Post # 1
Our engagement party is coming up, hosted by my Mom. I know it’s good etiquette to get a gift for shower host(s) among other reasons because they’re (typically) not in your family.
What’s the etiquette on engagement party hosts?
Post # 3
@beeintraining: There is no special etiquette for wedding-related events. These are just “parties”, thrown for you by a hostess who takes on all the responsibilities of hosting.
Any time you are entertained in a substantial way, and especially if you are invited as a Guest of Honour, you have some obligations:
- you must write a note of thanks to your hostess the next day (called, in etiquette slang, a “bread and butter” not
- you may if you wish send a small, nominal or symbolic gift; either along with your bread-and-butter note, or earlier in the day, before the party. Typical appropriate hostess-gifts are
You must invite your hostess to an equivalent entertainment at some time in the same season — where by “equivalent” I do not mean another engagement party, but a dinner if she served you dinner, for coffee if it was a coffee party, for cocktails if it was cocktail party, and so on.
- flowers (send earlier in the day so they can be set out as decoration at the party, or worn to the party if they are a corsage or nosegay), chocolates, or
- a bottle of wine (send after the party to make it clear that it is for your hostesses enjoyment, not because you distrust her wine selections and have decided to BYOB.
- Other appropriate gifts are some small trinket that has personal value: perhaps a small tin of single-estate darjeeling, if she is a tea-snob; or
- a small figurine is some line that you know she collects
Since in this case your hostess is your own mother, you will probably blow her socks off and make her burst with pride in your good breeding, if you follow through on these obligations. Mothers tend to get taken for granted far too often.
Post # 4
I’d give her a bottle of wine, buy her flowers, something simple that shows your appreciation. But you don’t have to go all out or do anything specific.
Post # 5
@beeintraining: It’s proper etiquette to bring a gift to any party host – so I would say yes, give her something.
Post # 6
@SummerOfLove: Actually, the best etiquette is to send your hostess gift, either ahead of the party or on the next day. If you bring it, find a time when you can give it to her discretely in private when she is not busy greeting guests at the door or putting the final touches on her preparations. Avoid giving hostess-gifts publically to avoid embarrassing both your hostess, and anyone who did not bring a hostess gift
Flowers especially are best sent ahead because they need a little tender loving care to trim their stems and get them in water right away, and unless the hostess has a maid she can hand them to, to perform those services, either the flowers or the guests are going to be neglected. If you must bring them to the door, consider bringing them already arranged in a vase with water.
Post # 7
@aspasia475: My point was that a gift is expected.