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Engagement part - gift giving etiquette

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Old 02-20-2013, 07:19 AM   #1
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Default Engagement part - gift giving etiquette

We were recently invited to a formal engagement party but we will not be able to attend. Do we have to send a gift? Keeping in mind that there will be a bridal shower, and the wedding itself to attend I'm not quite sure what the expectation is for yet another gift. It's a little overwhelming financially for us. What the heck is an engagement party for anyway?
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:19 AM   #2
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I've only been invited to a formal engagement party once in my life, and it was definitely a gift-giving situation. The way I handled it was to tie it in with my overall gift for the wedding. I was giving a large pottery soup tureen in the shape of a turtle, so for the engagement party I gave 2 pottery soup bowls that were part of the whole set, but were substantial enough to "stand on their own". But if you're not attending? Then, I don't know... (so I guess I'm not much help LOL)

I have no idea what the party is for, either.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:35 AM   #3
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An engagement party is to make a formal announcement of the engagement and to let the two sides start to get to know each other. While it will of course vary by the customs of a particular area and/or family, giving a gift is considered optional, so I don't think you need to send one if you can't attend, esp. if you do plan to give shower and wedding gifts later on.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:33 AM   #4
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I would certainly send a card no matter what.

Since the engagement party is probably much smaller than the wedding and your gift would stand out more now, perhaps you could split the money you were planning to spend at the wedding and get some sort of gift card or something now?
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:51 PM   #5
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Lots of engagements don't make it to the wedding. Send a card!
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:57 PM   #6
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I agree, card.

The insane amount of money and time that some couples expect spent on their engagements, pre-wedding parties and get togethers, and weddings, are crazy to me. Your friend may not be one of those people. But I think a card just saying congrats is all that should be expected.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:10 PM   #7
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I don't know anyone who has engagement parties, truth be told. Is that a more Southern tradition?
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:36 PM   #8
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I think in the age of social media there is no need for Engagement parties anymore. Just another excuse for a gift. Send a card.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:46 PM   #9
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I just got engaged I am not having an engagement party. I think its unfair to generalize and say that couples are all out for gifts and gifts and gifts though. Me and my fiance just want to party with our friends, if they don't wanna to come cause they think engaged couples are spoiled or whatever people seem to think, they can stay home. We don't want their gifts or money , we just want to celebrate our love as cheesy as that sounds. I honestly had someone try to convince me just to do a court wedding cause they are tired of all the weddings and how much effort on their part in takes and all they have to do is show up for an hour. So yea sorry for the rant but some people are really jaded and I've been engaged all of a week and I'm already tired of this omg brides this weddings expensive this and spoiled couples this and that, so now I'm jaded too.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:53 PM   #10
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@CherryQuinn - Many couples who have engagement parties send registration info with their invites! If you aren't doing that people won't think they are obligated to bring a gift. Congratulations on your engagement!
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Many couples who have engagement parties send registration info with their invites!
I may be old fashioned, but to me that is tacky tacky tacky.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vex View Post
I may be old fashioned, but to me that is tacky tacky tacky.
Thats very tacky to me too. I also don't get the whole 500 people at a wedding thing, how do you know so many people? :P
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryQuinn View Post
I just got engaged I am not having an engagement party. I think its unfair to generalize and say that couples are all out for gifts and gifts and gifts though. Me and my fiance just want to party with our friends, if they don't wanna to come cause they think engaged couples are spoiled or whatever people seem to think, they can stay home. We don't want their gifts or money , we just want to celebrate our love as cheesy as that sounds. I honestly had someone try to convince me just to do a court wedding cause they are tired of all the weddings and how much effort on their part in takes and all they have to do is show up for an hour. So yea sorry for the rant but some people are really jaded and I've been engaged all of a week and I'm already tired of this omg brides this weddings expensive this and spoiled couples this and that, so now I'm jaded too.
Hi, congratulations on your engagement! Don't let negativity stand in the way of celebrating your upcoming nuptials. You said you're not having an engagement party but you want to party with your friends? Not sure what that means, if you want to have a party then go for it! I've been to lots of parties lately (b'days, anniversarries) and the invitations have said "No gifts please" so you can do that if you really want a party but don't want to impose gift obligations on your friends.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vex View Post
I may be old fashioned, but to me that is tacky tacky tacky.
Yea that is totally against the etiquette rules for sure. Registering somewhere is fine but you have to find out where by asking the couple personally or asking someone that is close to them. It's not right to put it in the invitation.

Usually, when the bride is having a shower the invitations are sent out by someone else anyway, and then it is appropriate to include a registry card in the invitation.

So in this case of the engagement party we RSVP'ed that we couldn't go by replying to the email address that was provided on the invite. We said sorry we couldn't be there and I did ask where the couple was registered but got no reply back. Don't know where to go from there. I feel awkward sending a card without anything in it.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:00 AM   #15
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I've never heard of engagement parties but I'd definitely just send a card saying congratulations on your engagement. When we got married, we asked for no gifts but that doesn't go over well. We did get a lot of nice cards though that meant a lot to us.
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