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Is this part of the culture? Do wedding gifts go to groom's parents?

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by cultureconfused, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. cultureconfused

    cultureconfused New IL'ite

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    Hello! This may be a long post but I feel I should give a little background. I am a white American woman and married a 1st generation Indian-American. I have read a lot of articles, papers, blogs, and message boards to try and learn Indian culture and how to relate to my in-laws. The problem is they always contradict what I have read. So I wanted to come on here to hear from women who are part of Indian culture and can hopefully shed light on something that has been bothering me.

    My husband and I began to plan our wedding. We have two different faiths and wanted a ceremony that would combine both. I am Christian, while my husband doesn't really know what he is but was raised Hindu. I researched Hindu marriage ceremonies and discovered there were some things that I could not do as they would conflict with my beliefs. I spoke to my husband and he said that they were not important to him so we came up with a combined ceremony that honored both of our traditions without violating the beliefs of the other. However when my MIL read this she threw a fit, she "disowned" her son, and said she would never come to a wedding unless it was Hindu. These arguments continued for months until I was emotionally exhausted and called off having a ceremony and said I would just go to the courthouse.

    Fast forward a few months. She agrees after speaking with my father to come to the small ceremony we are planning. She and her husband offer to have a dinner at their house to celebrate and a reception in December when all of their family could come. My parents and myself were already looking for places to have a dinner and thought this would be good. My dad told my in-laws he would pay for the dinner but my FIL, said no that he would take care of it. However, they turned it into more than a dinner. They decided that instead of having a reception in December they would throw an mini reception instead of just a dinner( they didn't tell us this was a replacement for December until after the wedding). So..with this news my husband and I paid for everything for this mini reception except the food, chair rental(about 30 chairs), and $200 photographer my BIL hired. We spent almost all of the money we had reserved for our honeymoon on this mini reception.

    This is where my issue begins. My husband and I received gifts from our friends and from my family. I was completing thank you cards and noticed that there were not any gifts from his family or from any of the family friends who had attended. I asked my husband to check with my FIL to ensure no gifts had been received, I didn't want to be rude and not thank someone for a gift. My FIL told my husband that no one else had given any gifts. We took him at his word and thought it was strange but it didn't bother us.

    3 months later we learned that in fact all of the family friends and family had brought gifts and that my in-laws had kept it for themselves. My husband was upset, called his father and his father said "who told you". Then my MIL told me they kept it because it was a burden for us to have it. Her next story was that because I had taken the other gifts without opening them with her she told her husband to lie and say we didn't get anything. Her final story and what she is sticking to is that the gifts were not for us. That they were for them, that in Indian culture the parents of the groom receive all the gifts and that the bride and groom don't get any. My question is, is this true? In Indian culture do all of the gifts go to the grooms parents?
     
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  2. padmaja909

    padmaja909 Platinum IL'ite

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    Ofcourse not. Gifts given to you are meant for you, and they belong to you.
     
  3. coolgal123

    coolgal123 Platinum IL'ite

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    Ideally gifts are for bride n groom only....but mostly indian parents keep them for theirself as in india , parents spend for their children's marriage so they keep the gifts items n cash with them only....parents give stuff from those gifts to bride n groom at their discretion only....
    But ur fil shuldnt have lied abt it....
     
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  4. Jazmine83

    Jazmine83 Gold IL'ite

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    Maybe they were religion related gift and she thought you might get offended?

    Because we do get puja items in silver and few gold articles religion related
     
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  5. sokanasanah

    sokanasanah Finest Post Winner

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    No this is not part of 'the culture'. I'm rather amused that you would be so quick to consider that attribution (assuming you're not trolling for fun!). These are simply crass, ungracious people.
     
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  6. armummy

    armummy Platinum IL'ite

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    Your MIL acted cheaply because your are in a different country , they should have managed better .

    But in my community the brides family keeps the gifts given to bride and grooms family keeps the gifts given to groom. Mostly all close family members and friends give gifts before the wedding . It is only acquaintances who give gifts later but is taken by respective families . Sounds weird but true .

    Brides family gifts a lot during first year , so brides family usually give these gifts in a phases manner . Groom anyway used to stay in his family , so it did not matter .

    it does it mean they are not meant for bride and groom , usually you get lot of stuff plus money . Money is used up in expenses if needed but they can choose and take what bride and groom want .

    anoher reason for this was reciprocal of gifts . If someone gifted my daughter or son somethig during wedding , we are supposed to return around the same value and usually it is parents who do this , so they keep track of it. No wedding registries in India .
     
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  7. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    It is not part of the culture per se but there is definitely a subculture where people do this.

    There are many boy's parents who keep the gifts given to the couple to themselves including cash and gifts. They pocket the money and re gift the presents. Very crass and cheap, yes, but there are such people. The lame explanation for it is that they have to attend their guests' children's weddings in return and would have to give the other couple a gift in return so they claim all rights to your gift since they have 'paid' for it in a past transaction or will do so in a future transaction and do not want to incur any actual expense themselves god forbid). And it is ridiculous because they dont pay for the wedding, the girl's parents do so they really didnt incur any expenses at all and it is just them being cheap and greedy. Personally I dont like it, I would never do it but there are many people who do this and this is an accepted practice.

    Your MIL is giving you multiple explanations because she is embarrassed at having to explain her cheapness to you. What is done is done. Dont push this issue further as she will resent it. And be careful, this will surely rear it's ugly head in some future argument and her built up resentment will explode in some unrelated issue.
     
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  8. armummy

    armummy Platinum IL'ite

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    By the way parents fund the wedding too so they can easily pocket the money for expenses and regift . The very capable daughters and sons enjoy the free wedding in return which will be much more in value than the gifts
     
  9. yellowmango

    yellowmango IL Hall of Fame

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    Op.....I come from the North of India. The culture and traditions vary in different parts ,communities.

    I can write about mine.
    In olden days Wedding used to be a family affair.
    The gifts given by family and friends were either in the form of money,jewelery or household goods.

    The jewelery was usually given by close family and was meant for the bride both at the wedding(done by the brides side -parents spent on it) and reception (done by groom side again paid by his parent)

    The money was meant to help the parents with the wedding and reception expenses and hence went to the person who spent for the event ,to be used as they wanted.

    The gifts ,like sarees were usually given to the bride and some were distributed amongst the relatives.

    The house hold gifts at the wedding went to the bride and groom. Usually ,the bride and groom shifted in with parents (joint family) hence it went to the grooms family.
     
  10. bron

    bron Silver IL'ite

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    I pity u..get ready to face more of this mil fil sil bil drama and emotional blackmails...u will see plenty of it throughout ur married life which will be totally new to u and ur family..but in course of time u will get used to it as well ..i really pity u for falling in dis trap..:(
     

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