Indian woman holding boxes of wrapped gifts

Explaining, ‘No Boxed Gifts’ to your Non-South Asian friends

That moment when your friend asks you what “No Boxed Gifts” means and what gift they should bring to your wedding, can be awkward because it feels weird to respond with “bring cash” (or some form of that).

So we have a few suggestions for you:

1. add a short paragraph on your website explaining the custom and meaning behind it. Money is a symbol of good luck in our culture. Giving money as a gift often coincides with showering the couple with blessings. It’s an ancient tradition that has permeated as South Asian people have moved across the globe.

You might even share that the amounts usually end in a 1  i.e. $51, $101 which symbolizes helping you achieve the next milestone. Whereas numbers ending in 0 have a finality to them.

2. Make a small slip insert, a little bigger than a business card, with the “No Boxed Gifts” explanation and include it only in the invitations of your non-South Asian guests or anyone attending a South Asian wedding for the first time.

3. Send out an email with the explanation. While it might be easier to send the email to everyone, we don’t recommend it – only to those whom you feel might be confused about it.

Is it tacky to write, “No Boxed Gifts” on your wedding invitation? It’s subjective. But you can mitigate offending your guests by including an explanation.

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