Ah, engagement parties. The first, and often, most puzzling event on the bride and groom's road to the altar. The thing that throws most guests for a loop? Engagement party presents. Especially because, depending on the couple, no one engagement party is alike. Here, our etiquette expert weighs in on whether or not you need to present an engagement gift to the future Mr. and Mrs.
Engagement parties are tricky because their scale solely depends on the couple. Some couple's parents like to throw a lavish gathering — a precursor to the wedding itself. Other times, engagement parties can be a much more casual dinner or cocktail reception to simply celebrate the couple's new beginning. Regardless, whether or not you're obligated to bring a present is always a point of contention.
Traditionally, the only guests responsible for presenting an engagement gift are close relativies and friends once the engagement is announced. And most often, the gift is customarily only meant for the bride.
Nowadays, though, it's common for guests to bring a gift to an engagement party, but it's usually something small and sentimental. Don't feel pressured to give an elaborate or expensive gifts.
If you wish to bring a gift, you can, but bring it to the gathering itself. If everyone brings a gift, it's ok for the bride to open them then and there.
The thing that makes this tricky is that it really depends on the celebration and group of guests attending. Ask your friends to feel out the situation.