Engagement Party Gifts

What to give to celebrate the engagement

Traditionally, gifts are not expected at an engagement party; bridal showers are the usual gift-giving event. However, many guests will want to give gifts anyway, so it's a good idea to register as soon as you can. Spread news of your register through word of mouth rather than in a note with your wedding announcement or engagement party invitation. If you want to let people off the hook, you can write "No gifts" on your engagement party invitation. Some people will still give you gifts, but those who choose not to won't feel guilty.

Gift Etiquette

Since guests aren't necessarily expected to bring gifts to engagement parties, both giving and receiving should be done discreetly. If you're giving a gift, the most polite thing to do is to give your gift before the party: mail it or drop it off. If you bring your gift to the party, give it to the engaged couple subtly and don't expect to see it opened at the party.

If you're receiving a gift, thank the giver and ask if you can open the gift later; if they really want you to see your reaction, open it away from the other guests so they don't feel bad. And, of course, make sure to send prompt thank-you notes!

What Gifts to Give

Trying to pick out an engagement gift? Choose something that will either be useful to the engaged couple or something that can create a romantic moment for the couple. They're about to embark on a stressful and exciting wedding planning journey; why not get them a gift that helps them plan for the wedding?

Examples of useful or romantic gifts include:
  • A bottle of wine or champagne for the couple to share.
  • Some of your favorite romantic music.
  • A year's subscription to a cooking or home design magazine.
  • Something decorative for their house like picture frames or a small painting.
  • A wedding planning or romantic quote book.
  • A gift certificate for a romantic activity the couple can do together; a dinner, a play, or a spa treatment, for example.
  • An heirloom that you'd like to pass on to serve as "something old;" this applies mostly to family.

What Gifts NOT to Give

Stay away from gifts that are too pessimistic (like books advising how to put the spark back in your marriage) or too forward-looking (like baby clothes!). Also, save raunchy gifts for the bachelor or bachelorette party; Great-Aunt Margaret will not be amused.

Written by: Selena Beckman Harned