Wedding Gift Traditions From Around The World
The world is full of opportunities to learn and experience brand new things! For me personally, travel and international exploration is one of my passions and greatest joys. I love being introduced to new cultures and one of the reasons I love weddings is because its the ultimate cultural celebration and one that packs a punch in terms traditions!
Perhaps one of these traditions will strike a chord with you and you can create a version of it for your own day—and make it even more unforgettable and unique. This is another reason why I don't necessarily subscribe to any strict wedding “rules”—if you think globally, everyone has their own take on what should and must be done. Make your own decisions that make sense for you and your family and friends, and that truly allow you to be a glittering star on your big day.
There aren’t a lot of places where money isn’t wanted at a wedding. In Chinese culture, red packets with a cash monetary gift are given as gifts on big occasions throughout the year. A wedding is no exception! The color red is symbolic of good luck (it wards off evil spirits!), and is therefore a big part of wedding ceremonies. Typically wedding guests give cash as gifts in red envelopes to the newlyweds.
Perhaps you like this idea of using a color representative of a trait or value to signify your wedding day, and give more meaning to the color palette selection you've chosen for your affair. For me as someone with partially Chinese heritage, red is particularly convenient because of how auspicious it is in my culture, but also because in western eyes it represents love.
This idea is particularly lovely and meaningful. In Holland, shortly after the wedding, the couple plant lily-of-the-valley flowers in the garden around their home. Sometimes they are even given the flower bulbs as gifts from guests. The flowers symbolize happiness, and will be nurtured and grown in the yard of the couple’s residence, to ensure that they have many joyful and satisfying years.
I personally love the idea of planting seeds at the start of your marriage (whether literally or figuratively!) and letting traditions grow from there. They become more and more meaningful over the years too. Why not have this tradition begin with those who attend your wedding, by requesting gifts that “keep giving”? Flowers that bloom year after year reminding you of your day is just one idea!
Many have heard of the “money dance” used at Mexican wedding receptions. In fact, it may be a Polish tradition, and one that is practiced by many other cultures in their own variations!
A song is played as small safety pins are given out to the guests. Then, the celebrated couple will stand in the middle of the dance floor, and friends and family will “pay” to dance with them for a little while. They do this by approaching them with money, and using the safety pin to secure the cash to the outfits of the couple. They may then take a spin around the floor for a moment before stepping aside to allow others to have a turn.
This concept may be familiar to your guests depending on where you are, so you may be able to seamlessly work it into your reception. I love the idea of having an interactive activity that allows guests to mingle directly with the bride and groom and each other! How many times have you been to a wedding where you haven't even gotten to rub shoulders with one of the celebrants?
There are so many beautiful ideas in this world; much can inspire you for your own big day. It will not only be fun for you and your guests, it can also honor ancestry and bring more awareness of the earth’s vast and amazing cultures.
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