Traditionally, gifts are not required at an engagement party or for the announcement of an engagement. However, due to the celebratory nature of an engagement being announced, many people will arrive to an engagement party with gifts or will want to send an engagement gift to the couple. Therefore, a newly engaged couple may want to set up a preliminary list of items such as flatware, china patterns, etc. at a wedding registry. If there will be an engagement party, the couple should let the host know where they are registered so they can pass this information on to any guests that ask for gift information.
If you have been invited to an engagement party, keep in mind that while wedding gifts are expected, engagement gifts are not a requirement. Also, if you do choose to give an engagement gift, you really don't have to go all out since you will likely be purchasing a wedding gift as well. If the couple has not registered at the time of the engagement party, a good rule of thumb for a gift would be something for their home. A nice vase or pair of candlesticks would be nice. Also photo frames make nice, inexpensive gifts as well. If you plan to put your money toward a nice wedding gift, but don't want to feel awkward by showing up to the engagement party empty handed, a nice bottle of wine or champagne makes a great gift and it's something everyone can enjoy.
When choosing an engagement gift, it is best to keep the couple's personality in mind. For instance, if the couple loves to spend time hiking together, then something like a picnic backpack would be a great gift. Another idea would be a scrapbook and some scrapbooking supplies so the bride that loves to scrapbook can document the months leading up to her wedding day. Another great idea for an engagement gift is to give pretty postage stamps that the couple can use on their wedding invitations. This is something every bride and groom would surely love to receive and is also completely useful. No returns to the store on this one!
A fun engagement gift is always an option as well. You might want to consider bride and groom t-shirts or hats. Fun, novelty gifts are great if you are close with the couple and they are fun loving. However, remember to keep this type of gift in good taste. You don't want to give a gift that is off color in front of the couple's parents.
Tags: engagement gifts, wedding gift ideas, cheap wedding gifts,