Post # 1
My Boyfriend or Best Friend and I are hosting a engagement dinner for my sister and her fiance. We’re throwing a party with our side of the family and his brothers and sisters (they are older and have familes also) at my parents home (around 40 people), but renting tables, linens, catering food, and getting this amazing cake. Now I know some people chose to bring presents, and I’ve left that up to them. My question however, is should my Boyfriend or Best Friend and I buy them a gift as well? I don’t we don’t ‘have’ to, but should we?
Post # 3
I’d probably just do a nice card and a good bottle of wine or something along those lines.
Post # 4
Engagements are a fragile and tentative time in a relationship. The prospect of change puts pressure on a relationship that was previously solid and stable. Adding gifts on top of that — gifts that etiquette would consider to be “contingent” on the wedding coming off and which would need to be returned if it did not — add additional stress. Standard etiquette is that engagement parties are explicitly a non-gift event. The only kind of engagement gift that is appropriate is the occasional small-but-significant meaningful token from extremely close kin.
However, the happy couple could consider giving you a card and a bottle of wine, since they are your guests and guests commonly bring a token “hostess gift” to their hostess at a party.
Post # 5
I would give my sibling an engagement gift, but separate from the party. I know you don’t have to, and some etiquette actually says not to, but I think it’s up to you. When Darling Husband and I got engaged, for example, my brother and SIL got us a beautiful card and a gift card to a nice restaurant, with a note reminding us to still have date nights while planning our wedding! (As in, don’t get too bogged down; still have fun!) We thought it was really nice, and yes, when we got a bit overwhelmed, a pre-paid dinner out at a nice restaurant was lovely.
Post # 6
The engagement was traditionally announced as a surprise, in part to avoid the appearance of soliciting presents at a “self-congratulatory” event thrown by family. In my experience, engagement gifts are sometimes given by those close to the couple, but it’s totally voluntary and not expected. Throwing them the party is more than generous.