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Gift ideas for engagement parties

Invited to an engagement party but not sure what to bring? We’ve gathered a few ideal gifts for the happy couple-to-be.

Somehow, it’s wedding season again. Your Facebook feed is littered with “We’re engaged!” and “She said yes!” type updates and the first few carefully monogrammed engagement party invitations have found their way into your mailbox.

Once the excitement over receiving a piece of mail that isn’t a bill subsides, you might start to panic. Are you supposed to get the happy couple a gift? And if so, what?

While it’s not mandatory to turn up to an engagement party present in hand, it is a nice gesture and one that many people will get behind.

Top gift ideas to buy your newly engaged friends

Kate Spade Happily Ever After Bridal Planner
Kate Spade Happily Ever After Bridal Planner

Nordstrom

The Bride-to-Be Book: A Journal of Memories From the Proposal to
The Bride-to-Be Book: A Journal of Memories From the Proposal to "I Do"

Amazon

Personalized Maple and Walnut Wood Cutting Board
Personalized Maple and Walnut Wood Cutting Board

Amazon

I Like His Beard, I Like Her Butt Couples Funny Coffee Mug
I Like His Beard, I Like Her Butt Couples Funny Coffee Mug

Amazon

Oaktree Gifts Silver Plated Engagement Photo Frame
Oaktree Gifts Silver Plated Engagement Photo Frame

Amazon

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker with Tote Bag
AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker with Tote Bag

Amazon

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Do you bring a gift to an engagement party?

Although gift etiquette for engagement parties is not quite as clear as the protocol for bridal showers and weddings, here are a few thoughts on whether or not you should bring a gift.

If you’re close friends or related to one of newlyweds-to-be, it’s probably a safe bet to bring a present, at least a small one.

If you’re not as close with the couple, you could consider picking up an inexpensive gift, giving a card instead or even forgoing a gift altogether.

While wedding gifts are often intended to help the couple set up their new lives together, engagement gifts should be things they can use right now to celebrate this exciting new development in their relationship. Champagne flutes, coasters with their new shared initial on them, wine or chocolates are all a good idea.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t feel obligated to give a gift, especially if you aren’t good friends with the couple. You were (hopefully) invited to the engagement party because the couple wants to include you in their life, not because they want another gift. In all likelihood, the newly engaged lovebirds will receive far too many gifts to even notice you didn’t bring one, so don’t sweat it.Back to top

A few things to consider when buying an engagement gift:

  • Are you likely to be attending the wedding as well? Remember, not all engagement party invitees will also swing an invitation to the wedding. If you think you’ll be going to both, you might want to set aside some funds for a second present (not to mention what you’ll be wearing). If you are invited to the wedding, but know you can’t make it, it’s a nice idea to go a little larger with the engagement gift.
  • How many weddings are you going to this year? Sometimes it starts to feel like everyone around you is getting hitched. If you have five other couples to buy gifts for this month alone, it’s okay not to splurge on each one.
  • How long have you known the happy couple? This is a no brainer. Your best friend from high school will instantly get bumped further up the gift food chain than your work colleague you’ve only known for six months.
  • How long till payday? No, really. If a gift will leave you struggling to make rent this month, it’s not worth all-out splurging. No one wants to leave you eating two-minute noodles for the rest of the month just so they can have designer candlesticks.

How much do I spend on an engagement gift?

Consider your personal financial situation when deciding how much to spend on an engagement gift. Most engagement gifts cost less than $50 and many people choose not to bring a gift to an engagement party at all.

A good rule of thumb is to consider what you’d spend on a birthday present. Somewhere between $20-$50 is typically adequate, although if the party is especially posh and upscale, you might want to spend a little more.Back to top

How to choose the best present for an engagement party

Choosing the perfect engagement party gift can be stressful. Keep it easy by following these simple guidelines and you can spend less time worrying about what to bring and more time actually enjoying yourself at the party.

  • Keep it simple and to the point: It doesn’t have to be expensive. Something simple and personalized will be just as welcomed by the happy couple as anything else. Think of an engagement gift as an entree and the wedding gift as the main meal. Don’t go overboard, or you won’t have room for the main event.
  • Think of a group gift: Have a great idea for something, but can’t quite afford it? Gather your friends and pool your funds together. Bonus points: they’ll be extra grateful that you took the lead on this.
  • Inject some creativity: There’s nothing wrong with going off the registry if you have an amazing idea for a more personal gift. If you’ve been friends with someone for years, chances are you’ve thought of something they’ll love that’s never even crossed their minds!
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What is engagement gift etiquette?

Let’s break down what we know about engagement party gifts. Although welcomed and appreciated, gifts for an engagement party are not strictly required.

If you are a close friend or relative of one half of the happy couple, it’s custom to bring some sort of gift.

Engagement gifts should be much smaller than a gift for a wedding. Even a small gift acts as an excellent token of celebration for the couple. If you choose to bring a gift, it’s good to choose something sentimental that will help the couple to recall their happy engagement for years to come.

If you’re concerned about gift etiquette for a party you’re attending, you can always contact the host directly and ask them.

Tips on engagement gift etiquette

If you don’t want to contact the host, our best advice is to judge the situation based on how traditional the couple is.

  • Maintain simplicity. This is an engagement gift, not a wedding gift. You don’t have to go over the top – a nice bunch of flowers goes a long way.
  • Ask for a registry. It’s not uncommon for couples to have a registry for their engagement party, as well as their wedding. Registries might feel impersonal, but at least you know you’re giving the happy couple exactly what they want!
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Even if you’re the only person bringing the happy couple an engagement gift, don’t feel embarrassed! You’ll be their favorite guest by far and you’ll definitely score an invite to the wedding. Thoughtfulness never goes unappreciated.

Give thanks: Ideas for engagement gift thank you notes

If you are the recipient of engagement party gifts, it’s nice to say thank you to the people who spent the time choosing something special for you.

Here are some ideas to help you find the best way to thank your loved ones.

  • Keep it simple. Save the elaborate and creative ideas for the wedding and just buy some thank you cards. The fact that you even bothered to say thank you at all will stand out more than the way you chose to communicate your gratitude.
  • Send your thank you with a wedding invite. If the person who got you the gift will also be attending your wedding, why not save an envelope and include your thank you with an invitation or your save the date?
  • Don’t forget to save addresses. The year of your wedding, you’ll need the mailing addresses of your friends and family multiple times. Make sure you save them all in a Google Doc so you don’t have to continually call your Aunt Peggy and ask.

Should I get my fiancé an engagement gift?

In a traditional relationship, a man buys a woman an engagement ring. Diamonds are the original and ultimate engagement gift. But these days, relationships aren’t as dictated by gender or traditions. Some relationships are same-sex and even in heterosexual relationships, it’s becoming more common for the woman to propose.

If you weren’t the one to put a ring on it, it can be nice to purchase an engagement gift for your fiancé, but it’s certainly neither expected nor required. Usually, if one half of a couple purchases an engagement gift, it’s something meaningful or useful for their partner. For some people that means a TV, for others, it’s a puppy. It really depends on you and your unique relationship, leaving the final decision of whether to gift or not to gift up to you.Back to top

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