UKbride Member Request 20 Feb 2019

Engagement party gift etiquette

Hi, We’re hosting an engagement party in the UK for those guests who can’t make it to our wedding in Australia (I’m Australian, my fiancé is British, and we live in Australia). From what he’s said, engagement parties are not as common in the UK as they are here, so I’m wondering whether people are likely to want to bring a gift to this type of event (and so I need to put something on the invites), or whether they’re likely to see it as a more informal event and so would feel put upon by having gift instructions on an invite. I don’t want anyone to feel obliged to give a gift if this isn’t the done thing - and we can’t take much home with us anyway!  Thanks in advance!

Kayleigh E Alman
Kayleigh E Alman 21 Feb 2019

I would take a gift to an engagement party but your fiancé is right, not a lot of people have them here. I never had one, but I wouldn’t put it on the invite though.. that’s just my opinion x

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

I wouldn’t put anything on the invitation purely because we don’t have engagement parties here. If someone gives you a gift .. thank them .. if not .. thank them for coming .. ️ x

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

Yeah engagement parties aren't very popular here, I wouldn't put anything on the invite but you will find most people will come with a little something for you both x

Amy Eager
Amy Eager 21 Feb 2019

We had an engagement party and weren’t expecting gifts, we had a little box because we thought people might bring cards. We were so wrong 😂 it took 4 of us to carry home all the gifts and cards.

But I definitely wouldn’t put anything on the invite 🙂 we don’t put anything on birthday invites here and that’s what I saw it as similar to xx

Louise DC
Louise DC 21 Feb 2019

Me and all my friends have had engagement parties (we're Northern) and it's quite common here. We got quite a few gifts ranging from alcohol to nerf guns 😂 but lots of people gave us money and cards xx

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

I'd definately not write anything about gifts on the invite (unless your specifically telling them not to buy you anything at all) as I personally think it's rude to assume people will buy you gifts!

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

We had engagement parties in the UK and Germany. We didn't expect nothing at all and everybody brought a gift (and everybody loved to come to an engagement party). I think it's in our nature to feel a sense of pride and privilege to be invited to join a happy occasion and to contribute to it in a form of a gift (that sounds far to profound to come from me ). I would maybe put a line on the invite that gifts are not expected or necessary but if anybody want to bring something to give money as you have to get everything to the other end of the world. People will understand that.

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

I've been to a couple of engagement parties and people do generally bring a little something. I personally wouldnt want to make it akward by forcing someone to bring a gift if they really cant afford one but I'm sure most guests will.

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

We never had an engagement party we just had a nice family meal to celebrate, but we have been to one before and we just took a card and bottle of prosecco for our friends x

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

Engagement parties aren't a gift giving occasion, you don't put anything about gifts on an invitation. You may get money in cards, or bottles of champagne and glasses,chocolates or the like, what we call hostess gifts

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

What If you word it as not an engagement party but more of a wedding party as you can't spend your special day with them.

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

I went to my cousins one and as they have been living together for a while , they had no boxed gifts on their engagement cards and wedding invites

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

I'm from the South East and in the last 10 years it's becoming a lot more common to have engagement parties (any excuse imo!). People brought mainly cards and money to mine but I did get a few bottles and larger gifts. I would think a little note to say we don't expect gifts as we have to travel back to Australia on the invite would be nice. You will hopefully just get cards and money or vouchers then lol x

Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson 21 Feb 2019

We got a lot of money for our engagement , from family or friends and a couple of gifts but nothing huge , I wouldn't put anything on the invites though because it's not really a gift giving type of party ! I have been to countless engagement parties and we are from the north east of England and tbh they are quite common ! Xxx

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

Personally, wedding or engagement I find it rude to ask for anything! If people want to gift of their own accord then so be it but this whole getting given stuff or money because you're getting married I find so bizarre

Rebecca Child
Rebecca Child 21 Feb 2019

I think this type of engagement party differs from the norm though. Friends and family who can't make the wedding are probably more likely to bring a gift as it's their only opportunity to do so. I don't think in this instance it's as simple as 'it's only an engagement party so we won't get a gift'. I agree that maybe calling it a wedding party might be better and finding a little poem about not expecting anything but if guests insist then money would be nice.. and easier to take home! 🙂

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

Some people seem to fail to understand the issue here. I agree, normally I would not mention presents on the invites, but Australia is a bit of a distance and it can get pretty expensive to downright impossible to bring some stuff back. In this instance I would put something on the cards, I dont think anybody would find it rude, it would be a lot worse to tell people you can not accept their present (or re-gift or even throw away) because you just can't take it with you.

Rae Helm
Rae Helm 21 Feb 2019

You could put something along the lines of “if you’d like to send a gift please wait until we publish our wedding registry”? Brits are certainly used to wedding presents so might encourage them to use that closer to your wedding date?

