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.