Are gifts even expected?

By Nancy Mattia
September 14, 2017
Credit: Bryan Gardner

When you get invited to a bridal shower, you know you're supposed to bring a gift. Same thing if you get an invite to a wedding-you'll check out the couple's registry and send something because that's what's customary. But what about an engagement party? Whether you were invited by email or a printed card, it's a legitimate party, so does that mean you're expected to bring a gift? If so, what kind of gift? How much should you spend? Are you supposed to bring it to the party? Or is gifting for this celebration optional? If it is, should you at least bring a card? So many questions! And we have so many answers! Read on.

Do you need to bring a gift to an engagement party?

No. It's totally optional. A close friend or family member, like an aunt or cousin who's particularly fond of the bride or groom, often brings a gift but for everyone else, it's not expected or necessary.

If you do want to give a gift, what kind is appropriate?

Gift cards, a check, or cash always make a much-appreciated present. If you want a gift that underscores the celebratory aspect of getting engaged, pick out two or four champagne flutes. Or bring a bottle of Champagne or prosecco. The bride probably hasn't registered yet but in case she has, look there for ideas.

How much should you spend?

As with wedding gifts, there's no set amount. Spend what you can afford while keeping in mind that this isn't the wedding, so the dollars spent should reflect that.

Are you supposed to bring it to the party itself?

You can hand it over in person or send it to the couple. But don't expect them to open it during the festivities.

If you aren't giving a gift, should you at least give the couple a card?

Don't think twice about it-just do it. A card with genuine handwritten sentiments is a gift in itself.


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