I received this inquiry: I want to have a no-wrap shower and just have people’s lovely gifts displayed—and of course, I’ll be sure to thank everyone just as I would if I were opening them. My mother is horrified and says that’s rude. Are such showers considered to be in poor taste? I’ve been to quite a few. Let me know what you think! :)
There seem to be two different issues here: First, should the guests be asked to bring unwrapped gifts, and, second, what happens when the bride and her mother differ on wedding etiquette.
And, as a wedding planner, I have heard both arguments. The argument for a shower with unwrapped gifts seems to focus on the waste of resources, both money and paper. A compromise here is to request that gifts are presented with recycled paper. But… why are you telling guests how to wrap their gifts? Somehow it makes it sound like the recipient is so focused on the gifts and not the gathering. Guests pick their wrapping paper (or other materials) with care. That’s part of thoughtful gift-giving.
And I have heard the argument that if the gifts arrive unwrapped, there will be more time for socializing and less time tearing paper from boxes. Many of the gifts have probably been purchased from the couple’s registry, so there isn’t the issue of opening an unwelcomed present and pretending to love it. And yes, sometimes the opening of gifts takes waaaaay too long. To alleviate this issue, the bride’s attendants can form an assembly line and sit with the bride. One can take open the cards, the bride can open the box, the next attendant can handle the wrapping paper (and ribbons), and the last one can keep a record of the gifts and their donors.
AND…If it’s a matter of appearing rude to the mother’s friends, I would suggest sensitivity here. Why do something that would actually offend her shower guests?
So… my short answer: I would urge the bride NOT to have a shower with unwrapped gifts. What do you think?