The big day is coming - your friends are getting married! But should you bring an engagement gift? Read on to learn more.
Generally, people plan an engagement party right after the couple decides to take the next step towards the becoming newlyweds. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the proposal (and the engagement ring!)—and bring friends, family, and loved ones in person to share in the happiness and let loose. But if you’re lucky enough to score an invite to celebrate the couple, you may wonder: Am I supposed to bring a gift?
Let’s take a dive into everything you need to know about whether you need to bring engagement party gifts to celebrations (including engagement party gift ideas if you decide you want to bring a great gift to celebrate the couple’s upcoming nuptials):
If you want to! Bringing a gift to an engagement party is definitely not a requirement, but it’s certainly an extremely nice gesture to extend. Often, the decision about whether to offer a gift will depend on closeness—with relatives and close friends of the couple (for example, members of the wedding party) often bringing a gift to the engagement party.
If you’re still uncertain about whether or not to bring a gift, consider the formality of the event (is the party on the more casual side or are more formal plans involved?), your plans for attending the wedding (if you can’t attend the special day, an engagement party gift may be the perfect time to wish them a congratulations), and your budget (this one’s self explanatory).
Unfortunately, at an engagement party, chances are the couple hasn’t gotten around to creating their wedding registry just yet. So what’s an appropriate gift for an engagement party? More often than not, invited guests bring a small gift (like a scented candle) or a more meaningful gift or keepsake (like a personalized gift).
If you decide to move forward with engagement gifts for friends, family members, or loved ones, the next question you need to ask is “how much do I spend?”
And the answer? It depends—largely on your finances.
If you’re pinching pennies to pay your rent, you absolutely should not be shelling out hundreds of dollars on luxury engagement gifts. Instead, you should be researching where to buy engagement gifts that work with your budget. (And try to buy your engagement gift in advance; since you don’t have the time to shop around for the best deal, in general, last minute engagement gifts tend to cost more.) On the flip side, if budget isn’t a concern for you, you can spend whatever you feel comfortable with.
When determining how much you want to spend on an engagement gift, just remember that you’ll also have a wedding gift to purchase in the not-so-distant future—and generally, gift etiquette dictates that the wedding gift should be a higher value than the engagement present.
Many people throw an engagement party just to celebrate the couple’s engagement. The groom and/or bride-to-be may not want home decor, an Etsy gift card, ring dish, cutting board, or a set of wine glasses.
Which is why many couples will specify (for example, on their engagement party invitations or wedding website) not to bring a gift.
And if they do? It’s important to respect their wishes.
You may think you have an idea for a unique engagement gift. But if a couple says they don’t want you to bring a gift to the engagement party? Believe them—and opt out of a gift. (Don’t worry; once the engagement party is over, the countdown to the wedding day can officially begin—and you’ll have the opportunity to deliver the perfect gift then.)
You shouldn't feel pressured to spend an exorbitant amount of money or that you need to spend hours putting this together. If you are attending the engagement party, you more than likely will be attending the wedding, so you'll want to plan ahead for the other expenses that come with that—such as the shower and wedding gift. Generally, it’s a good idea to spend what you can afford and also to get something that you think the couple will love and even potentially use.
Personalizing the engagement gift and picking out something that captures the moment is always a great idea. For a gift that’s sure to go over well, consider a bottle of the couple's favorite Champagne, a plant or flowers, a gift certificate to their favorite local restaurant, or even one to their favorite local coffee spot. Or, if you know the bride and/or groom are stressed about wedding planning, consider giving them a gift to help them get organized—like a wedding planner with checklists of the tasks that need to be completed before the wedding date.
Want to bring a gift to the engagement party—but now sure what to bring? Here’s a list of just a few of the best engagement gifts to help get your creative wheels turning:
Bottom line? No matter what you opt for, if you choose to bring an engagement party gift, it will be well-received and appreciated. But, if you decide not to bring a gift, that's okay, too. On one hand, it's fun to get and give a thoughtful gift for the newly engaged couple; on the other hand, you’ll likely also have to buy a bridal shower gift and wedding gift, which may be enough. Weight the pros and cons and make the decision that feels right for you.
And just remember: ultimately, as long as you show up to celebrate with the couple? That’s the best present you can give.