Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates. For her Brides.com column, Jen is here to give some expert advice to her fellow 'maids!
There are many moments throughout a wedding adventure when you'll be wrapping up something nice and pretty and giving it to the almost-married couple. There's of course the gift you bring to the wedding, which should be the most expensive out of all the gifts, and there's the gift you give for the bridal shower, which is usually something straight from the bride's registry. But when it comes to the engagement, whether there's a party or not, you may find yourself wondering if you have to give a gift for this milestone moment.
If there is an engagement party, it's nice to bring a gift to the event. Keep it small, simple, and relatively inexpensive. It can be something meaningful or sentimental, or it can be something from the wedding registry, if the couple has already set something up. If your budget is tight, you can bring a card and perhaps even a gift certificate or a gift under $25 to the engagement party, since, as your mom probably taught you, you should never show up to a party empty handed.
If there is no formal party and the couple just announced their engagement, it's up to you to decide if you do want to send a gift. If the bride or groom is a family member or a close friend, you may want to send something small and a card, as a sign of your excitement for the newly-engaged couple. But don't go overboard or drain your savings account to give them something, there will be plenty of gifts and expenses later. Feel free to keep this simple and remember the point of an engagement gift is to show how happy you are for the couple! If you're not that close with the couple, a card or a simple phone call, is sufficient enough to show your congratulations.