened at a cousin bridal shower. 

Since the shower was so large, the gift unwrapping became an assembly line with 1 bride's maid cutting the ribbon, 1 opening the card and discarding the envelope, 1 unwrapping the gift and throwing out the paper, and a 4th handing the bride the now open gift and card to ooh and ahh over before (quickly!) moving on. 

I'd rather have brought the gift unwrapped then spend the time and money on wrapping that won't be seen by the recipient.

I did see this done once in a way that was totally fun and charming.
The bride stood up, opened each gift herself (bridesmaids whisked paper out of the way, recorded info, etc.), and insisted on finding the giver in the crowd (most of the time, they stood up) to thank her.

it turned out to be sort of fun! People popping up to indicate they were the one who gave the present, and getting a round of applause from the other guests, and then--whee!--on to the next present.

I was videotaping, so I would zoom in on the person, too, so the guests all felt a part of "the official record."

I heard alot of fellow guests talking about how well organized it was, and how fun. And praising the gifts to whoever it was they'd seen acknowledged as the giver.

But it's hard to do it that way. It worked for this person.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Gifts Unwrapped?
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2013, 01:33:54 PM »
I really like the displayed gift showers. You get to visit more, you can talk about the gifts with others more, and the bride isn't stuck in a chair for an hour unwrapping.

You can still put a ribbon and prett bow on the item if you want.

AstiTheWestie

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Re: Gifts Unwrapped?
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2013, 01:34:53 PM »
I would have preferred this over what happened at a cousin bridal shower. 

Since the shower was so large, the gift unwrapping became an assembly line with 1 bride's maid cutting the ribbon, 1 opening the card and discarding the envelope, 1 unwrapping the gift and throwing out the paper, and a 4th handing the bride the now open gift and card to ooh and ahh over before (quickly!) moving on. 

I'd rather have brought the gift unwrapped then spend the time and money on wrapping that won't be seen by the recipient.

CRUD MONKEYS! ~ I went to one like that and most of the guests hated it. It was an assembly line all the way. Happy to say I never saw it again.

Lynn2000

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Re: Gifts Unwrapped?
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2013, 01:43:43 PM »
Hmm, I've never been to anything other than the "sit around and watch the GOH open presents" thing. IME sometimes they're fun and sometimes they're dull. I've been to four showers for my friend Amy (two wedding and two baby) and she tries to be very organized--though her assembly line is more about someone handing her the wrapped gift, cleaning up the trash, and taking the unwrapped gift away, while she herself does all the actual opening. At the smaller showers everyone was focused on her (which was fine with her) but at the larger ones, if you weren't right up at the front it was hard to see/hear what she doing, and people at the back were completely ignoring her and having their own (sometimes loud) conversations. (Don't think she didn't notice!)

The one thing that rubbed me the wrong way at her larger wedding shower was when she picked up a wrapped box from Aunt Matilda and said, "Aunt Matilda, is this a place setting? Okay, I'm not going to open it, then," and pushed it aside to get a different gift.  ::) That was Aunt Matilda's only gift to her, but Amy had already gotten a couple of place settings and knew what the shape and store wrapping paper looked like. She was running short on time (rented room) and the unwrapping was taking longer than she expected, so I guess that was her way of speeding things along. I would have been a little miffed if I was Aunt Matilda, though. A "display shower" might have been a better idea in this case, but I'm not sure we do them in our circles.

If it was the tradition somewhere to have a display shower, Sip N See, etc. I think it would be fine, but I agree it would be weird to suddenly get the instruction about not wrapping gifts, when you weren't expecting it. To me it starts edging a bit closer to "no gifts please"--you mean well and think you're doing a good thing, but it turns into telling the guests what to do with their own time and money.

Points for not mentioning it until the OP asked about gifts, though. I think a better explanation would have been that they were just following a different tradition/trend--"Oh, BTW, it's going to be a display shower, so that means it's better if the gifts aren't wrapped, because they'll just be set out on a table for everyone to look at during the whole party. Yeah, I guess it's a thing the girls are doing now. Well, it'll be nice because then Susie can spend more time talking to everyone, and you know how big this thing is going to be!" For some reason that seems a lot more palatable to me... the original explanation almost sounds like Susie is this super-virtuous woman who is tossing out the tradition of wrapped gifts because, y'know, they're just THINGS. And what really matters are the PEOPLE. (But bring things anyway. Just don't wrap them.) Okay, I am being slightly humorous here. :)
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TootsNYC

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Re: Gifts Unwrapped?
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2013, 01:46:47 PM »
If you want to have that sort of shower, or a Sip and See or bridal tea, I think you need to make it clear right away, on the invitation.


artk2002

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Re: Gifts Unwrapped?
« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2013, 02:48:54 PM »
I would have preferred this over what happened at a cousin bridal shower. 

Since the shower was so large, the gift unwrapping became an assembly line with 1 bride's maid cutting the ribbon, 1 opening the card and discarding the envelope, 1 unwrapping the gift and throwing out the paper, and a 4th handing the bride the now open gift and card to ooh and ahh over before (quickly!) moving on. 

I'd rather have brought the gift unwrapped then spend the time and money on wrapping that won't be seen by the recipient.

