What’s the best part of a bridal shower? If your answer involved mimosas, catching up with seldom-seen friends and relatives or celebrating a life milestone along with the bride-to-be, you're in good company. Watching the bride carefully unwrap gifts for an hour and a half? Probably not. But still, it is fun looking at the loot she got, isn’t it?
With a display shower, you can have the best of both worlds. Rather than worry about the intricacies involved in wrapping, you simply arrive with an unwrapped gift to place on the presentation table. You get more time for silly games and chit chat, while simultaneously casing the housewares haul.
If you still want credit for that KitchenAid mixer, display showers have you place a big, fat name tag on the gift so everyone knows how awesome you are.
This is a great alternative for the more timid brides who don’t want to hold court while unwrapping gifts. An added bonus? It’s super eco-friendly because you save on wrapping paper, gift bags and giant bows. Furthermore, there’s no confusion with misplaced cards so there will be no mistakes with the thank-you cards. It saves time for the guests before and during the event, so it’s really a win-win for everyone.
Worried that this seems like poor etiquette? It’s actually a throwback to a 19th-century tradition in which wedding receptions were traditionally held inside the home. As gifts arrived in the weeks leading up to the big day, they would be set on a table for all to see.
If this seems like the kind of shower you would like, the host (not the bride-to-be) should mention it briefly in the invitation (here are some great poems that sum up the plan).
The bride should also take the time to thank the gift-givers publicly with a quick rundown of who gave what. If there’s a gift that’s meant to be more personal, it's perfectly fine to wrap it and tell the bride to save it for later. If it’s honeymoon lingerie, that gift must be opened publicly (that’s not an etiquette thing; we just really want to see the bride open racy underwear in front of her mother-in-law).
This concept also works for baby showers. It allows more time for guessing which chocolate bar is the fake poo in the diaper. It also allows for the non-preggers to enjoy their mimosas, which is half the fun of a shower, right?