Author Topic: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers  (Read 3762 times)

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baritone108

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Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« on: May 21, 2013, 01:01:26 PM »
I attended a baby shower over the weekend and while the hostess committed only one etiquette error the guests were something else.  I thought it might be interesting to compile a list of 'rules' to address this situation.  Add on as you see fit.

1.  If your children are 'helping' with the gift opening, supervise them.  Tell them to sit down in an out of the way spot (not immediately in front of the HC/PTB), hand the gifts one at a time, don't fight over which gift goes next or who gets to hand it over & don't mix up the cards & gifts.

2.  When the HC/PTB are opening gifts, keep your conversation (if you must have one) to a whisper.  Don't talk so loud you make it impossible for the other guests to hear anything the HC/PTB says and then keep calling out, "Who gave you that one?"

3.  Don't stand and start walking around the room to take photos of the other guests, HC/PTB during the gift opening, blocking the view of the guests.  Everyone likes to see their own gift get opened and acknowledged.

bah12

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 06:21:10 PM »
RE #1:  Guests children were helping with opening the presents?  Really?  It seems odd to bring a child to a baby shower much less have them help open gifts that are intended neither for the child nor the parent of the child/future sibling of the child.  Or do you mean that children are helping handing out the presents.  Even if that case, I find it strange to bring a child and have them participate.   This would be a good reason why the showers I have been invited to were child-free.

Surianne

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 07:00:18 PM »
#2 I'm not sure about, I think if people start talking it's usually a sign that the gift-opening part of the event has gone on far too long.  I don't really have any desire to sit and watch someone open gifts for 30 minutes; the socializing part is much more enjoyable and usually the focus of showers I attend. 

bah12

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2013, 07:03:03 PM »
#2 I'm not sure about, I think if people start talking it's usually a sign that the gift-opening part of the event has gone on far too long.  I don't really have any desire to sit and watch someone open gifts for 30 minutes; the socializing part is much more enjoyable and usually the focus of showers I attend.

This is why I rarely attend showers.  It's painful.  What's more painful for me is having everyone watch me open gifts.  I didn't have a wedding shower for this reason and reluctantly consented to a baby shower after my friends insisted.  I hated the gift opening part, even though I was grateful for the kindness of others...I wished this didn't have to be done in public. 

doodlemor

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 08:55:29 PM »
4.  When a gift is opened, no matter what it is, the guests should make appreciative noises along the lines of the famous scene in the Harry and Sally movie.

Please excuse my facetious thoughts here, it's been a long day.

A few years back I went to a number of showers with a group of women who consistently went overboard in their praise/admiration for every single gift.  I'm sure that the intention was to be kind, but I invariably thought of the movie scene and had to stifle my giggles.

Daquiri40

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2013, 09:14:14 AM »
Quote
.  If your children are 'helping' with the gift opening, supervise them.  Tell them to sit down in an out of the way spot (not immediately in front of the HC/PTB), hand the gifts one at a time, don't fight over which gift goes next or who gets to hand it over & don't mix up the cards & gifts.

I went to a bridal shower where the children were running around like maniacs until gift opening started.  The same children climbed on the bride's lap, ripped open the gifts, and got in the way in every way.  The maniacal children were nieces, granddaughters, and children of the other guests, so for some reason they thought it was cute.  As a non-family member, I said and did nothing. 

The gift I chose and carefully wrapped was ripped apart in seconds and tossed around.

earthgirl

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2013, 02:38:49 PM »
#2 I'm not sure about, I think if people start talking it's usually a sign that the gift-opening part of the event has gone on far too long.  I don't really have any desire to sit and watch someone open gifts for 30 minutes; the socializing part is much more enjoyable and usually the focus of showers I attend.

This is why I rarely attend showers.  It's painful.  What's more painful for me is having everyone watch me open gifts.  I didn't have a wedding shower for this reason and reluctantly consented to a baby shower after my friends insisted.  I hated the gift opening part, even though I was grateful for the kindness of others...I wished this didn't have to be done in public.

I consented to having a baby shower only if DH would be there with me to sit next to me while I opened gifts because I was so self-conscious about doing that and always found it incredibly boring at others' showers.

Then I had a surprise shower thrown for me at work.  I was moved to tears and incredibly grateful, but then I had to stand up in front of a conference room full of people (people I worked with, at that) and open gifts for half an hour.  I felt like I needed to include a comedy routine to distract myself and everyone else from the tedium of gift opening.  "Oh look, a Kermit the Frog onesie!  You know, I got a kermit doll for our baby when he comes, but my husband thought it was for him, and I didn't have the heart to tell him it wasn't.  So now Kermit is sitting in my husband's office smoking his grandfather's pipe."

Shoo

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2013, 02:44:19 PM »

1.  If your children are 'helping' with the gift opening, supervise them.  Tell them to sit down in an out of the way spot (not immediately in front of the HC/PTB), hand the gifts one at a time, don't fight over which gift goes next or who gets to hand it over & don't mix up the cards & gifts.


