Are You Supposed to Bring a Present to an Engagement Party?

@Pigglies (9340)
United States
August 22, 2008 11:54pm CST
My cousin just got engaged so he's having a party. One of my friends told me these parties are just a scam to get twice the gifts out of you. At first, when he invited me to the party he said he didn't know the wedding date. I didn't even think about getting a gift until my friend mentioned it. I was all ready to go grab a gift certificate for him after that. But now I found out he's getting married in October so I think I'll just get him a wedding gift then. What do you think? Am I supposed to bring a gift for the engagement party? Does it matter how close the wedding date is?
5 people like this
13 responses
• United States
23 Aug 08
yes you are supossed to give an engagement gift to the party,. and shower.. and then wedding. i only know this cause my friend recently got married. and was obligated to get a present for each of these things.
2 people like this
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
23 Aug 08
Wow, that is a lot of presents! Thank goodness, I don't think that they are having a wedding shower.
2 people like this
• United States
23 Aug 08
good then one less to buy lolol
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
23 Aug 08
Is a gift certificate a good gift for an engagement? Like a gift card to a restaurant I know he likes? For weddings I usually get silverware or something for the kitchen, but I'm not sure when my cousin and his fiancee are moving in together yet so I'll save that present idea for the wedding.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Aug 08
Yes, you are supposed to give a gift at any wedding-related function that the couple throws. Engagement party, bachelor/bachelorette party, bridal shower, wedding shower, and the wedding itself. It does sound like a lot of gifts, but they are starting out a whole new life together, they need things for it. Or you can give them nothing. I couldn't have any wedding parties and almost no one gave me any gifts at my wedding, either. Let me tell you, it's very hard trying to stock an entire household.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
23 Aug 08
See, that's what I don't get. If you know you're moving into a new place and have to stock everything, shouldn't that be the couple's responsibility to prepare for that? It's sort of like baby showers. When I was a baby, my parents got a little outfit from just about everyone they knew. Those aren't too expensive, but are useful. They bought a used crib for $25 and a bunch of other used things for everything else I needed. One of my friends recently had a baby shower and they actually expected to get the crib, and other things like that. And they did! They are poor so everyone spent over $100 to help them out. My feelings were, if they're that poor, they could have gotten an abortion. So I stuck with getting some outfits and spending less than $50. So my same thoughts transfer to weddings. If you're that poor, then wait.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Aug 08
Well, first of all, it's considered respectful since they are the ones throwing the parties for you to enjoy, and the perishables you consume thereat. It's a form or repayment for their hospitality. However, I find it very insulting for you to tell people they're not allowed to have or enjoy an occasion in their life just because they may not have the thousands of dollars it takes to make every aspect of their new life lavish and perfect. If you're so disrespectful and uncaring of the people celebrating the event, why do you even go in the first place? Then you don't have to worry about wasting your precious money on those dumb saps. Most times, the people included in events like this are dear friends and family who would be happy to do what they can to help make their lives happier. I'm sorry you can't feel that way.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
25 Aug 08
Because that's what I hate about this culture. People just want that instant satisfaction. I want to be married and I want to be married now. I don't want to save for it, let's just have someone else pay. How about tell my cousin to be considerate? He is making us drive 5 hours away for his wedding because it is cheaper for him to have it there. What about my gas money? And all the other guests? I'd really rather not go to this stupid engagement party, but I think it is out of my hands. I am somewhat expected to show up.
1 person likes this
23 Aug 08
It is entirely up to you! Some people prefer to get engagement gifts but some just a wedding gift. If the wedding is actually that close I would juts get them a card for the engagement and then get a gift for the wedding. x
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
31 Aug 08
I ended up not having time to go buy a gift so I just came to the party anyway. I brought my own food so he couldn't say I came for the food and didn't bring a gift. Apparently, our entire family is the same way because no one really brought a present. Some people did bring their old kitchen appliances, but no one brought anything new for the couple. It was actually fairly crazy because a lot of family members didn't like the bride because she is fat. But I thought she was nice and now I'm thinking maybe I will go to the wedding afterall, but I'm still not sure since it's such a far drive.
