10 Traditional Wedding Gifts from Around the World

While the act of gift giving is universal, these 10 wedding gift traditions from around the world are unique to the countries that celebrate them. Click here to see the list.

By Emily Forrest

south asian indian wedding couple holding hands
Photo by Zola

The First Look ✨

  • In India gifting gold “his and hers” chains or ornate necklaces and earrings is a typical wedding tradition.
  • Food and flowers gifted to a married couple as a symbolic offering in Peruvian culture.
  • In South Korea, a groom offers his mother-in-law geese to symbolize fidelity, and the couple is gifted wooden ducks at the ceremony.

No matter where you are in the world, a wedding is something to celebrate. While traditions are ever-evolving and vary across cultures, the act of gift-giving is universal. If you’re attending a wedding, you should plan to bring along a gift to help the happy couple begin their new life together.

The US is well-known for using gift registries, but other countries have their own gifting traditions. You can’t go wrong with cash in most cultures, but if the idea of handing over money seems impersonal, you can opt for a wedding gift rich in tradition.

In Sudan, for example, it’s customary that only married women wear perfume as this signals to men that they’re taken. To prepare the bride for marriage, close female relatives host a perfume mixing ceremony before a Sudanese wedding. Here, the family spends hours making a traditional perfume for the bride to wear.

The old French tradition of a bridal trousseau dates back centuries when a bride brought along an ornate armoire full of family heirlooms and expensive gifts such as linens and lingerie. While this particular custom is no longer commonplace, the act of giving vintage linens is still considered a classic cash alternative. You can gift brand new linens or ornate vintage sheets that are already soft from years of use.

Peruvian weddings often feature a symbolic offering to Mother Earth, known as a Despacho. To help prepare the couple for this offering, wedding guests place items such as food, flowers, and cacao leaves on a sheet or cloth. The cloth is then wrapped in weavings and blessed as an offering to Mother Earth. Once gifted to the couple, they decide how to return it to mother earth as a sacred offering. The two most popular ways are to either bury or burn the Despacho.

Check out our visual below to discover more wedding gift traditions from around the world, and be sure to check out Zola’s wedding registry and wedding shop for gift ideas for the happy couple.

Sources: Rex London | With Joy | Safari Junkie | Wedding Details

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