(Closed) Bride who has never been to an engagement party – what is an appropriate gift?

posted 6 years ago in Gifts and Registries
Post # 16
1898 posts
Buzzing bee

The last engagement party I went to was appetizers and a cash bar. We gave a bottle of wine and a card.

But, I have been to engagement parties in the past that were borderline like wedding receptions (open bar, full sit down dinner, dancing, etc).

Can you make a guess as to what type of event this is? I have also purchased a few different gifts before and left them wrapped in the car. Once you are inside and can see what other people brought (or even if they brought gifts), you can ‘remember’ you accidentially letf their gift in the car and run out to retrieve it. This probably isn’t the most graceful way to handle the situation, but sometimes when you have limited knowledge of the event, it is hard to plan accordingly. I would hate to spend $120 on a gift card when all the other guests brought a bottle of wine or other smaller gift. Likewise, I’d hate to show up with a $10 bottle of wine to a full course, open bar, sit down dinner. Im sure some will say you should give the gift you want regardless of the event….but that’s just my opinion

Post # 17
145 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

where I’m from engagement gifts are definitely not expected, but when Fiance and I have been to parties in the past we’ll just give a nice bottle of wine and a card. 

Post # 18
1640 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

We didn’t get many gifts at our engagement party, which we expected. But our favorite thing we got was a bottle of local whisky with two rocks glasses, one etched his and one etched hers. We will probably give a gift very similar to that (with different alcohol and appropriate glass type depending on the couple) at future engagement parties because we adored it!!

Post # 19
5995 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
chelsy33:  What country are you in?

I only ask because here in Australia, engagement parties are generally gift giving events. Australia seems to be the exception though.

Post # 20
1720 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

it really just depends on the location and type of party … I have done everything from something really small ($15 groupon voucher for a address stamp) to champagne flutes and nicer bottle of champagne (so about $100 total since its usually about $55 for a bottle of something decent)


usually if its just a few of us at someone’s house or the local bar (cash bar not hosted) I would do a $25 or so gift but if it is a hosted event (ie catered spread at home or room at a hall) I would probably give something in the $50 – 100 range depending on who the couple is (and random work friend would probably be a lot closer to the $50 than $100)


Post # 21
5521 posts
Bee Keeper

For an engagement party I would typically give a card and a small gift (wine and chocolates/champagne),because engagement parties in the UK are barely a ‘thing’ and tend to be very simple (cheap buffet, guests buying their own drinks). 

I do tend to ‘cover my plate’ where possible, so, were it a very fancy affair (sit down dinner as PP mentioned) I would send my regrets and a card.

Post # 22
13666 posts
Honey Beekeeper

An engagement party and a shower are two entirely different things, but one thing they have in common is neither are properly  thrown by the couple themselves. That’s because past childhood, you aren’t supposed to  host  self-celebrating parties. I’m assuming the couple is hosting since your invitation came from the would be guest of honor himself. 

Traditionally an engagement party was where the news of the engagement was announced for the first time to friends and family. The surprise aspect was one reason such a party could be hosted by immediate family. No one could feel pressured to bring a gift.

Now, of course, people know all about the engagement, practically in real time. In my experience most people bring engagement presents to a party. This may be regional, as they are not necessary, obligatory or traditional. But FYI, I’ve never once attended an engagement party where many or the majority of people didn’t bring full fledged shower-type presents. They are not opened publicly, however. So you might want to check around. 

Theoretically, the couple is “entitled” to only one pre-wedding party where the same guest list is invited. Where I live, people will throw either a shower or an engagement party, but not both. At the minimum, I’d do a host type gift and a card. 

Checks and cash are never given on these occasions in my experience, even when cash or a check is a common wedding gift. It’s always something tangible. 



Post # 23
4964 posts
Honey bee

View original reply
chelsy33:  Nothing big. Perhaps like what’s been said here, a bottle of wine or champagne or a box of gourmet chocolates. For our engagement party, we were not expecting gifts but people gave us smaller giftcards from Macy’s or Nordstrom. We used them to get stuff we needed for the wedding. 

Post # 25
194 posts
Blushing bee

I told people no gifts for my engagement party – it was just something my in laws really wanted to have to celebrate since our wedding would be almost 2 years away.

People still gave gifts – someone gave us a nice bottle of Moët which was a nice treat! But definitely gift no more than $50 gift card/cash. 

Post # 26
2067 posts
Buzzing bee

Nothing, I’ve never given anything at an engagement party.  Guess it depends where you’re from.

Post # 27
6349 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

Definitely don’t give $120! That’s ridiculous.

And honestly, I’d have felt weird is someone gave us MONEY for our engagement gift. That’s something done at weddings, but not the pre-parties. A bottle of wine and/or a card, if anything. Our friends threw us a very low key engagement party after we got engaged and two people brought gifts, the others didn’t. Didn’t matter to us!

Post # 28
54 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

View original reply
chelsy33:  Hi! Monetary gifts aren’t expected but some guests may give them checks or small gifts for couples (picture frame, gift cards…). Since my fiance and I are having quite an extended engagement period, we decided host our engagement party (well, it was really just brunch) in October. We absolutely didn’t expect anything. We told guests not to bother giving us anything. We just really wanted to celebrate with family and friends. 

Post # 29
437 posts
Helper bee

Not that a gift is expected but knowing how I am, I won’t ever arrive at a party without a little detail. I think a sweet little gesture such as this (see pic) would be perfect with an engagment card. Just going that extra step to put in a little thought.

Post # 30
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016 - Sassafraz in Toronto, Ontario

View original reply
chelsy33:  Any engagement party I’ve been to in Ontario (Toronto, specifically) haven’t been gift centered. I would bring a bottle of wine and a card, just because I tend to bring a bottle of wine any time we are being hosted, and the card to just give congratulations. 

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