1 Sep 08
Wow so lots of the family just took a dislike because she was a big girl? Thats a shame really isn't it? x
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
1 Sep 08
My family puts a lot of emphasis on being thin so I'm sure it was a shock to them. But yeah, I thought it was pretty rude. She seemed nice, I didn't care how big she was so long as my cousin likes her. There are some people in my family that are overweight, but no one morbidly obese so I guess that's why they're worried. They are already saying she might have trouble bearing his children. What if he doesn't even want children?
@Hatley (163980)
• Garden Grove, California
31 Aug 08
hio pigglies oh yes you are supposed to cough up the dough for a gift to bring to the engagement party, then any shower, then the wedding, must get all those nifty gifts after all. I also think its a bit of a scam for getting lots more gifts from the soon to be bride or groom's friends. I do not always go to all these, just 'to the wedding and only buy one gift. I am not a millionarie so why act like one. lol.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
31 Aug 08
That's how I feel... I wasn't going to go at first because I didn't want to bring a present. But then when some other family members asked if I was going, I told them that I didn't know because I couldn't get a present. But they said they weren't bringing anything. So no one brought anything except a few people gave the couple used kitchen appliances.
• United States
24 Aug 08
All the engagement parties I have been to is more to announce the engagement. Gifts were optional. However, I brought a gift anyway. Then on the wedding day, I bought them something else. I just kept the engagement gift small and saved the bigger gift for later. I think it really should depend on the guest but that's just me. I used my engagement party to get addresses for guests and to see who wanted to contribute to the wedding fund or participate in the wedding. Liv
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
24 Aug 08
Thanks! I had never even heard of these parties, much less been to one. If gifts are optional, I might just save my gift for the wedding. I guess I'll bring a gift in the car, and then if everyone else has a gift I'll run and get it out so that way I'm covered either way. I don't have a whole lot of money to be spending on these things and if other cousins get word of this, I have a ton of cousins and they're all bound to get married sooner or later. If he asks me for any money for his wedding, I'm not even going. I find that offensive. I think if people can't afford to get married, they should wait. I hate people asking for handouts. On anything. I don't even like that disabled people who can work don't have to if they don't want to just because they got a bit of an unfair hand in life.
• United States
23 Aug 08
In my experience it is expected that the guests bring gifts to engagment parties. It's just a pain. I don't mind it if the couple litteraly has nothing and needs all the extra things to get their future started but I have a couple of friends who just liked to get free things when they could. This is why when I got married I eloped :D Anyone who wanted to help after they found out we got married just sent a bit of money. I don't wanna be a drain on my friends and family. Good luck! By the way, I would consider a gift card a perfectly legitimate gift because as long as its for a store they go to, its something that they can use to get something they absolutly need. I know I prefer gift cards to gifts 9 times out of 10.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
23 Aug 08
Thanks! Yes, I think I will just elope too. I know which restaurants my cousin likes, so I'll try to get one of those gift cards that can be used at a few different ones just in case there are any he likes that she doesn't. I usually prefer gift cards too, unless they are to really weird stores I never go to or restaurants that are over an hour away from my house. :)
1 person likes this
@juhi06 (1850)
• India
23 Aug 08
hi dear pigglies.well if the relationship is formal as you say it is your cousin , feel the gifts are necessary on such occasions irrespective of the date of marriage. and since it is a party for all as it appears many invitees will come and give away the gifts. and by the gifting is reciprocal a give and take process. it is among the families what do you say? i feel you will feel elated when you gift away something and not feel hollow if you donot. so decide accordingly.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
23 Aug 08
I'm not the type of person who would feel bad not giving a gift unless it's something where gifts are exchanged (like Christmas gifts, I'll feel bad if an acquaintance buys me a gift and I have nothing for them). On birthdays, I don't feel bad so long as the person I'm forgetting about didn't give me something before. But on occasions where it is customary to give a gift (such as weddings), I will bring one. So I guess I am bringing a gift to this. I can't say I expect to ever get a gift in return in this case though. I'm not planning to get married myself anytime soon and whenever I do I'm almost certain my family won't support it and there will be no need for me to have any parties.
