Engagement Party Gifts

Engagement parties are one of three main celebrations honoring the couple who will be married. The other two are a wedding shower and the wedding itself. There may also be a rehearsal dinner or after brunch right before and after the wedding. If you are invited to an engagement party, a shower for the couple and the wedding, the question of engagement party gifts begins to come up.

No guest is obligated to bring a gift to an engagement party. You're already gifting the couple twice so how many gifts should you have to bring? Is the engagement party invitation a reason to groan? No. A guest is not obligated to bring a gift to an engagement party. That being said, you can assume that many guests will bring a gift anyway. The best way to bring an engagement party gift is to give a small token gift at the engagement party.

What makes a good engagement party gift? Here are some criteria:

  • Inexpensive: save the expensive gift for the wedding.
  • Meaningful: make the gift something to laugh over, remind the couple of a memory, or a good reference source for the wedding or married life. Picture frames, microwave popcorn and a movie rental gift card, a nice bottle of wine and two glasses, and a book of poetry on love, are good suggestions to get you started.
  • Handy: recipes, reference books, bottle opener or romantic evening gift basket, a CD of relaxation music or a journal in which to record married memories are all good examples.
  • Funny: humor is good, but good taste is also key. A funny shirt saying "taken" or with the couple's names and pictures, or a memory bag to hold the boxes from the wedding rings, garter and other wedding mementos after the occasion could be interesting choices.

Be sure to include a card with something funny or heartfelt written in it. A memory of the two of them and a fun time, or thoughts of what makes them right for each other could really make them feel great and it doesn't cost more than the price of a card.

Expect engagement party gifts to be placed on a gift table during the party, and opened afterward so anyone not bringing a gift won't feel ashamed.

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