Do You Really Need to Open Gifts During a Bridal Shower?

Women toasting with champagne at bridal shower

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Bridal showers often throw brides—and guests—for a loop. From who's hosting and paying, to figuring out the rules of gift-giving, there's a lot left up in the air for this traditional pre-wedding event. But one element of the bridal shower that has stood the test of time and tradition is the custom of opening gifts in front of guests. For some, though, this is one custom they'd wish to skip—it is, after all, time-consuming! Here, our etiquette experts weigh in on the event's necessity.

The opening of gifts is a bridal shower attraction in and of itself, with guests ooh-ing and aah-ing at the items purchased for the bride. Propped on a big chair, the bride is supposed to open each gift with a huge smile and put the ribbon from it somewhere on her person. But, depending on the number of guests, it can take a lot of time. Obviously, you aren't constrained to the conventions of tradition, but you may anger a mom, aunt, or grandma by completely dismissing an important moment in the bride's pre-wedding fete.

One really great way to save up time from gift-opening but appease those who look forward to it is to have the bride unwrap presents at the end. Before she starts tearing open cooking sets and monogrammed towels, make sure to thank all of the guests for coming and announce that the bride and family will open gifts following the shower and all who want to stay are welcome. That way, those guests that want to leave get to exit scot-free, while those who want to indulge in presents can stay for the fun.

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