Teemeah, Wikimedia Commons.
Gifts of all kinds are an integral part of various stages of the Turkish wedding celebration. If you are attending a Turkish wedding as a guest, you need not be concerned that you're giving the right gift. Both more modern and traditional couples tend to follow old-school standards and customs for gift-giving, while local and online vendors make it easy to find these special gifts for the couple.
Recited Food and Gifts
Traditionally, after the couple's engagement, the Koran is recited as food or gifts are prepared for people from their village and future wedding guests. One designated person distributes these recited gifts and invitations to the wedding. Recited foods include baked goods or sugar, and gifts are usually cloths that have been handworked or painted.
Groom's Family Gifts
A typical Turkish wedding will range from 3 to 40 days. The family of the groom sends multiple gifts to the family of the bride in the days leading up to the wedding celebration. The groom's family plays a game to find the bride prior to the ceremony and pays the bride's friends a small monetary gift for clues to find her.
Familial Gifts for the Couple
Elders from both families gather to determine a list of gifts the couple needs. Once completed, the alderman of the village will authorise it, then give it to the family of the groom. The family of the groom will have a tea party, and both families will buy household items, appliances and furniture for the couple. It is not uncommon for close family friends to offer a larger monetary gift or to purchase a large appliance for the home.
Republic Gold Coins
In Turkey, jewellery retailers sell special coins for wedding gifts called Cumhuriyet Altini--Republic Gold Coins--in three different sizes. It's one of the most common gifts given by wedding guests. The coins are fastened to a red bow made of silk and have a pin for attaching it to the bride or groom.
Wedding Guests' Gifts
Following the couple's first dance, the bride will wear a white sash and carry a basket, and she and her female family members will visit with each of the guests. When the bride visits a guest, they will offer a kiss and put money in her basket, tack a coin to her sash or give her a gold bracelet to wear on her wrist or a gold necklace. In other ceremonies, gifts will be given toward the end of the ceremony. The bride and groom will stand in front of the wedding guests on the dance floor. Guests take turns presenting their gifts to the couple while showing them off to the crowd of other guests. It is unusual for guests to bring household gifts to the wedding ceremony.
If you cannot attend the couple's wedding, you can visit the couple in their home a week or more following the wedding. Following the wedding, gold and home gifts are more common than money.
- Teemeah, Wikimedia Commons.