Do You Bring a Gift to an Engagement Party?

Decorated gift boxes and bouquet of roses on white brick wall background

Whether it’s a super formal event or a totally laid-back gathering, the etiquette around  engagement party gift-giving is a little fuzzy. Ultimately your decision regarding gifts to this first of many possible wedding celebrations depends on your relationship to the couple, your budget, and the customs and wishes of the folks about to tie the knot.

Should You Bring a Gift to an Engagement Party?

An engagement party is just like it sounds, a party thrown to celebrate a couple’s engagement. This gathering can be as simple as a backyard barbecue or as elaborate as a black-tie event. It typically includes food, drinks and activities, but it’s entirely up to the planner and what the couple’s interests and preferences are. This is the first of many celebrations; next comes a bridal shower, followed by a bachelor and/or bachelorette party, and then the main wedding event.

The happy couple might opt for a giftless engagement party, which is usually made very clear during the announcement invitation. If they haven’t made a specific request either way, there are things that can help you decide whether to bring a gift or not. The first consideration is the formality of the event. If the invite is casual, chances are the party will be too, but if you’re getting formal vibes like an invite to a cocktail party at a snazzy venue you may want to bring a gift with you. 

If you’re on a tight budget, it may come as a relief to know that you aren’t obligated to bring a gift, even if it is a formal event. Remember this is the first of many celebrations, so you may want to save your gift budget for other occasions like the bridal shower or wedding registry. Engagement gifts are not required, no matter how fancy the celebration. If you do opt for a gift, you can spend a lot, a little, or nothing at all, ultimately your presence may be the best gift you can give.  

Engagement Party Gift Ideas

There’s a big difference between engagement party gifts and wedding gifts. Engagement gifts are usually simpler presents to celebrate the occasion and typically do not come from a registry. While it’s common for guests to bring a gift to an engagement party, it’s usually something small and sentimental and is a totally optional gesture. 

If you do decide to bring an engagement gift for the happy couple, choose something simple, thoughtful and sentimental. 

  • A handwritten card is a lovely way to let them know how happy you are to celebrate this milestone with them
  • Flowers, or better yet a plant and decorative pot makes for a nice gift
  • Chocolates, wine and other delectable treats that they may not normally indulge in are always a good idea 
  • A cookbook and kitchen tools will help them establish a collection or you could choose personalized coffee mugs, champagne flutes or a charcuterie board
  • A decorative, especially if it’s hand-made-by-you, picture frame is a beautiful way to help them remember those special moments 
  • A gift certificate to their favorite restaurant, concert or event tickets or even a couples massage can be thoughtful and very appreciated gifts you can cater to their interests  

It’s always a lovely gesture to give an engagement gift, but remember it isn’t a requirement. If it’s in your budget and you want to do it, go for it, otherwise your presence at the party is enough. 

If you’re looking for engagement party venues in Hershey PA, consider Historic Acres. Our stunning property features three spaces for events including indoor and outdoor options and can accommodate both small and large groups. Contact our team to plan your event.