Laura Stewart
Laura Stewart 21 Feb 2019

It really does depend on your social circles

So I’ve been to lots of engagement parties, I’ve always taken a bottle as a gift to congratulate the couple

I’ve been to some where I’ve been the only one giving a present

There really are no set rules, as I’m sure others will have said, leave it off of the invite and just thank them for coming

Other option is, depending on your dates, you hold the party after the wedding and then invite them to a wedding reception, gifts would then normally be given

Good luck

Zenia Osborne
Zenia Osborne 21 Feb 2019

I don't no where in England these people are from but I have been to loads of engagement parties ?

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

Although I would never expect a gift, chances are most guests would want to get you something. If you don't mention something in your invite, you run the risk of receiving duplications

Cheryl Jackson
Cheryl Jackson 21 Feb 2019

It sounds more like a weddong party than an engagement party and i would maybe pop a lil poem on the bottom that u don’t except gifts but money would b nice , my sister put one on her wedding invites.
Also my best friend had an engagement party and the amount of
Stuff she got was crazy and not practical to travel home with had she needed so id deff pop something on x

Danielle Ryde
Danielle Ryde 21 Feb 2019

We didn't have an engagement party but as we moved into our own place everyone started buying things I wouldn't ask for gifts it's them if they bring something

Chelsea-Anne Horrocks
Chelsea-Anne Horrocks 21 Feb 2019

Personally I wouldn't mention gifts that way people won't feel obliged to bring anything, that way it leaves the choice of bringing a gift up to each guest x

Bethan Roberts
Bethan Roberts 21 Feb 2019

I don’t think you would call it an engagement party? Is it not just a wedding party?? As it’s in place of attending your wedding?
It’s odd to have a gift list for an engagement party. But if your calling it the wedding party then you could add a poem into the invite to say how your wanting money type in ‘honeymoon wish for wedding invites’ on google loads come up x

Alice Langford
Alice Langford 21 Feb 2019

We had an engagement party and so many people brought gifts (it was a surprise party for us so obviously didn’t expect anything!)
Maybe word it as a wedding celebration? And put it’s because the ceremony will be abroad so wanted this chance to celebrate with those not attending or something?
But maybe don’t mention gifts, then it’s up to the person themselves. And if you do mention gifts and then everyone brings something then you can’t take it all back 😂 xx

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

My Fiance and I's engagement party is next week, we aren't expecting gifts mainly because we aren't really comfortable asking for gifts from people, when all we really want is their company. We aren't intending on having a big wedding at all, so this is really in place of a wedding. It's catered, with cake and photographer etc which people know about but we definitely are not expecting gifts from anyone. The effort they make to come and they company is all we could really ask for.

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

Engagement parties still arent the "norm" in the UK (at least, not in the circles I run with!). I wouldn't send a gift list with the invites, but I imagine people would bring a little something. Hopefully monetary rather than actual gifts as you'll need to get them back home

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

Why not put something like if you were thinking of buying us a gift, please due to luggage space we would love you to donate to our/ or your favourite charity on our behalf

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

It's pretty common to take some sort of gift to a party, and I would think even more likely for you with those guests who won't be joining you on your wedding day. But your pre-wedding party guests would hopefully realise you need to be able to carry any gifts back on the plane with you (or maybe pass to anyone else that is flying out to you). If you want to be sure you could look for a poem that best suits you requirements. Have a fab time x

beverley summerhill
beverley summerhill 21 Feb 2019

I wouldn't put anything on invites I personally didn't expect gifts but we received money which went towards our wedding

Katy Nelson
Katy Nelson 21 Feb 2019

I personally popped a small card with a cute poem on it saying that if they wanted to give us anything then they could donate to our honeymoon fund with a link. Gifts and money are a normal thing in the UK and most couples have a gift list where guests can choose what they want to buy if they want to at all

Edit: this was for the wedding! We didn't have an engagement party

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

It’s a wedding night do not engagement party which then would add a little note to say if anyone wants to give a gift the money would be better as you need to get it home with you.or have a list somewhere that they canship stuff over.

Ashley Orr
Ashley Orr 21 Feb 2019

Hi everyone, thank you all for your generous feedback. We’re keen to avoid calling it a ‘wedding party’ as the wedding and reception will take place 6 months after the engagement party, and calling it that will definitely confuse the Australian guests we’re inviting to the UK party. It sounds like putting anything about gifts on an engagement party invite is a bit of a faux pas, so I think we’ll leave it off and trust to the common sense of our guests to know we won’t be able to take much back with us. Though if I can find a subtle poem to that effect I might use that.
Thanks again!

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 21 Feb 2019

We had an engagement party, however we didn’t ask for gifts nor did we hint for them. It’s just not what you do! We received lots of lovely cards we will cherish for our engagement.

For our wedding day we wrote a poem about ourselves and our lives so far, and that IF people wished to give us a wedding gift then some pennies towards our honeymoon would be appreciated. (Only as people kept asking what we would like)

A wedding isn’t about how much you can get from others. It’s about marrying the person you want to spend your life with.

Gifts don’t last. Memories do!

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 22 Feb 2019

Personally I wouldn’t write anything about a gift on your invitation. Simply ask for their company at your party, which should be gift enough in itself.


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