Recently we received an invitation to an Indian wedding. At the bottom of the invitation the following words were printed - “We request no boxed gifts, please”.
Excuse me? What exactly does that mean? I’ll give my humble opinion regarding that in just a moment.
Before we go into that topic let’s talk about wedding gifts in general. It used to be that invitations were just that – invitations. Gifts were never mentioned on the invitation. That’s the way it should be, right? Well, let’s think about that and some of its disadvantages.
If you don’t mention anything about gifts then newly married couples will end up with 14 popcorn makers, 6 electric rice cookers, and 4 toasters. Oh by the way, none of those items are needed because the couple already has TWO of each item – thanks to the groom and bride having it from when they were single.
But I digress.
People of Indian origin who are getting married in the
have started following the American custom of having a “Wedding Registry”. The couple who are getting married will
register with a department store or two and they will list all of the items
they need after they get married. The
invitation will tell the guests where the couple has been registered. The guests can then go to the store or
website and buy the items they would like to give as a “gift” to the newly
married couple. The stores will deliver
the gifts to the newly married couple on behalf of the guests. After the wedding ceremony and honeymoon are
over, the couple will write individual “thank you” notes to all of the guests. USA
There are advantages to having a Wedding Registry. First, guests don’t have to worry about what to buy. Everyone already knows what the couple wants by viewing the list of items at the store or online. Also, you can select the items according to your budget. Furthermore you don’t have to carry the gift with you to the wedding or do the dreaded gift-wrapping that takes you 15 minutes to complete but the bride and groom will rip it open in 4 seconds and won’t even remember what the wrapping paper looks like.
About 15 years ago, Wedding Registry was considered rude. It also took the fun and surprise out of gift giving. Being registered was like begging for a gift and saying “Hey Mr. and Mrs. Guest, buy me this and buy me that.” Tacky! Nowadays though, it is widely accepted by everyone including the Indian social circles in the
So in my life I have received wedding invitations from Indians and non-Indians. Regarding gifts, I have seen the following (or some variation of it) on the invite:
Invitations that do not mention a gift at all.
Invitations that said: “No gifts, please.”
Invitations requesting that guests please donate to a particular charity as opposed to buying a gift for the event.
Invitations that said: “Your presence is the only present we desire.”
Now let’s get back to what I originally asked, because this is the first time I received an invitation that said “No Boxed Gifts, Please.” Again, what exactly does that mean?
Come on now, we all know what it means. It means “Bring us a gift but make sure that it’s a CASH gift. You see only CASH is accepted at this wedding. Keep your stupid boxes at home.”
I may be old fashioned on this one but in my opinion, asking for a gift is not really decent, even if everyone else is doing it. Add to that, you are now outright asking for CASH? I didn’t know that I was attending the wedding of 2 beggars. Why don’t you just sit outside the wedding hall and panhandle all the people walking by for some spare change. Why don’t you just say that there is a minimum admission charge of $25 but no maximum. It’s tacky, lacks decency, and certainly classless.
You know I may have given a CASH gift or I may have not. It was a choice that I had to make but the invite isn’t giving me a choice. Now don’t be afraid to disagree with me. If you think I’m wrong or I’m taking it the wrong way, go ahead and say something now. Because I’m a “literal meaning” kind of guy.
The words said “No Boxed Gifts, Please” right? So I’m thinking about buying a gift and instead of putting it in a beautiful gift box, I’ll just give it in a plastic bag to the newly married couple. Or maybe I just have too much class for that.