Wedding Gifts: Things To Consider When Picking A Bride & Groom Present
You’ve been invited to a wedding and the date is fast approaching. It’s time to turn your attention to picking the perfect gift, but what is the perfect gift exactly? Well, it depends on a number of things: the individual couple and their wishes for the wedding, whether or not there is a registry, and the customs surrounding the cultures and religions to which the bride and groom belong.
Check The Invitation
Be sure to read the wedding invitation thoroughly before purchasing a gift. If a couple has a specific request for their wedding present, it is likely they will mention it on the invitation. For instance, if they wish to receive money rather than gifts they might say that they are having a ‘wishing well’ at the wedding. Socially minded couples sometimes request guests make donations to their favourite charity, while others go a more traditional route with a gift registry. Make sure that the bride and groom haven’t specifically requested a type of present to avoid future embarrassment.
Traditionally, particularly in western cultures, couples have opted to have a gift registry for their wedding. Particularly popular in Britain, a gift registry is essentially a ‘wish list’ of items the bride and groom would like to receive. Prior to the wedding, the couple will select a range of items with a particular store (usually a homeware or large department store) and guests will purchase items off the list. Once an item has been purchased, it will be crossed off the list to ensure the couple does not receive numerous gifts of the same item.
Today, some couples are using online gift registries that allow gifts to be registered and purchased from a range of stores, which is less restrictive than the traditional one-store registry.
Cultural & Religious Gift-Giving Customs
When choosing a gift, make sure to consider the culture and religion that the couples belong to.
There are a range of different customs associated with weddings and you don’t want to be seen as a rude guest. For instance, in Israel it is custom to present the bride and groom with cheques and money, not presents.
In western cultures, gifting the bride and groom with housewares or something for their new life together was considered the norm, however money is also very common these days.
Here are a few quick wedding present customs to keep in mind:
- Jewish: Money is a common gift for Jewish couples, however be sure the value is a multiple of 18! The number 18 represents the Hebrew word ‘chai’, which means life.
- Hindu: Money is also a common Hindu wedding gift, but in this case for values that end in 1 – eg. $101. Cash and cheques are appropriate, although cash is the preferred option.
- Catholic: Religious-themed wedding presents such as bibles and crucifixes are particularly popular for catholic couples. These are often customised to suit the individuals; for instance choosing a particular style of crucifix or a Bible with an inscription of the couple’s names.
- Muslim: For Muslim weddings, Islamic art is especially popular. The intention is that the piece will be hung in the couple’s new home.
Choosing the perfect wedding gift can be a challenging and daunting task, but keeping the above in mind can help make it that little bit easier!