The wedding season is back, yet again! There is more to this season than just being the season of textiles and jewelries; it is also the season of gifts. Everyone is looking to find the ideal gift for the newlyweds. Are you too in search for something special? Well, before you go any further with the search, you need to know certain things. When it comes to gifting at weddings, there are certain customs and traditions you need to follow. Here are some of the knowns and unknowns of gift giving at Indian weddings.
Follow the Invitation
Before you start searching for gifts, take some time to read the invitation card. Some of these invitation cards might specifically ask you to avoid any gifts. It is not because they do not like gifts, but because they do not want you to take the trouble of finding gifts. In that case, all they, the newlywed couple, expect from you is your graceful presence at the wedding. However, you can still gift money, if you want to.
The Trend of Gift Registries
This might be a new term for you, gift registries, but it could also be a term you could be hearing a lot in the coming years. These online gift registries are made exclusively for the new generation weddings and, actually, they are proving quite helpful. Here, before the wedding, the ‘to-be-wed’ couples will create an online registry of gifts they need, or expect, for the wedding. You can login to this online registry, browse the list of expected gifts and mark any one of those items to say, ‘Let me buy this for you’. Although this is not hugely popular in Indian weddings, people who use it find it very helpful. Get to know if there is ant such gift registry and if there is, make sure you are aware of it.
Gift on the Occasion
So, you have decided to buy some gift for the newlyweds. Now, according to the Indian tradition, if you are attending the wedding ceremony, you should handover the gift, personally, to the couples. That is when a ‘gift’ becomes complete. If you are attending the wedding, please do not send the gift to their homes. However, if you are not attending the wedding, there is no other option, but to mail it to the recipient.
Some Common Gifts
Although our society, today, is changing at a quick pace, these traditional wedding gifts seem to be untouched! Even now, clothing, jewelries etc rule the world of wedding gifts. If you look at most of the traditional Indian families that turn up for a wedding, they will be carrying gifts like kitchen utensils or some home décor products like photo-frames. When it comes to youngsters, if they are not carrying some of the above-mentioned gifts, they will be surely carrying some perky gadgets. Apart from all these gifts, our tradition allows gifting of clothing. In that case, you can buy a shirt for the groom or a beautiful saree for the bride. In case you are running out of ideas for gifts, you can buy small idols of Krishna, Laxmi or Ganesh etc, in the case of Hindu weddings.
Budgeting with Relatives
If you are a family member of the newlywed couple, you may not have to buy gifts personally. Instead, a common custom in our country is, all the family members will club their budget and buy something fancy for the newlyweds. It could be some expensive jewelry, furniture or some fancy motors on wheels! Sometimes, the gift could also be a travel package to some exotic location to enjoying the honeymoon. In the case of most gifts we discussed here, it is customary for a bunch of flowers or a bouquet to accompany them, just to add to the impressiveness of the gift.
Money & Gift Vouchers
Some people are so confused about buying gifts that they end up buying almost nothing! If you are one of them, try gift-vouchers or even cash. And yes, it doesn’t get easier than this! The gift vouchers can be bought from almost every shopping mall or retail store of famous brands. In addition, online shops also offer you gift vouchers, which you can buy or send directly to the recipient.
Hardly anything is there for you to know or to follow, about gifting gift-vouchers. However, it is a bit different when it comes to gifting cash. According to our tradition, you should always gift cash in odd numbers. For this, a one-rupee coin is kept along with the 100-rupee notes or the 1000-rupee notes. So, the denominations go like 101, 501, 1001, etc. It is also believed that the one-rupee coin denotes abundance. It adds ‘more’ value to the 100 or 1000 rupees you gift the recipient. However, in effect, the amount is somewhat the same. Make sure you put the cash inside an attractive envelope and give it to the couple on the occasion itself.
All the gift-giving etiquette we talked about here are part of our rich tradition. There are no written commandments or no one to impose these traditions on you: you can choose to evade or embrace these traditions. However, during an occasion like wedding, it is never considered auspicious to break free of these traditions. So, be the embodiment of traditions and gift the good fortunes to the newlywed couples.