Shagun, in Indian culture, is usually a monetary gift for an auspicious occasion and wishing the person good luck for their future. The word Shagun comes from the “sa-gun” meaning “good attributes” and it also implies “auspicious blessings”.
Give and ye shalt receive!!
Once you have received an Indian Wedding Invitation then Shagun money is one of the most traditional gifts given in an Indian Wedding. In the wedding celebrations, practically at every function, everyone is giving Shagun to each other. The guests, family members and friends give Shagun to the Bride and Groom. The parents of the couple give shagun to their own family members and to the family members of the in-laws.
Happy to give but “how much” is a puzzle !!
How much Shagun? is always a struggle to decide, for anyone who has to give. Basically, it depends on many factors. For example, Who is giving to whom and on what function? What are the norms in your family, social circle or community? Are you giving for the first time or are you reciprocating?
What goes around, comes around!!
Remember yourself wondering why your parents kept a record in that notebook, of who gave what, to whom and when. At that time it must have seemed very transactional but when it comes to reciprocating, it is actually quite helpful.
What you give, shall you get!!
Anyways, maybe you don’t have a family ledger for earlier shaguns, it is still not very complicated if you ask the right people. In family situations best to ask some family members, in the case of friends you can compare notes with your other friends. And in both cases, remember that you have the discretion of adjusting the amounts you give. Sometimes a suggestion may sound too little or too much. Please tweak the amounts to suit your own relationships, budgets and sensibilities.
The thought counts more than the gift !!
Don’t fret too much about getting the Shagun right. Did I give too little or did I go overboard? Remember, shaguns are always a token of love and blessing. It’s never about the amount. In any case, gifts can never be too little and never too much. It’s the thought that counts in the end. In case you feel you could have done better, don’t worry too much because there will be enough opportunities to make up. And by chance, if you have been more than generous, you will be always remembered as fondly as otherwise.
A small reminder that odd is even better !!
Not that it matters, it’s considered auspicious to give what is called an odd figure. 101 over 100, 501 over 500, 1100 over 1000 and 11000 over 10,000 and so on. It’s how our parents have been giving and it how you can continue the tradition too.
Discretion is the better part of giving
Buy a money envelope for wedding. It is gift wrapping for the cash. Giving money in sight of everyone is considered flaunting and is usually in poor taste. A nice shagun envelope will feel nice using them whenever there is a celebration, of which we wish you lots and lots in future.