Taiwan Wedding Traditions and Gifts
We are coming to attend our son's wedding banquet in June. What would be considered appropriate gift/gifts for USA parents of the groom to give to the Taiwanese parents of the bride?
Gifts are not traditionally exchanged nor expected between the parent in laws.
My Taiwan relatives here say that, if you really want to give a gift, you can just bring a good bottle of liqueur or wine from USA.
Wine is always welcome in Taiwan, since it is also needed for receiving guests. You can actually bring any gift you think is appropriate from USA, but you should avoid to give some "taboo" items. They are:
- clocks ... they are a symbol of death
- towels ... as above
- 4 items ... the number 4 is a symbol of death too
- knives and any other tool that can be used to cut (they mean you want to cut the relationship)
- umbrellas ... as above, unless your in laws are hakka, in such case umbrellas mean prosperity but they are to be given to the newly married.
You don't have to worry too much anyway, Taiwanese are (usually) worldly people and foreigners will be forgiven for almost everything :))
The groom (or the parents of the groom) is traditionally expected to pay for the engagement cakes
. He will present them to the family of the bride. Of course your daughter in law will advice about this aspect.
Gold is also highly considered in the traditional Taiwanese society. My wife's uncle, for example, strongly felt it was his duty to give 6 ounces of gold to each daughter in law. My wife's uncle is not rich at all :))), by the way.
Two or more American Eagle gold coins, for example, can be really a nice gift to present to your daughter in law. I say two because is auspicious to give wedding gifts in even numbers (except 4, as I wrote above).
All the best!