These days couples tying the knot can be as picky as they like when it comes to the wedding gifts they receive from their guests. Many couples make it easier for guests to pick the perfect gift with detailed gifting instructions now a common part of wedding invite etiquette and more traditional registries still extremely popular. Whilst here in the UK most wedding guests rely on getting pointers from the bride or groom when gifting, elsewhere in the world guests call on tradition to source and give the most fitting wedding gifts. In this blog post, we explore the wedding day gifting customs found in various cultures around the world.
For most brides and grooms selecting the right wedding flowers is one of the many challenges faced during the wedding planning process. In the Netherlands, however, it seems that those tying the knot can’t get enough florals! It’s traditional for guests to give newlyweds gifts of planted lilies (rather than cut flowers). These lilies are then planted around the home of the newlyweds to symbolise and encourage marital bliss.
In some parts of Africa, it’s traditional to gift the bride and groom with a common household cleaning item that many of us take for granted. The gifting of wedding brooms is popular in many tribes. These traditional gifts give newlyweds all they need to carry out ‘jumping the broom’, a wedding ritual that signifies entry into a new life and the sweeping away of their old, single existence.
In the UK, many marrying couples still find it a little awkward to request monetary gifts, but in Mexico the gifting of golden coins is a part of tradition. The groom will gift his bride with 13 golden coins. Friends and family members take personalised gifts to a whole new level with customised figurines of the bride and groom commonly given.
It’s not just in Mexico where monetary wedding gifts are ingrained in the culture. In China, red envelopes filled with money are given to bless the couple with happiness and luck. In Greece, the money is presented to the couple more visibly. At Greek wedding receptions, guests physically pin cash onto the bride and groom.
And the strangest gifting custom goes to…
German weddings involve a number of unique customs. As well as three-day wedding celebrations being particularly common, there’s one gift every groom will want to receive on his wedding day. In Germany, it’s customary for a wedding party to gift the groom with his bride on the third day of wedding celebrations. The bride is actually kidnapped, prompting a rather strange but essential wedding-themed scavenger hunt. This blog post provides more information on one of the weirdest wedding gifting customs on the planet:
“The third day does not end in an ordinary manner wherein the bride leaves in the car with her groom, at the reception, the best man kidnaps the bride and takes her to a pub. The groom has to find her in order to retrieve her. The moment the groom finds her, he has to pay for their drinks (which includes the best man, the bride and his friends).”