People love excuses for gift giving (and receiving) and weddings are no exception to this rule. Engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, all open the door for gift giving.
But how did this practice start?
Before Macy's created the gift registry in the 1920s, guests weren't expected to bring anything for the happy couple. Wedding gifts originated from bride prices and dowries that were paid to the bride's family. The first recorded dowry exchange was in 3,000 BC. Dowries usually included land, live stock, money and other forms of wealth and status.
During the Renaissance, young women would prepare marriage chests to hold her "wife goods" to then take to her groom's home.
In the mid 1800s brides, particularly in the Southern parts of the United States, were gifted a leather key basket symbolic of her new role as mistress of the house and "key keeper." In her new home, it would be filled with keys to doors, rooms, cupboards, chests and barns.
Moving into modern day, the practice of gift giving continues to evolve. In the current era of gift giving, guests are more apt to go off registry to get something more personal, or skip the presents altogether and just gift money. Due to increasing numbers of couples living together before marriage, kitchen appliances, linens, and flatwear aren't as popular gifts.
Wedding keys are on the rise. When searching for information on key baskets I found countless Pintrest pages suggesting ways to incorporate keys into your wedding day.
Perhaps that is where couple Alex and Sarah Morabito of Littleton, CO got the idea for the "Key to Our Wedding" donated in 2008.
Best wishes to today's bride and groom on a long and happy marriage!