With an Indian wedding, marriage is celebrated with traditions from India's vast cultural heritage. In many cases, this will be a Hindu wedding, which includes elements like the bride and groom walking seven times around the Holy Fire, but traditions will vary according to the religion and geographic origin of the families involved. One tradition is the giving of a door gift or wedding favours to each guest. An excellent choice for an Indian door gift is one that both incorporates elements of India's culture and acts as a call for celebration.
Dandiya sticks are a fun and functional door gift for an Indian wedding. These wooden or metal sticks may be 14 to 24 inches long, are used in pairs and can be decorated with elaborate fabric coverings or have tassels attached to the ends. In Western India, particularly Gujarat, dandiya sticks are used for a festive circle dance (dandiya raas) where the sticks are struck against one another in unison. Gifting dandiya sticks and encouraging all the wedding guests to participate in the dance is a fun way to get everyone involved in the celebration. But even if a dandiya dance is not part of the wedding program, the dandiya sticks themselves can be a festive memento.
Personalised sweets are an excellent way to commemorate a wedding as well as provide guests with a little extra something that is delicious to eat. With a bar of chocolate, you can have a wrapper designed with festive Indian wedding motifs and the bride and groom's names. Another choice is a decorative and personalised paper box filled with barfi, an Indian sweet made from condensed milk, sugar and flavourings like rose water, saffron or pistachio. It is cut into square or diamond shapes and sometimes topped with decorative edible foil. A third choice is gifting laddu, sweet fried balls of besan flour, that are individually wrapped with coloured cellophane and attached with a personalised tag.
A small crystal-cut flask of ittar can be a lovely door gift for an Indian wedding. India's indigenous perfume, ittar is oil that is naturally distilled from herbs and flowers or wood. Traditionally used in India and the Middle East, ittar perfume is concentrated, contains no alcohol, lasts a long time and typically costs much less than commercial perfumes. Common ittar scents include jasmine, rose, saffron, lotus and frangipani. As a door gift, the neck of the flask can be tied with ribbon or a personalised tag, or placed in a decorative beaded pouch.
Incense can be a festive and symbolic Indian wedding door gift. Incense is used on the altars of Hindu temples and by Hindus in their pujas or prayers. As a door gift, this can reinforce the idea of marriage as a sacred ceremony. Sweet smelling incense sticks or cones and an incense holder can be placed together in a pretty pouch or small box.
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