Engagement Gift Etiquette
Gifts are not required or expected for engagements. The reason being is that wedding gifts are, so it’s like giving two gifts for the same celebration. However, close friends & family often choose to give a gift for an engagement. They view it as a separate event and celebration.
When at a party, if some do bring gifts, proper etiquette dictates that they are not made part of the celebration or put on display. Discretely put them aside and open them in private after the guests have left.
Whether or not you choose to give the happy a couple an engagement gift, consider bringing a host/hostess gift when an engagement party is being held in a private home—it’s basic social etiquette regardless of the event.
The History & Tradition of Engagement gifts
Historically, a gift was only given by very close family members as a way of welcoming the newly engaged into their family. They usually consisted of some form of family heirloom having sentimental value. They were viewed as a welcoming gesture and a means of carrying on family tradition.
Other than a family heirloom, a simple teapot is considered by some, one of the most traditional engagement gift ideas. This likely comes from ancient Chinese culture where a tea ceremony (a form of engagement party) was held in honor of the engagement. Similar tea rituals for bringing people and family closer together are also found in 18th C. America.
Regardless of the origin or the authenticity of the tradition, we love the idea of a teapot or tea set for two as a gift. It’s a sweet and romantic gift for a couple starting out their lives together. We love that it’s steeped in tradition (pun intended), and available at any budget.
Ultimately, the reason we give a gift is to show the couple that we’re excited about their upcoming union. With that in mind, engagement gift ideas can run from a simple handwritten card sent, to a bouquet of flowers, to much more elaborate and expensive items like gifting a couple their honeymoon.
Final thing to keep in mind regarding engagement gifts, is budget. You are expected to give a wedding gift so factor that future expense into any of our engagement gift ideas and your overall gift budget.