Presenting Newlyweds with Auspicious Gifts


Cultural superstitions about wedding gifts abound around the world. In many communities, it is considered unlucky to give the newlyweds sharp objects, clocks, mirrors, handkerchiefs or suitcases. Unless the negative energy is offset, these items can jinx a marriage.

In contrast, lucky wedding gifts include food, alcohol and plants as well as horseshoes, crosses and eggs.

Scottish brides are given a lucky horseshoe by the youngest member of the family. © Peter M | Flickr

Scottish brides are given a lucky horseshoe by the youngest member of the family. © Peter M | Flickr

How these gifts are presented is often just as important as the item itself. For example, cash gifts for the newlyweds are expected in many cultures, including the Jewish, Hindu and Chinese communities. In order to bestow good fortune upon the couple, the money must end in a lucky number and wrapped in an auspicious envelope. In China, the Lai See envelope is red with gold lettering, which carries wishes for a lifetime of double happiness and prosperity. Conversely, in some countries, including Germany, it is bad luck to gift money at a wedding unless you are a close friend or relative.

Many cultures also have superstitions about colors, so it is important that you wrap your gift in a shade that will bless the marriage. The color of mourning, blue and white are taboo in China, and black and purple are avoided in Brazil and Italy. In Islamic communities, such as as Morocco and India, pink, yellow and violet are associated with death. Instead, choose green, a color that represents new life and rebirth, sentiments that are very appropriate for a wedding.

For inspiration on gift ideas and wedding favors, visit the Wedding Gift Superstitions board on the Traditions Wedding Blog Pinterest page.

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