With This Toilet, I Thee Wed

In India, getting married comes with a price. Oh, yes, I'm sure your saying, getting married always comes with a price _ an engagement ring, a big mortgage or even just putting up with a nagging wife.î Well, that may be how it is in the US, but in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, that price in the cost of a toilet. Yes, a toilet.

In order to participate in a recent mass marriage ceremony, grooms had to prove that they owned a toilet. Apparently less than half of households in India can lay claim to such a luxury. This prerequisite to tying the knot was made in an effort to improve overall sanitation; no doubt a problem of epic proportions in a country lacking adequate facilities. As part of Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojna (MKY), a program intended to help poor women marry, the man also benefits from providing this gift to the bride from the groom. Under the program, a couple may marry for free in a mass ceremony and stands to receive wedding gifts worth 15,000 rupees -- $270 US.

So, how does an Indian fellow prove he has a toilet? Well, he has to mail in a photograph of himself along with the prized possession. If he has not secured a toilet, the groom has to prove his intent to have one installed within 30 days of the wedding. ItÍs not just about having a private place to do her business. Government statistics suggest that fewer women would be raped in India if they had a toilet available for use in the home. This means that they would not have to leave their homes, often unescorted at night, to do their business. This really puts life here in the US into perspective; many of us have 2, 3, 4 or more toilets in the home. Our idea of wedding gifts is not porcelain thrones, but rather fine barware and plates for a dining room table or expensive tools and gadgets.

Now, if a toilet doesnÍt sound like much of a gift for the bride, there are lots of more impressive ideas at https://branddepot.com/collections/groomstand For example, our iPad tablet case will make her day. Available in a pretty palette of colors, pick her favorite or the color that goes along with the wedding theme. A personalization makes it all her own, but once youÍre married, sheÍs sure to share some screen time with you. A fun leather accessory to take along on the honeymoon if youÍre planning on watching movies on the plane while jetting off to a fabulous tropical island. Or, maybe sheÍd like a place to park that dazzling diamond ring; our personalized Nappa leather jewelry case is just the right size to take along on a trip and zips up for security.

Now, for the guys in your wedding party, youÍll need to give groomsmen gifts. The best man, groomsmen, ushers, fathers and other important members of the posse deserve a special keepsake of the Big Day and your special relationship. Again, no toilets please _ although if youÍd like to give your buddy a convenient place to sit, our backpack cooler chairis a real winner! After he drinks all the beer youÍve stashed in the cooler area, he can just fold up the chair, throw it on his back and head to the . . . er, toilet. Traditional groomsmen gifts are always appreciated, especially a nice pair of engraved cufflinks that he can wear walking down the aisle and on other important occasions.

So, how many toilets will you be offering your future wife? Let us know in the comments below.