Gift Registry: Why Not Popular In India?


The concept of a gift registry is relatively new in India. Although the trend of presenting wedding gifts through these registries has gained popularity in the West, it is yet to pick up pace in India.

Why have gift registries not been popular in India?

This may have to do with either lack of exposure to this concept or have to do something with the culture, traditions or socio-economic lifestyle of the Indians.

While some experts think that Indians are too innovative, others feel that greater involvement of families is responsible for this weak trend.

Although a few gift registry companies have come up in India, they are largely banking on the millennials to taste their first success. Marriages happen to be some of the most important social occasions in India, witnessing huge attendees. However, it remains to be seen when the concept of gift registry gets accepted in India on a full scale.

What is a gift registry?


A gift registry is very simply a list of items that a couple would like as gifts for their wedding. This is typically maintained by a shop or online store, which removes an item from the list when someone buys it. In other words, the couple can get the exact gift items that they want from their guests. This allows the couple to have their say in what they love to be gifted. As a result, they receive gifts as per their needs and goals. The gifted, depending on the platform, can pick from a wide range of items, which the couple would find useful. This may include fashion items, appliances, cash amount and even experiences. The person gifting the items can see a wish list, created by the couple. Accordingly, they can purchase the gift item for the couple or for the individual. Once the order is placed, the registry handles the delivery, logistics management and takes care that it is delivered at the right place. Often, these products are purchased from online stores.

Why has gift registries not gained popularity in India?


  • From a cultural standpoint, gifting an item and receiving the same is highly appreciated in India. However, it would be considered rude to ask for a gift that one would like. This is one of the primary reasons for the failure of gift registries in India. Besides, many people tend to give cash gifts, when they show up on the occasion.
  • The gift registry is a very practical and systematic method. That may precisely be the reason why it is not popular in India. Couples may want to be surprised rather than choose an exhaustive list of items as gifts.
  • In India, the involvement of families in a marriage is much more, as compared to the countries in the West. The parents have a decisive role to play even choosing the bride or groom. Unlike in the west, the bride and groom in India do not know each other much. They also don’t get that much time to figure out what they want and make a list.
  • Factoring in that Indian weddings are exhaustive preparations with large guests and many sub-events, the last thing they may want is to add another additional activity.
  • Instead, they prefer receiving cash. Weddings are expensive occasions and involve heavy cash outflow. Many friends and relatives believe it is both practical and their duty to provide cash as it helps cover the huge wedding costs.
  • After marriage, several couples continue living with their in-laws or parents. In these cases, they do not actually need these gifts. Only if the couple decides to move out from their parent’s house and live separately, they would find the gifts beneficial.

While, some couples especially millennials are showing the way, adopting the popular western trend of receiving gifts during weddings through the registries. However, the general usage of gift registries has not picked up in a substantial manner due to the reasons mentioned earlier. Eventually, this concept may become popular but it looks like for now it has to wait for some more time to gain wide acceptance.




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