9 Tricks for Making Gift-Opening Less Boring

Here's how to prevent the classic tradition from turning into a major snoozefest.

Brides with large guest lists can get a lot of presents, and if a fuss is made over each one, the unwrapping session can literally last for hours! Here's how to make the process more enjoyable for the bride—and keep the guests from slipping into boredom comas:

bridal shower gift
Photo Credit: Katee Grace Photography

1. According to tradition, all the bows and ribbons from the gifts should be collected by the shower hostesses and used to create a faux bridal bouquet for use at the rehearsal. Make sure your volunteers are stocked with a sturdy paper plate as the base for the bouquet and plenty of tape with which to attach the bows and ribbon.

2. Here’s a fun twist on the old bow-quet: Before the party, purchase a selection of bows and ribbons and attach them to a bra-and-panty set (plus a set of boxers for the groom). Stash this masterpiece aside during the party, then pull them out at the end of the opening ceremony with a big “ta-da!”

3. As the bride is opening gifts, someone writes down everything she says. All those "oooohs," "aahhhhs," and "Yes! This is perfect!" statements are then read back to the bride and her crowd as what she'll say on her wedding night. It’s one of the oldest shower "tricks" in the book, and one that the bride expects, so add a little twist to make it fresh. Rather than having the quotes be what the bride will say on the wedding night, make it what the groom will say, which makes it very interesting when the phrase "Oooo, a matching set!" is called out.

If the recorder isn’t getting any "good" quotes from the bride, get her talking. Wise shower hostesses know just the right questions to ask to guide the bride’s comments. At a recent shower, one bridesmaid asked, “Are you having trouble getting the gift out of the box, Sheryl?” And Sheryl innocently delivered a gem for the list: “Let me just twist this and it will slide right out!”

4. If the guest list is large and you expect that it will take a looooong time for the bride to get through the gifts, then do everyone a favor and split up the gift-opening sessions! The bride opens a dozen or so right after the meal, then everyone has cake. Then she opens a dozen more, and then you play a game. And so on. Breaking it up is a welcome relief for everyone, as guests don’t have to dissolve into their seats for hours, and the bride gets a break from all that gift opening, which is tough on the arms after a while.

Next: More fun ways to include your guests in the gift-opening ►