Why Do We Give Wedding Gifts?

Why Do We Give Wedding Gifts?

When we hear wedding bells ringing, we stress about what to wear and what to give the happy couple — a decision that involves a lot of thinking, figuring out what gifts to give, how much to spend, how well you know them. However, gifting wasn’t always such a big concern in the history of the world.

Wedding Gifts — the Origin of Dowry

Although the notion is strange in today’s modern-day life, dowry was once a very common element of marriage (and still is in some cultures around the world). Wedding gifts have evolved from the tradition of “bride price” which was paid to the bride’s family to secure the girl and pay for the marriage. It typically included land, animals, money, and other forms of wealth. Thus, when the actual wedding happened, guests weren’t supposed to bring over a gift.

The tradition changed over the years; during the renaissance, a marriage chest held all the bride's goods that she would take to her groom’s house. In this hope chest, the unmarried women would collect all the things they'd need to embark on this new journey of married life, including linens and dishes.

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Macy’s and Wedding Gifts

The wedding gift craze of our very own world began in 1928 when Macy’s, the retailer, introduced a wedding gift registry. Because of how brilliant the idea was, other stores quickly took it on and started offering their own registries.

At first, the whole thing didn’t make much sense to people because, in most cases, couples hadn’t lived together before marriage. This tradition was aimed at helping newly married couples get started in their new home, and that’s how it got popular.

Wedding Gifts in the Contemporary Society

Now, for the most part, there isn’t any need for gift registries. Couples mostly live together and know how to manage their homes before getting married. Most people now work and have the necessities of life, so gift registries no longer include the essentials. This is why the registries now hold luxury items and other things the couple might want and not “need”.

 

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