Top 10 Best Engagement Gifts 2015
When two people get engaged to be married it is most certainly a cause for celebration. The union of two people, old or young, who are very much in love is a beautiful thing to see.
You may be invited to an engagement party to celebrate the good news. Do you need to bring a gift?
The answer seems to be no. If you want to just come to the party and celebrate, you will be welcome. If you do bring a gift, you may want to make the gift really simple, and follow the caveats below.
Etiquette experts—including Emily Post’s great-granddaughter Anna Post—say gifts are not required for someone invited to an engagement party.
Engagement gifts aren’t required at an engagement party, though there is a trend toward giving them in many areas of the country. Traditionally, only very close family and friends gave the couple engagement gifts.
An Engagement Party Is Not a "Shower"
A bridal shower is a different kind of party entirely; it's generally planned by a friend or family member of the bride to “shower” the couple with things they need to set up a new household: kitchen appliances, dishes, linens, and such. There will often be a store registry to make sure guests don’t all give the same thing.
But the engagement party comes well before that level of investment in a household.
Best Engagement Gift: Something Modest for the Near Future
If you still want to give an engagement gift, that’s great. Keep in mind:
- An engagement isn’t a wedding; alas, it isn’t necessarily forever. Give something that the couple can enjoy in the near future, something that won’t be worth fighting over or dividing if they happen to split.
- You may know only one of the two happy people well enough to know just what they like, so you can't be sure of pleasing both. The best you can do is give something that the two can share as an experience.
- Finally, if you know the couple well enough to be invited to the engagement party, it is quite likely you will be invited to a wedding soon, and if you do, it’s quite likely you will want to give a present then—so, don’t shoot the moon right now and spend all your money. Dana Holmes at gifts.com recommends spending no more than 10-25% of what you would spend on a wedding gift.
So, given these constraints on engagement gift giving—something ephemeral, experimental, and rather small—what’s left?
- Cash or a gift card. The gift card should be for a place they both regard as an indulgence and a shared interest: for example, an art supply store, a poster store, a book store, or a restaurant.
- Something to eat or drink, for example, wine, or a basket of snacks. Such a present can be consumed long before the weighty issues of a permanent commitment are settled.
- Tickets to a near-term event they might both enjoy.
- Something for their home, but something smallish, portable, something they can enjoy before they move in. For example:
- a pretty rock, crystal, or shell
- a mobile
- a candle
- a picture frame
- a little photo or poster, alluding to a place they have been, or experience they share
- a pair of soup bowls, coffee cups, or wine glasses
- a very minor appliance, something to make a food at least one of them likes—a teapot, a croque-monsieur maker, a coffee maker, or a popcorn popper
- a flower or plant; a pot of bulbs, if it’s fall or winter, will give them something additional to look forward to in the spring
- A book or movie, or something else they can look at together and laugh at or enjoy.
A Pair of Books to Laugh About
She may think she knows everything about the man she has chosen, but this little book will show there is much more she hasn't learned about him, no matter how long they have been dating.
There's also, of course, a little book for the groom: give the pair if you like. Small, fun, experimental, and ephemeral: a good engagement gift.
How Public Should an Engagement Be?
Talk about putting a girl on the spot. A man has his brother bring his girlfriend to the movies. After a movie preview, a special trailer comes on; as she watches (on camera), she realizes the trailer was made by her boyfriend, and shows him asking her father for his daughter's hand in marriage and then speeding to the movie theater, buying popcorn, and lurching into the auditorium. The entire family and all their friends are in the theater witnessing the wedding proposal, along with about 100 strangers just there to see the movie. It's funny, though most couples prefer to make their initial agreement more private.