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South Asian Weddings

Need help/advice on gift giving traditions!!!

I know that in some family traditions, the bride's parents are supposed to give gifts to the groom's close family members. My FI is Gujrati and my parents asked his parents about what kinds of traditions they would like to honor, which close family members they should give gifts to, and what kinds of gifts they should get for them. My FI's parents gave my parents a list of about 17 people/families and said that the most convenient gifts to give would probably be cash gifts in an envelope since everyone lives mostly in the U.S.

So my parents have no idea about what amount to give everyone, and neither do I!  My parents certainly don't want to seem cheap, but giving cash to 17 families is a lot of money!  So I thought I would ask you girls for some help - what amount do you think is appropriate for all the family members? And what amount is appropriate for his immediate family members (e.g. his dad)? We already bought saris for his mom and two sisters. Thanks in advance!!! :)

Re: Need help/advice on gift giving traditions!!!

  • We gave gift cards to the guys as did my husband's side. I talked to my husband and we came to an agreement about how much everyone was getting. I know it may not be the "normal" thing to do but this way no one cld say anything about it. Hope this helps!
  • Omg! Does that mean my family has to give my FI's side cash envelopes? My Fi is guju as well and this topic hasn't been brought up...yet. I hope someone can give us more deets!
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  • edited February 2012
    Spirit - if you don't mind me asking, what was the range in the amount you put on each gift card?  Just trying to figure out if we're supposed to give $21, $31, $51, etc... (adding $1 for good luck in our tradition). 

    Steph - don't worry, this tradition might just be in my FI's family!  I don't think all families do this tradition.. 
  • Priya - I'm gujarati and I was freaked out when I heard about the tradition as well.  My cousin (who has been through this) had a great suggestion.  Make a list of the families and "rank" them in terms of how far or close they are to your groom's immediate family.  You don't want to give your mom's brother's family the same amount you give to her cousin's or whoever.  So then set a budget per family based on that.  She said it was okay to give $21 to the more distant family members and bring it up by $10 or 20 based on how close you get to your groom.  Not sure if that helps your situation but worked for us!
  • As Gujarartis, it's a standard tradition. How your family & your in-laws choose to carry it out is simple. All we are going to do is collect saris and give them to whomever his Mom and Dad request us to give them. In general, they won't give us a big list. I personally think this tradition is rather ridiculous. So, throughout the years, whatever saris I have been given that I don't like, I have left the blouses unstitched so that they can be given away. The same goes for punjabi suits, perfume sets, etc. I am not going to be 100% traditional and give everybody a lavish sari. His mom and two sisters will get something nice as will my family members but I have a limit to how much I am willing to spend. I realize it's my parenst' money but I think it's a big waste. Unfortunately, everybody who has had a wedding before us has done this and we'll follow suit. I agree with jpatel - rank them on importance (as uncomfortable as that may be) and go from there. You'll be surprised what you can give (cheap saris, jewelry sets) if you budget and really search. Good luck.

  • Please tell me this is only Gujurathi!!!  We still haven't worked out the gifts for SIL's wedding and I'm hoping it won't be like this!
  • i'm not gujrati and we have the same custom... doesnt make sense to me either but its one of those things that is hard to escape if the boy's side doesn't insist they don't agree with it either... we got saris for all the women and dress shirts for all the men... good luck ladies! 
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