Bridal Showers: Top 7 Gift Etiquette Questions -- Answered!

Your guide to perfect wedding shower etiquette!

Presenting the Big Gift

You could have some handsome, burly college guys deliver it during the shower. You could have some guys set it in the front yard after she's safely inside obliviously enjoying the shower, then take her outside with all the guests to surprise her. You could have it in your living room when she gets there, with a big red bow on it. You could drape a cloth over it, stick some flowers on it, hide it in a corner of your room and ta-daa! Unveil it during the gift portion of your shower.

The Ribbon Bouquet -- a Tradition of Good Luck

Assemble these items:

  • A trash can with a bag liner
  • A spare paper plate
  • A hole punch or sharp pencil
  • Strong tape and a stapler
  • Some wire twist ties
  • A plastic grocery bag
  • A pen and paper
  • A 9" x 12" manila folder
  • A few cardboard boxes or crates
  • The bride's car keys


There's a charming tradition to unwrapping the gifts. The bride sits in the seat of honor. Her "secretary" sits beside her (not you!). This person's job is to record who gives her what. You sit on the other side with a sturdy paper plate (preferably one that matches the shower plates) into which you have poked/punched a dozen or so holes in random order. You also have with you some strong tape or some wire twist ties and a big trash can (not a trash bag) right beside your chair.

When she unwraps each gift, she reads the card aloud, along with the name signed at the bottom. She then hands the card to the secretary and the wrappings to you. You put the wrapping paper in the trash can. (You do not use a trash bag because you'll be bending over every 10 seconds, trying to open it and rearrange the paper to get it all in, and it will keep collapsing.) You take the bow and stick it through the center so she has something to hold on to. If you don't want to do this, have some other person you think is handy or crafts-oriented do it for you.

After She's Unwrapped Everything

When she's opened the presents and you've gotten all the bows stuck to the plate, you have created the bouquet she will use at the wedding rehearsal. It's supposed to be good luck. Put the list of who gave what and all the cards into the manila folder. Now, all the wrapping paper is neatly stored in the trash can with the liner bag, so it will be easy for you to get rid of it.

Put all the gifts and the manila envelope into the crates so she can take them home, and have someone help put them in her trunk. Put the bouquet in the plastic shopping bag and put it on top so it doesn't get crushed.

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