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WIBU not to get them an engagement present?

(86 Posts)
bt1978 Tue 10-Sep-13 19:31:09

A couple DH and I are related to got engaged and had a party. It was in an ordinary hotel, not fancy, but a nice teatime do. We were invited 3 days before the event via Facebook.

We have been related to them for only a few years since it is due to a second marriage in the wider family, and although we are similar in age we do not socialise with them and only see them at random family events.

The above may or may not be is just background info.

Anyway, it has been brought to our attention that we were the only people not to give an engagement gift. We took a card. Apparently that wasn't enough!
We will be getting them a wedding gift, unless we have now been struck off the invite list.

Do people give gifts at these things?

Would you expect an engagement gift?

Is it not unbelievably bad manners to even remark on the absence of a present?

This has pissed us off, quite frankly, and I wonder if we were being unreasonable....

BarbarianMum Tue 10-Sep-13 20:01:18

We had a party (friends not family) to celebrate our engagement. It honestly never occurred to us to expect a gift. Happily it didn't occur to any of our guests either. We did receive a few cards though.

OP if you are UK based YANBU - I've never heard of engagement presents and don't believe the practice is widespread. No idea about customs in other countries though.

BlueStones Tue 10-Sep-13 20:02:32

I might have taken a small box of chocolates just to say thanks for the invite, but I wouldn't give an engagement present. Though in my family circle people get engaged and the de-engaged in an endless cycle, so I don't take engagement announcements that seriously until a wedding venue is booked.

Rude of them to mention it to you, for sure.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Tue 10-Sep-13 20:05:18

It wouldn't occur to me if I was invited on facebook three days before, that a gift was expected. And I wouldn't turn up to a hotel with a present like chocolates or wine, to me those are more the kind of thing you take to someone's house to thank them for hosting.

Very rude of them to mention it, anyway.

MissStrawberry Tue 10-Sep-13 20:09:57

I think engagement parties are tacky and there is no good reason to have one.

omwards Tue 10-Sep-13 20:13:22

What's next, an engagement shower?

TeWiSavesTheDay Tue 10-Sep-13 20:15:07

If it wasn't them saying that it could be a parent taking umbridge on their behalf or similar madness.

I would only have taken a card, no idea what kind of gift you would give for engagement!

craftynclothy Tue 10-Sep-13 20:15:15

YWNBU. I think if it's in a hotel then I'd have brought a card and offered to buy them both a drink.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 10-Sep-13 20:16:06

People get more and more grabby. We just went to the pub.

BarbarianMum Tue 10-Sep-13 20:16:17

<<I think engagement parties are tacky and there is no good reason to have one.>>

I'm a bit puzzled by this. What makes them tackier than any other party? As for the good reason, well an engagement is generally something to be celebrated and anyway who needs a reason to throw a party?

Bit qworried I've missed out on some massive bit of etiquette here.

Nanny0gg Tue 10-Sep-13 20:28:32

Surely if you attend a party which is in celebration of something (anniversary, birthday, engagement etc), you take a present?

Don't you?

AnnaRack Tue 10-Sep-13 20:28:34

Three days isn't enogh notice if gifts are expected, so they are being greedy. Be warned - they will expect you to spend £££££££ at their wedding - now's the time to think how much you want to spend.

GaryBuseysTeeth Tue 10-Sep-13 20:35:00

What the Jeff is an engagement present? Balls to them.

Barbarian, personally I think engagement parties are a silly idea because it's not an 'event', it's just a stage you go through before you get married.
But them I'm the least romantic person in the world who dislikes weddings.

Yanbu OP.

RenterNomad Tue 10-Sep-13 20:54:07

I knew parents would be involved or stirring aunts and uncles

ILetHimKeep20Quid Tue 10-Sep-13 21:44:52

There's some right misery guts here!

I've been to loads of engagement things, it is very much something to celebrate!

pigletmania Wed 11-Sep-13 00:05:29

Yanbu, a card is fine given the informal nature of te invite and at such short notice! If they did complain they are looks very grabby, or your sakes hope tat your not invited to the wedding!

MidniteScribbler Wed 11-Sep-13 00:13:00

I would always take a gift to an engagement party.

Although the latest trend here is wishing wells for engagement parties. ::hoicks judgy pants::

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 11-Sep-13 02:25:58

You were informed via the older generation, I wonder if the umbrage comes from them as well, rather than from the engaged couple? I am an old gimmer, so many of my friends got engaged over thirty years ago. Back then an engagement party and gifts were the norm, but I have to say that the gifts were fairly token, e.g. teatowels; the sort of thing that could be placed in the 'bottom drawer'.

I was under the impression that the tradition of engagement presents had waned. After all, the 'bottom drawer' was meant to be stuff you were setting aside for your new household; because of course, both parties lived with their parents until their wedding day then.

SenoritaViva Wed 11-Sep-13 02:38:36

I think they are very rude for saying something frankly. I'd say any gifts were a luxury /bonus. I'd be peeved too.

goodasgold Wed 11-Sep-13 02:47:39


Who gets engaged for the goddamn presents?

LouiseD29 Wed 11-Sep-13 04:03:47

Engagement gifts wouldn't occur to me! We had a big engagement drinks party and no one got us a gift. Some people brought cards. But very bad form of them to keep track of gifts or even expect them. YANBU

redexpat Wed 11-Sep-13 07:42:59

I wouldn't have thought to take a gift. I'd have taken a card though like you. Perhaps it's just one of those things that depends on what circles you move in. Do you know if the couple were miffed, or if it was their parents?

RaspberrySnowCone Wed 11-Sep-13 07:50:12

I've never and would never buy someone an engagement gift. People really are grabby these days. Why does getting engaged deserve a gift FFS? If they aren't close I wouldn't bother with the wedding either OP, the fact that your lack of gift has been mentioned would make my blood boil.

moustachio Wed 11-Sep-13 07:54:09

I wouldn't of taken a present unless they were close friends. Weddings are for presents (bit like baby shower vs having an actual baby!).

I would of taken some cheap champagne or something though as a token. I hate going empty handed and you could of stopped off at a supermarket on the way!

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Wed 11-Sep-13 07:57:42

I personally just wouldn't have gone to the party if I'd been invited 3 days before via FB as it was obviously an afterthought.

However, if I did go, yes I would've taken a small gift, although nothing expensive.

IloveJudgeJudy Wed 11-Sep-13 08:01:04

I was a bit irritated with a relative of mine who had an engagement party. We were quite strapped at the time. It is not the norm in our family to have engagement party. We did not get a thank you card. The couple broke up, but the girl (my relative) kept everything (including the engagement ring!).

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