Engagement Party Gift Etiquette: Here’s everything you need to know
Engagement parties are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a couple’s commitment to one another. It’s fun to get together with friends and family, have a few drinks and light refreshments, and get ready to kick off wedding festivities!
Engagement parties usually aren’t as common as a wedding or bridal shower, so it’s understandable if you’re unfamiliar with the etiquette. Aside from questions like what do I wear to an engagement party, guests may also wonder, do I need to bring a gift to an engagement party?
The quick answer is no. However, we’ve got you covered if you want the full breakdown of engagement party gifting etiquette!
What is an Engagement Party Anyway?
When a couple gets engaged, word gets out fast. Friends and family often wish to celebrate the couple and begin the road to the wedding with a fun get-together. An engagement party can be a great way to get everyone together to wish the happy couple well and enjoy one another company. It can also be a fantastic opportunity for the extended relatives and friends of both people in the relationship to meet. Usually, within a few months of the proposal, a couple will have their engagement party.
Do I Need to Bring a Gift to an Engagement Party?
You won’t be barred entry if you come to an engagement party without a gift. However, some guests feel more comfortable bringing a small gift rather than showing up empty-handed. Either way, no rule says gifts are required for engagement parties.
When you consider how many other events leading up to, during, and sometimes after you’ll be obligated to bring a gift to, it can make sense to save your money and give the couple your presence at an engagement party.
What is Proper Engagement Gift Etiquette?
As mentioned, the happy couple often only wants you at the event and not a lavish gift. Suppose you’ve received an invitation to this special occasion. In that case, you’re likely someone the engaged couple loves, cherishes, and desires to share the joyous moment with.
Nevertheless, it can be nerve-wracking to not know if gifts are required. Unlike weddings and wedding showers, where gift registries are included on the invite, most engagement party invitations don’t allude to whether gifts are expected.
There will always be those that love to spoil the soon-to-be-newlyweds and bring a small gift whenever a get-together happens. But, if you’re saving your pennies for a proper wedding gift, some sleuthing may be needed to determine if arriving at the engagement party sans gift will be a social faux pas.
When to Bring a Gift to an Engagement Party
Consider this your checklist for when you should bring a gift to the engagement event.
- There is a registry included in the invitation. While this doesn’t often happen, it’s an obvious gift obligation.
- The party is between close friends and family only. An intimate affair will often be full of those desiring to spoil the couple with presents; showing up empty-handed could be awkward.
- The event has been carefully planned and is an upscale affair with a formal invitation. Usually, if you receive a formal invite to a hosted event at a venue, gifts are a thoughtful way to show appreciation for how much the couple values the party and your presence.
- There is catering or an open bar. Similarly, if the couple is paying for niceties like these, it’s respectful and kind to acknowledge their generosity with a thoughtful gift.
- The couple is known for their formality and traditionalism. If the couple is customary, they’ll usually admire a gift as it suits their appreciation for pomp and circumstance.
When Not to Bring a Gift to an Engagement Party
If you meet any of the below criteria, a gift likely isn’t required or necessarily recommended.
- A last-minute invite to a spontaneous affair doesn’t mean you need to rush out for a gift to bring.
- An informal get-together that’s unofficial and casual doesn’t warrant a present. Still, you can decide if you’re more comfortable bringing something than not.
- A huge event with lots of people typically means the couple doesn’t expect a pile of gifts from all the attendees. You won’t be singled out for not bringing a gift.
- If the couple asks you not to bring a gift, or if they’re laid-back and the opposite of customary.
- If you’re expected to cover your meal and or drinks, consider this (along with your presence) your monetary contribution to the engagement party.
So You’re Bringing a Gift…
If you decide you’re bringing a gift, don’t feel that you have to splurge. There will be plenty of opportunities to get the couple a more significant, more lavish gift. And, at these events, a bigger gift will often be expected. For the engagement party, think of something thoughtful, practical, and on the smaller side. A bottle of champagne, a bouquet of flowers, or even a couple’s journal can represent a token of your appreciation for the couple’s invite.
An excellent rule of thumb is that the gift should cost around one-third of what you expect to spend on your wedding gift. Because this amount is likely not extravagant or expensive, chances are they won’t be asking for the same thing on their wedding registry. At this stage, small, sentimental, and budget-friendly gifts are the way to go!
Every gift type has its own time and place. Furthermore, some events, like an engagement party, may not require a gift at all. If you’ve been invited to a couple’s wedding kick-off celebration, look for cues to guide the gift-giving etiquette. Chances are your presence will be all that is expected.
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Is it mandatory to carry a gift when going to an engagement party?
Engagement parties often don’t require a gift unless the event is formal and provides refreshments or a gift registry is included with the invite.
What is the best gift for an engagement party?
Small, thoughtful, and practical gifts are best for engagement parties. Such as a bottle of champagne, a sweet card, or a wedding-related novelty such as a candle or mug.
Would it be considered rude to go to an engagement party without any gift?
Unless you feel gifts are particularly requested or expected, many couples do not expect a gift at their engagement party.