One of the most popular reasons people venture to India is for a wedding of friends and/or family members. Although, one of the biggest dilemma’s people often face is what to buy as a wedding gift. Often people are unsure of what gifts are appropriate for the religion and culture.
If you are travelling to North America, it is very likely a wedding registry has already been organised. The stores that are linked to the registry are often found at the bottom of the wedding invite, with majority of them being department or homeware shops. It’s a pretty easy process, if you go to one of the stores listed you will be able to search the couple’s name and there will be a list of items they are interested in receiving as a gift. It will also list which items have already been purchased.
However, in India this is not yet popular and couples generally want to be surprised. The very first idea to consider is that majority of the time Indians give gifts as both individuals and as groups. If there are a group of you travelling to India together then perhaps you would like to all contribute to one present. This is very popular amongst Indian families; they tend to purchase a combined larger gift for the newly-weds.
If you are lucky enough to get a gift past customs, a gift from your home country could prove as a special touch. This could be a specialty item such as fine perfumes or bath products.
Indian bride and grooms view wedding gifts as a mark of starting their new life together. A monetary gift is very common and is often presented in a fancy envelope. The money can be used as savings or as expenditure during their honeymoon. Although, it is advised to give the gift in rupees so the couple do not have to waste time changing the gift. However, it is traditional for the amount to end in an odd number- mainly ending in 1. The ultimate lucky number for a monetary gift is 1116 rupees. This is because the number 16 is symbolic for the 16 Sankaras. It’s rumoured that the appropriate amount of money is anywhere from 3000-12000 rupees. Although, you could half this depending on your personal budget.
Something from the home is also a sweet and appropriate gift for a wedding. It is tradition for the couple to move in with each other post marriage. Therefore, it will be the first time they have ever moved in as a couple so will need essentials such as, a cutlery set, kitchen utensils and bed sheets.
Additionally, the gift of clothing is a popular choice. A saree for the bride or a shirt for the groom will certainly be welcomed. Although, be sure to steer clear from leather items and lingerie.
Overall, money can be seen as the easiest and most useful gift to give an Indian bride and groom!