As we are currently in the height of engagement season, many of you will either be the guest of honor at an engagment party or attend one. One question I often receive from couples and guests alike is regarding engagment gift giving etiquette. What is customary for an engagement gift? Is a gift given to the to-be bride for accepting the ring, is a gift given to the to-be groom for proposing, or neither?
Generally speaking, gifts for an engagement are not required, and thus, should not be expected from the engaged couple. Traditionally, after an engagement commences, it is customary to send a congratulatory note; however, as an affectionate gesture, you may provide the engaged couple with a gift at their party or at any time after the engagement is announced.
Customary Engagement Gifts Ideas include (but not limited to):
• Give something for their home: candlesticks, a vase, picture frames, wine glasses, etc. Note: save the household appliances for the shower.
• A special item to be used during their wedding: cake knife and server, champagne flutes
• A fabulous bottle of wine or champagne
• A gift certificate to their favorite restaurant so that they may take a break from wedding planning
If you decided to give a gift, the gift is given to the bride or groom in the context of a celebration of their upcoming marriage, but not for the giving or receiving of the proposal or ring. In the event you decide to ship your gift, you should address it to the bride (jointly if you are aware that the couple is already living together) and mail the gift to her home before the wedding.