***Need Info on Indian (Hindu) Engagement Customs, Gift Ideas***

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moreLV

I was invited to an engagement party by my co-worker, whose son is getting engaged. Could anyone of Indian heritage please give me some info on your specific customs, and gift ideas for this event? Is this a formal type of ceremony and what type of dress code is standard?
Also, does "no boxed gifts" mean that the couple only wants cash?
Not sure what to expect...

Thanks in advance for the replies.
 

snoozle

love being a new mom
Jan 19, 2006
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California
Yeah no boxed gifts means cash only. But sorry can't help you with the rest since I'm not familiar with hindu engagement party customs.
 
Jul 23, 2008
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Vancouver, BC
I'm part Hindu...as far as I know, there aren't any specific customs that really affect guests...money is appreciated over "gifts" and don't expect to eat any meat :smile:
 

hamstahon

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Jun 13, 2007
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A lot of my friends are Indian and I was a bridesmaid for one of them. Where is this event taking place? Home or hall? People like to dress up for parties like this, so err on the side of party dressy? A knee length dress with a wrap or cardigan should be appropriate, depending on how conservative this family is. Cash is preferred, but pictures frames make good gifts too. I was hanging out with the bride's family most of the time. All the women get together and sing for the bride, and there are musicians that play as well. It's a really fun atmosphere, not too formal at all. HTH! Have a good time!
 
Mar 24, 2007
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- NyC -
If the card says no boxed gift, then it's cash of course. If it's your co-worker's son I would say if your super friendly with her then maybe $51 otherwise you can still give like $31 or so. Or whatever you give, just give an extra dollar for good luck.

Even engagement parties are still fairly big for Indian weddings esp if it's in a hall. You can wear a pretty dress, it's not a problem. Or if you want, ask your co-worker to lend you an Indian outfit!! :yes:
 

luvednotspoiled

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Feb 18, 2007
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no boxed gifts means they want cash/checks - Indian's aren't very shy are we lol!!! (except my family - we are crazy and get into fights if someone dare brings a gift, strictly a no gift affair lol!)

I too encourage you to give an extra dollar for good luck, inside a card or a pretty envelope.

I think it's pretty common to ask to borrow an indian outfit to fit in...or if you were planning on buying a dress for the occasion you might want to look into indian stores - if youre in a major city they should have some decent prices on some pretty outfits that you can later break up and wear -- like a suit: the top can be paired with khakis...or be worn as just a dress! Or you can just wear a cute, conservative dress. Again, depends on the family but as a general rule - boobage and leggage are a major no no! :smile:

Oh and if the family is really religious i would stay away from black as it is considered an inauspicious color -- bright colors are always an indian fav - but not necessary! Have fun!!! i had so much fun at my engagement!! ahhhh i want to relive those days!!!!! Oh and my party was "small" and i had more then 400 people there :smile: hehe
 

Janos614

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Feb 12, 2006
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NYC
The ladies here have given great advice. I'd definitely err on the conservative side and not show your shoulders, cleavage, etc. Ironically, showing your midriff in an indian outfit is acceptable, though. And be prepared to take off your shoes if it's at someone's house. Engagements are pretty formal and there is a religious aspect as well as a fun/festive one.

I hate the "no boxed gifts" phrase. It's so tacky to put indirect requests on invitations.
 
Sep 24, 2006
6,173
4
New York, NY
Im Hindu and I know that cash is always appreciated.. at many of the weddings ive been to there is always a box at the front with a convenient enveloped sized slot in it.. and no room for other gifts... if that helps

Also, for dress... find out if it is traditional (sari) or casual, or both or they dont care... if it is traditional, I would go out of my way to wear a sari just to respect the culture a little more ;)

good luck!
 
Jul 23, 2008
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Vancouver, BC
^Or maybe a lenghe (sp?) or pantsuit? Saris can be fairly hard to control for a first-timer...I think there are also suits that are meant to look like saris (but easier to control) that would be a good alternative. They can be a bit pricey so polish off your bargaining skills - the first price they usually quote you can always be brought down (e.g. I once was quoted $1200 for a pantsuit, but by the time my mom was done with them I paid about $650).
HTH
 
Sep 24, 2006
6,173
4
New York, NY
^^Yes, Lengas... or Sarwals (pantsuits) can work also. They have some "ready wear" saris, where you dont have to do all that wrapping and tying...

And PrincessCayenne, $650 for a sarwal!?!?? My fam (aunts) sell indian clothes and let me know if you need some because I can get them MUCHHH cheaper..
 

luvednotspoiled

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Feb 18, 2007
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i think when people first started putting no boxed gifts on the invites it was considered rude and tacky - but since soooo many others started copying the idea it became mainstream in the "indian" world - and some think it is ok. I know my family is tottally against getting gifts and go to the whole "your presence is gift enough - please no gifts" etc

This whole no boxed gift is fairly recent - id say in the last 5 years or 10 years? And honestly i know some people that have that requirement for a few different reasons - they are moving across country so it's more convient to just take cash vs. pots...they live with their parents so no place to store gifts...or they want to avoid "cheap gifts" or being regifted lol!

crazyness i tell you

OP what did you decide?!?! Whens the engagement?!