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daen

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Re: Gifts Unwrapped?
« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2013, 03:18:41 PM »
I've been at one or two showers where the unwrapping did feel like a hostage situation. This was partly because there were so many people there, and partly because the space was a little too small and not well-set-up for a shower. To make matters worse, it had poor acoustics, so it was terribly noisy, and I heard very little of what the GOH had to say about her gifts. (She (the same GOH both times - once as a bridal shower, once as a baby shower) sent out very charming and personal thank you notes promptly thereafter, so that made up for a lot.  ;D ) In that instance, a display shower would have been a better idea.

Most showers I've been to have been small enough, or featured enough joint gifts, that the unwrapping and ooh-ing and ahh-ing was easily accomplished, and all could see and hear. I tend to think that, with some gifts at least, seeing the reaction of the giver is part of the giving process, and I feel like something is missing if that doesn't happen.

Bijou

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Re: Gifts Unwrapped?
« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2013, 04:03:22 PM »
CLE_Girl's assembly line shower notwithstanding, I'd hate to see the opening of the gifts go because I enjoy the traditional ribbing of the bride each time she breaks a ribbon.  It would also mean the end of the bow bouquet at the rehearsal.  Etiquette-wise I don't see anything wrong with a wrapping paperless shower, but darn it I'm a gal who likes silly old traditions.
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gellchom

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Re: Gifts Unwrapped?
« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2013, 05:02:12 PM »
I really don't like the idea of a display or sip and see shower.  I understand that they are customary in some communities.  I don't like assembly line, either, when the bridesmaids or someone remove the gift wrap and hand the gift to the bride.  How much time does that really save?  Personally, I'm not good at wrapping, but I know that many people take great pride in it, and I've heard more than one say she was really disappointed that her hard work got ripped off by a bridesmaid without even showing it to the bride.

Yes, I know that many people find watching the bride open gifts really boring (although I disagree that no one is interested in any gift than their own.  I am).  And I understand that these ideas are more efficient.

But that's exactly what's bothering me: the focus on getting to the loot as efficiently as possible, in the case of the "assembly line," and the complete elimination of the tiny moment of focus on each of the givers and publicly thanking them in the case of the display shower.  If there are so many gifts that it will take forever, in my opinion, you've invited too many people for a shower.

thipu1 put it really well: "Practical, yes.  Festive, no." 

I mean, showers are just barely acceptable anyway -- the only party that an expectation of gifts can be expressed, because that's the POINT of the event: getting together to give the bride gifts and watch her open and ooh and ahh over each one.  True, not most people's idea of a great time, but that's what it is, and if you don't tell people, then they don't bring gifts, and you can't do it. 

But if you aren't going to do that activity, boring or not, then how can you politely be telling people to bring gifts?  I would feel kind of shaken down, frankly. 

Although certainly it's better than those "drop off" things we sometimes hear about.  That IS nothing but a shakedown.  "You are cordially invited to buy Bride an another gift.  You won't be entertained or fed, and no one wants to socialize with you; just cough up, deliver it, and get lost."  That's where this kind of "but it's more efficient!" thinking can lead.

As I said, "sip and see" and such is customary in some communities, and I'm not saying that they are violating etiquette, at least not local etiquette, which counts, too.  In my opinion, though, if you don't want to have a true shower, fine -- not everyone enjoys them.  But in that case, have some other kind of party and express no expectation of gifts.

Lynn2000

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Re: Gifts Unwrapped?
« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2013, 05:43:14 PM »
I do think gellchom makes some good points. I assume at a traditional display shower, they do have some point at which the GOH thanks a gift-giver personally? Like the GOH makes a point of talking to each person individually, thanking them for their gift (specifically referencing it--"Thanks for the toaster!") and otherwise catching up?
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Gifts Unwrapped?
« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2013, 05:55:59 PM »
Snip
But that's exactly what's bothering me: the focus on getting to the loot as efficiently as possible, in the case of the "assembly line," and the complete elimination of the tiny moment of focus on each of the givers and publicly thanking them in the case of the display shower.  If there are so many gifts that it will take forever, in my opinion, you've invited too many people for a shower.

snip

As I said, "sip and see" and such is customary in some communities, and I'm not saying that they are violating etiquette, at least not local etiquette, which counts, too.  In my opinion, though, if you don't want to have a true shower, fine -- not everyone enjoys them.  But in that case, have some other kind of party and express no expectation of gifts.

I appreciate your comments on the display showers. It is interesting to hear someone's perspective who has not experienced them as the norm.

In my community, display showers in the '60s - '80s were much more of the norm for wedding showers. The showers normally occured at the bride's family home. Presents brought for the shower and presents sent for the wedding were all displayed. The  bride made a point of speaking with and thanking each giver independantly and telling them how much they loved the gift usually while standing in front of the gift. And there is lots of "Oh look Sara, did you see this vase Cindy gave them? Isn't that lovely? I wonder where she got it" and "Oh, Sara, you bought them that coffee maker. Well that was very sweet. I know they'll end up using it everyday and think of you."  And if you are not interested in viewing the gifts, you can spend your time in other conversations about where the couple plan to live, where they are going on their honeymoon or even non-wedding related conversations.

Your comment about no public acknoweldgement was interesting as I dislike public acknowledgements of gifts which is probably why I don't like the sitting in a circle watching gifts be opened. It would not have dawned on me that a guest would feel the need for other guests to hear the bride thank her for her gift.

And since I grew up with a lot more of the display type showers, my view was always that having people sit around and watch the bride open gifts but more focus on the "loot" than it did on wishing the couple well and visiting with your friends.

But I do take exception to your bolded comment. Display showers in my opinion are just as much "true" showers as ones that you are familiar with.