Picking a wedding gift is not easy. Here are five helpful things to keep in mind:
1. It’s alright to not pick a gift from the registry. But don’t dismiss the registry altogether: even though you might pick a gift from outside the couple’s wish list, it’s smart to browse the registry to get an idea of their style and taste.
2. Cash or check is totally acceptable. But if that doesn’t sound like a great gift idea then consider a gift voucher. Your budget doesn’t have to be equal to the cost of the wedding dinner, but let your relationship with the couple guide you.
3. Group gifts are okay. In fact, they are sometimes preferred by couples since it usually involves a big ticket item.
4. Make it personal. Think about what the couple likes to do and work a gift around their interests (spa vouchers, cooking lessons…) If they love entertaining, then things for the kitchen and bar are always a winner. Other safe choices include the bed and bath category (think monogrammed towels).
5. Finally, don’t forget to write a personal card. Because, it’s all about the details.
Here are some wedding gift traditions from around the world:
- Mexico: The groom gifts 13 coins to the bride as a symbol of his trust and confidence. This symbolizes a pledges that he places all of his goods into her care and safekeeping. Acceptance by the bride means taking that trust and confidence unconditionally with total dedication and prudence.
- Thailand: It’s normal practice for the guest to repurpose the wedding invitation envelope while gifting money as a gift!
- Finland: Traditionally, the bride-to-be goes from door to door with a pillowcase to receive wedding gifts. She is often accompanied by an an older, married man who holds an umbrella or parasol over her head. This symbolizes protecting and sheltering the new bride.
- China: The most common wedding gift is a red pocket filled with money. You can find this pocket in most stationery stores and the amount of money should preferably contain two lucky numbers six and eight (because the word for six sounds likes the Chinese word for “never ending” and the word for eight sounds like the Chinese word for “money”). Avoid zero, one and four because these are considered unlucky for the red pocket.
- India: Here’s what NOT to gift: leather items (because cows are sacred), lingerie or alcohol.