When you get invited to an engagement party, you might be confused about whether to get a gift or not. You do not want to spend too much on the gift because you know you might be expected to bring a wedding gift and attend other celebrations such as the bridal shower. With a wedding, it is pretty easy to tell if gifts are expected; all you have to do is check if the couple has a wedding register. For engagement parties, things can be quite complicated. In this article, we will be exploring whether you should bring a gift, and what to do if you decide you should.
It is Polite, but not Required
Some couples are very adamant about not wanting gifts at their engagement party. If this is the case, you do not have to bring any gifts, but you can still do something nice for them such as bringing flowers.
It is polite to bring a gift in cases where the couple has not explicitly stated they do not want one. Just remember it is not required, but it will be an appreciated gesture and is just part of engagement party etiquette.
In some cases, the couple will also give their guests small gifts to thank them for coming. These may range from gift cards to bottles of wine. You do not have to give anything in return for your gift, but it is something that happens often.
If you are the one hosting the engagement party, it is good engagement party etiquette to let your guests know about how you feel about gifts so that they know what to do early on. This will help eliminate awkwardness if a guest brings gifts while you were not expecting them, and you are left not knowing what to do.
Knowing the engagement party etiquette that surrounds gift-giving is important, especially if you have never done this before. It is also an important part of planning your wedding. Greenvelope has some useful tips on engagement party etiquette to help make things easier for you. Greenvelope gives you the tools you need to send online invitations and track RSVPs for important events like engagement parties, weddings, baby showers, and more. You can select customized invitation designs, import guest lists, and get updates on what is going on with your invitations.
How Formal is the Event?
The event’s formality will help you gauge whether you need to bring a gift. If your friend or loved one has just gotten engaged and invited you out to lunch, a gift is likely not required, and thus you do not need to bring one. It would still be polite as outlined above to bring something small, but do not spend hundreds of dollars at this event.
In this case, the invitation and ceremony are casual, so you can expect the party as well as the attitude and expectations surrounding gift-giving to be casual too.
On the other hand, if you receive a formal invite over snail mail or email to a set venue, the event will be very formal. Their parents will likely be attending, and everyone will be checking to see who brings what. Unless the couple has explicitly stated that you do not bring a gift, it is best to bring one to such a formal event.
You can ask around to see what other people are bringing. This will give you an idea of what’s expected so that your gift does not draw too much attention.
How Much Can You Spend?
Another important thing to consider is if you have enough to spend on a gift. Because the gift will likely not be required, take some pressure off yourself if you are on a tight budget. Even if it is a formal event, you must remember that you might have to attend the shower and wedding where gifts are expected.
If you want to show up with something, divide up your budget so you get two affordable gifts for each event. You can still save some money for some time so you can get two gifts, one for each event. That will only be possible if there is ample time between the announcement, the engagement party, and the wedding.
A thoughtful, handwritten note with a small gift can work well too as it shows your support and happiness for the couple.
Can You Make It to the Wedding?
If you know you will not be able to attend the wedding, giving a gift during the engagement party is a great alternative. To ensure you are getting them something they want or need, look through their wedding register. If they have one, the process will be a lot easier for you. Once you complete the purchase, the registry company will send the gift directly to the couple so you don’t need to worry about taking it yourself, and this is a huge advantage if you will not be around for the wedding.
Ask If They Want Gifts
We have talked about some couples explicitly saying they do not want gifts and that there is no expectation to bring one. But what if they haven’t said anything but still expect you to bring one? Ask them. This is the best way of knowing where they stand and eliminating any guesswork on your part. It might be a bit awkward to ask this, but it is better to know than to assume they do or do not want gifts. Their answer will tell you whether you should or should not bring gifts to the engagement party.
If you cannot ask, you can use other sources of information such as the aforementioned wedding registry, their website, loved ones, and the party invitations to see where things stand.
Giving gifts during an engagement party can be a source of awkwardness because there are no set rules for whether you should or should not bring one. It is not required, but some couples may appreciate gifts, some may say they want them, and some may want them but not say it. It is up to you to find out where the couple stands and what expectations they have of their guests.