I'd prefer that rule #1 be:  Don't bring your children

But in the event that children are actually invited, then rule #1 absolutely must be:  Don't let your children help with the gift opening.  Keep them occupied doing something else.

I mean really.  I think I'd rather saw my leg off at the knee than watch a gift opening orchestrated by someone's children.

baritone108

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers - update
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2013, 03:23:11 PM »
RE #1:  Guests children were helping with opening the presents?  Really?   Or do you mean that children are helping handing out the presents. 

They were helping to hand out the presents.  This is REALLY common where I am.  Sometimes it goes very well, especially if there's only 1 child helping.  The child stands out of the way, brings the gifts over one at a time, etc.  If there are 2 helping then sometimes the other whisks the torn wrapping paper, etc., out of the way when the HC/PTB hand it to them.

In this case, the kids helping stood right in front of the PTB while they were opening the gifts so you couldn't see.  Then they argued over whose turn was next so they quickly brought several gifts over and jumbled them up on the floor, sometimes mixing up the cards and gifts.  Wrapping paper, when handed to them, got tossed on the floor.

baritone108

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers - more info.
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2013, 03:27:02 PM »
#2 I'm not sure about, I think if people start talking it's usually a sign that the gift-opening part of the event has gone on far too long.  I don't really have any desire to sit and watch someone open gifts for 30 minutes; the socializing part is much more enjoyable and usually the focus of showers I attend.

Yes and no.  Rule no. 2 doesn't say don't talk, it says don't talk so loud that other tables can't hear what's going on.  I understand about watching the opening and socializing but at this shower they really did try to allow people to socialize and to get through the gift opening relatively quickly.  There was a lunch and then some games before the opening so people had at least 1 1/2 hrs. to talk to those at their table before the gifts were going to be opened.

baritone108

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2013, 03:28:45 PM »
4.  When a gift is opened, no matter what it is, the guests should make appreciative noises along the lines of the famous scene in the Harry and Sally movie.

I hear you.  My favorite addition to this is when they pass each gift through the whole room, so that you get to admire inumerable onesies and T-shirts.

Surianne

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers - more info.
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2013, 04:44:35 PM »
#2 I'm not sure about, I think if people start talking it's usually a sign that the gift-opening part of the event has gone on far too long.  I don't really have any desire to sit and watch someone open gifts for 30 minutes; the socializing part is much more enjoyable and usually the focus of showers I attend.

Yes and no.  Rule no. 2 doesn't say don't talk, it says don't talk so loud that other tables can't hear what's going on.  I understand about watching the opening and socializing but at this shower they really did try to allow people to socialize and to get through the gift opening relatively quickly.  There was a lunch and then some games before the opening so people had at least 1 1/2 hrs. to talk to those at their table before the gifts were going to be opened.

Tables as in the guests were sitting at assigned tables or something? 

Trying to picture this, I've never been to a shower where there were tables...normally they're in someone's house and folks wander around or sit on couches/chairs/floor, so the socializers would naturally drift to the back or another room while those who are interested in the present-opening would drift to the front.

 So maybe that makes the difference and why I didn't quite see the problem with socializing -- sounds like we have very different experiences  :)

TootsNYC

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2013, 11:55:36 PM »
RE #1:  Guests children were helping with opening the presents?  Really?  It seems odd to bring a child to a baby shower much less have them help open gifts that are intended neither for the child nor the parent of the child/future sibling of the child.  Or do you mean that children are helping handing out the presents.  Even if that case, I find it strange to bring a child and have them participate.   This would be a good reason why the showers I have been invited to were child-free.

This happens at almost every shower in my ILs' family.


As for tables, yes, in those showers, people are seated at tables. Maybe not assigned seats (though sometimes), but definitely tables for their plates. Because it's a MEAL.


Sharnita

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2013, 09:51:24 AM »
I don't particularly have a problem with kids at showers as long as they are well behaved. (I have been fortunate enough to run into a lot of well behaved kids)  I have even seen it work for kids to help unwrap gifts.  In general, I have been to a few baby showers where the GOH needed some help opening bigger gifts because their lap couldn't hold big gifts and bending/turning to open gifts was uncomfortable. It would depend on the kid, of course, and probably the GOH.

bah12

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Re: Rules of Guest Etiquette at Wedding/Baby Showers
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2013, 11:07:41 AM »
I think the showers that I'm used to and the showers that the OP is decribing is just a different party all together.  I'm accustomed to showers being gatherings in someone house where a bunch of women, and sometimes men, eat some food, have some cake, and watch someone open presents.  I have never been to one where young children were invited (and I think the tendancy for them to want to participate with the gifts is a good reason why) or where there has been tables that we all sit around.

Showers with tables, set meals, etc, seem a bit too formal for what I'm used to...and that is obviously contributing to my confusion.