Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The “No Boxed Gifts” Trend

Weddings are an extremely hyped affair in India with relatives and friends pouring in from all corners. Expectations and emotions run wild and offending anyone is absolutely unthinkable.  In order to avoid hurting any feelings, careful and exhaustive thinking is done for wording wedding invites, completing various rituals and procuring satisfying gifts for important family members. However with the many guests attending the wedding celebrations, come their extensive and eclectic taste in wedding gifts, which very often leave the wedded couple with completely useless or multiple copies of gifts.

In the west, such situations are usually avoided by either opting for a wedding gift registry or by simply voicing their gifting thoughts in some way. This essentially means that you are giving your guests the satisfaction of choosing gifts which are within their budget and at the same time ensuring that you don’t end up with unnecessary or multiple  gifts. The practical nature of this trend is appealing to more and more Indian couples, even in a traditional conservative Indian society. However not many guests understand this thought process. So the question remains - how does one ask for money without it seeming tacky?

Some couples may afford to spend lavishly on their celebrations and do not expect any kind of gifts in return or they simply may not want to take the risk of being stuck with multiple dinner sets and crockery items. Such situations call for a “No gift, only Blessings” method of deterring gifts. Some guests may still feel that something has to be given and will gift you the fanciest flower bouquets and you end up having a room full of flowers. To prevent this, your invitation can simply have a casual line saying “Gifts and flowers in the form of Blessings only” or for a more firm stand “No Gifts Please” at the bottom.

In case you want to receive only cash or gift certificates as your wedding present, mentioning “No boxed gifts, Please” may be an option. A word of caution – although some guests may understand the convenience of monetary gifts for a newly married couple, others may find this gesture very despicable.

Another option is to ask your guests to donate to a particular charity in lieu of getting you a wedding gift. This will not only solve your problem of unwanted gifts and leave a good impression on your guests, but will also bring some more blessings and good luck along your way!! This gesture can be worded in the following manner – “If you were considering a gift, we would request you to make a donation towards (Name of charity) in lieu of a gift" You can put in a website or some details about the organization and instructions on how the donations can be made.

The best approach, in any such situation is to spread the word about your decision through your parents, wedding party, close relatives and friends. If anyone inquires with them for advice or suggestions on your wedding gift, they can always put forward your views on the subject.

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