Did your close friend or family member just get engaged? If so, it's time to start celebrating! First up on the pre-wedding event list: The engagement party. Engagement parties vary widely in style from couple to couple, and whether it's a formal affair or a relaxed backyard party, the etiquette around this first celebratory bash can be a little bit fuzzy, especially when it comes to whether or not you’re expected to bring engagement party gifts.
To help guests navigate the proper etiquette for this pre-wedding event, we answered a few common questions about engagement party gifts and expectations, so that you can go into this event worry-free.
Are Engagement Party Gifts Expected or Required?
The short answer is no, engagement gifts are not required, no matter how fancy the celebration. Even if the pair already set up their registry, that doesn’t mean you have to pursue it or purchase anything before they’ve even sent out invitations.
Oftentimes, close relatives and friends of the couple will show up with a gift, like a nice bottle of champagne or a more traditional wedding present, like a pretty frame or serving platter, but this is by no means required.
Should I Gift Money at an Engagement Party?
Similar to the question above, the answer here is no, you don't have to gift money at an engagement party. However, if you want to surprise the newly engaged couple with some cash, that's absolutely appropriate. Gift cards are also a great idea!
How Much Money Should I Spend on Engagement Party Gifts?
Unlike a wedding, where there are more formal guidelines around how much you should spend on a wedding gift, this is totally up to you for an engagement party. Keep in mind that you should only bring a gift if you want to and if you can afford it–use that same mentality for choosing an amount to spend, if you do choose to bring a gift.
What If I Can't Attend the Party?
If you can't attend the engagement party, don't worry! You can still find a sweet way to congratulate the happy couple. We love the idea of having flowers or champagne sent to the couples' home in lieu of attending the party. Alternatively, you can always send a sweet card in the mail expressing that you're sorry you can't make the in-person celebration, but you're so happy for their exciting news.
Nowadays, it's common for guests to bring a gift to an engagement party, but it's usually something small or sentimental, so don't feel pressured to give an elaborate or expensive item. At the very least, you can leave a congratulatory card for the couple, letting them know how happy you are and that you’re excited to celebrate this milestone with them. A few sentimental words go a long way!
If you’re worried about showing up empty-handed, consider something budget-friendly like a bottle of wine or a pretty floral bouquet. Some of our favorite engagement party gifts include an engagement ring dish, personalized kitchen items (like a cutting board), journals, or a custom print.
Of course, gift or no gift, make sure you congratulate your friends in person—and thank the host for having you!