QUESTION: Am I supposed to bring a gift to an engagement party?
GINA'S ANSWER: Absolutely not. A card is a nice gesture and a perfectly acceptable way to congratulate the newly-engaged couple, in addition to attending their celebration of course. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to pick out a gift for the couples’ shower and/or wedding. As a bride, I would have felt really weird if someone brought me a gift just for getting engaged - celebrating with my loved ones is gift enough!
JESS' ANSWER: No, unless there were formal invitations sent out that list a registry. If it’s a casual celebration at say, a bar, then no gift is necessary. However, you should bring a card! If you’re still not sure, a good compromise is a nice bottle of champagne!
ASHLEY'S ANSWER: Typically yes, though I think there is some wiggle room with this rule. Depending on the couple and your relationship to them, you can judge the appreciation and the appropriateness of a gift. If you hardly know the couple or as of recent are friends, then I think that a small gift or nice card is acceptable. However, if you are family or long time friends, this is a big occasion and a gift is very appropriate. One way to sneakily address this is to ask ahead of the party if there is a registry somewhere online you may peek at. Scope out their wish lists and see what their style is. Some couples will not have a registry that far in advance though!
Need more wedding etiquette, advice and tips? See previous etiquette posts here.
Gina Heideman is a bride-in-training from Boise, Idaho. When she's not planning her navy/preppy/downtown wedding, she spends her time perfecting her crab cake recipe, drinking wine and playing cribbage with her fiance, and playing outside. She's an avid swimmer, runner, gardener and reality TV junkie. By day she works as Executive Director of a statewide nonprofit organization that focuses on meth use prevention. By night she's a freelance graphic designer (www.designscribble.com).
Jess Keys is a Journalism graduate of Indiana University, a Chicago transplant and Founder of The Golden Girl Blog. She was first bitten by the wedding bug at age 11, when she purchased her first Brides magazine in the Lexington, KY airport. She's partial to red lipstick, French Bulldogs, and a lover of the written word. When she's not writing for Wedding Party, you can often find her at the closest Dim Sum establishment, or exploring the Windy City with her camera in tow.
Ashley Smith is the wedding planner for Buzzworthy SF. She believes that purpose, craft, design, and strategy are all cohesive elements to produce a successful event. Ashley is available for weddings in California and worldwide. Her expertise is in the Bay Area, but her heart is in Mexico, where she is certified by the board of tourism to plan and work. If she is not in San Francisco planning weddings and being social, you’ll find her on the beach at Playa Azul, Papaya Playa, or exploring the coast lines in Central America via bicycle.