Traditional Armenian wedding celebrations would not be complete without the gifts for the bride and groom. It has always been a great tradition for family members and friends to hand the couple a gift of pure gold. The gift usually comes in the form of jewelry or a small item of some sort. Guests will line up to congratulate the couple and personally present their gift to them.
For foreigners, however, it hasn't always been clear to them what is considered an acceptable gift at a wedding in Armenia. One such American found himself in the situation where he was to pick out the wedding gift for his Armenian friend. He had visited Armenia to attend the wedding, and upon searching for a suitable gift, he thought it most appropriate to pick up a few items from a home store. He chose a silver picture frame, silver candlestick holders, and an ornate bowl.
He was pretty pleased with his selection. Following the wedding ceremony, he expected there to be a table to place the gifts for the newlyweds but saw no such thing. In fact, he didn't notice any gifts at all and nobody else seemed to have anything with them either. At the reception he simply placed his gift on the floor next to his seat, not knowing what to do with it at the time.
He soon found out what the other guests had done with their gifts. In no time, he noticed a long line forming in front of the couple. As people approached them, they handed their gifts to them. They had kept the gifts on their person or in their handbags. He looked more closely and noticed that the gifts were all pure gold items, of mostly jewelry.
His gift didn't turn out to be suitable at all, and it was rather embarrassing for him. What's even worse, was that his gifts were silver and not gold. The silver items really stood out and had other guests glaring at the strange gifts to see what he had given them.
So, if you're attending a traditional ceremony in Armenia, make sure you know what it entails. These days many Armenian weddings in America are more casual about such things. Many couples accept cash gifts, and there is often a slot box on the reception table for guests to pop their envelopes inside.