1 person likes this
@wachit14 (3601)
• United States
23 Aug 08
Unfortunately, your friend is right. The engagement party is another way to get gifts from potential wedding guests and you really should get an engagement gift. However, your cousin will cement relationships by doing this. Because they are getting married in October, they really should have skipped the engagement party altogether because the wedding is so close to the engagement. Then, of course, there will be a shower which will require another gift. My advice to you is to get a small, token gift for the engagement party, like a set of candles or a bottle of champagne and save the more expensive gift for the wedding. It's really a shame that people do this to their friends and relatives, but I guess they figure they will grab all the gifts they can get since getting married is so darn expensive.
@wachit14 (3601)
• United States
23 Aug 08
I meant that your counsin won't cement relationships by doing this. Rather they will probably cause a little resentment since people have to buy them gifts so close to the wedding.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
23 Aug 08
If they are having a shower, they didn't announce that yet. I don't know how they'll squeeze that in if they do want to have one. I think you're right that these parties put strain on relationships. With a lot of my friends, we don't even exchange birthday gifts because it would just be too much money to give gifts all the time.
@sid556 (31018)
• United States
24 Aug 08
An engagement party is like a wedding shower only it is for both the bride and groom. If the bride had a shower already then i would say....no, it should not be for gifts. Its pretty traditional really. It could be just a party to celebrate their engagement. If I were you, I'd call my cousin up and ask him. Usually a "gift-giving" event is planned by a close friend as a surprise for the couple. It is highly unusual for someone to plan a party themselves in hopes of getting gifts.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
24 Aug 08
In our family no one has had a bridal shower than I know of, it's usually a wedding only. But I wouldn't know on this one because my cousin is a guy and he's marrying a woman. So if she had a bridal shower, I probably wouldn't have heard about it. I don't have my cousin's phone number since he's not living with my aunt currently. He mailed me the invitation. But I'll see if I can get in touch with him. Otherwise, I think I'm going with the idea of bringing a present in case but leaving it in the car so that I don't have to give him a present if others aren't.
• United States
24 Aug 08
yes you are suppose to bring a gift, they are celebrating their engagement .. which does not mean that they need to announce a wedding date ... it's not a scam at all . when I got engaged my mother had an engement party for me and I did not have a wedding date set. they are taking one step at a time so give them credit for that .
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
24 Aug 08
But everyone takes it one step at a time usually. That's just the way this marriage thing works. That's what I don't get. How many presents can you get out of one event? Next instead of just baby showers, women are gonna start having an "I just peed on the stick and it turned blue!" parties before they even look pregnant. And then have a baby shower too!
@Adelida2233 (1008)
• United States
24 Aug 08
They're not so much a scam to get more presents as they are for you to celebrate whoever you are close to being engaged. You are supposed to bring a present, but it doesn't have to be hugely expensive. You could make something, or just give them a gift card, whatever works for you.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
24 Aug 08
Yeah, I'll probably just go with a gift card I guess.
• United States
24 Aug 08
Yes you should bring a present to an engagement party because honestly, that is half the reason the honoree invited you, the other half is to share in their celebration.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
24 Aug 08
I never knew this was a sharing type of event until I got invited to this party. I always thought in the past that engagement was between the couple. They were excited about it, but why would anyone else be? If they break up before the wedding, then what are we supposed to think? But I'll bring a present I guess.
@kiran1978 (4138)
• Australia
23 Aug 08
Yes you are supposed to get an engagement gift. I don't think it matters how close the wedding is. It would be pretty embarassing turning up to the party without a gift. Especially since it is your cousin, I would definately buy a gift, most of the time people usually buy household gifts.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
24 Aug 08
Would you still buy a household gift if they won't be living together yet? I'm not certain when they're moving in together. Probably after the wedding, but still, I'm not sure where they'd store these type of gifts.