Ultimately, it is not necessary to purchase an engagement gift. If you do decide to purchase a gift, it doesn’t have to be anything expensive. A simple token of your excitement for the couple is all that is truly needed. This typically applies to close friends and family only.
According to a survey done on WeddingBee, 33% of participants state that the engagement gift should cost $50.00 or less, and 22% of those participants stated that no gift at all is needed.
Overall, there doesn’t seem to be any “by the book” etiquette for engagement parties. Back in the 1920’s when engagement parties began, they were often thrown as a surprise for the newly engaged couple alongside family and friends. This allowed no time for guests to purchase or create gifts even if they had the desire to do so.
Traditionally, the Bride’s parents would throw an engagement party if they wished. But these days it is common for close friends or other family members to throw the party. As a hostess, it would be wise to advise guests that gifts are unnecessary. This would set the tone and alleviate any confusion or pressure to do so. The Bride and Groom should never expect or assume gifts will be given at an engagement party.
It’s always a great idea to give the couple a nice engagement card. What you write in the card should be a direct reflection of your relationship with the couple. Be unique, be genuine and let your personality shine through.
"Wishing you both the happily ever after you so very much deserve."
"May you both be blessed with lifelong happiness."
"Through the storms of life, may your love for one another be steadfast and strong."
"Congratulations on this sweet occasion of your engagement!"
"Engagement: a reason to stop putting in effort to look good for each other. Congratulations!"
"He liked it. So he put a ring on it. Congratulations!"
"Advice for almost married men: Never laugh at your wife’s choices, you are one of them."
Poetic and Sweet?
"Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction." – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
"True love stories never have endings." – Richard Bach
"The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." – Eden Ahbez
Regardless of what you write to the couple, make sure they receive the card within four months of the engagement and ideally much sooner if you do not plan to give it to them at an engagement party. This is when the engagement is fresh, and they are not deep into planning.
This is again, a personal preference. Contributing to the couple is expensive as a guest only. Add in all the responsibility that comes with standing beside them and that’s a lot of cash going out. Apparel, hair, makeup, bachelor, and bachelorette parties… the list goes on. Most couples understand and would prefer that you keep your money for the more vital parts. If you insist, keep it small.
You should never expect a gift at an engagement party, but when you receive one make sure to remember to send out a thank you card. Gifts small or large deserve a handwritten thank you note that shows your gratitude. Don’t forget that this applies to each gift throughout your wedding. Send the card out within the first couple weeks of receiving the gift. You’ll likely receive more gifts this year than you have or ever will again in your life. Be grateful and always keep it personal with the utmost sincerity.
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