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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....

Summerblaze Wed 11-Sep-13 13:38:46

I had an engagement party. I was only 19 and we weren't planning on getting married for a few years so we had a party. We did get presents which was lovely but not from everyone. I was not one bit bothered as they came to celebrate with us. Most who didn't buy us a gift for our engagement bought us a wedding gift.

However, I would always take something to any party even if its just a bottle of wine or chocs.

cantthinkofagoodone Wed 11-Sep-13 13:32:54

You can give a gift if you wish but this isn't necessary. It was very bad mannered to mention it to someone that you hadn't bought a gift and is indeed grabby.

I can understand a wedding gift to set you up for married life but don't entirely understand the point of an engagement present, unless its champagne or something.

We did receive engagment presents and vouchers from DH's family friends but they always send gifts and I've never met them.

Maryann1975 Wed 11-Sep-13 13:24:40

When we got engaged, MIL was annoyed as we didn't want a party in the grotty social club round the corner from her house. A lot of her friends children had already had engagement parties and she thought we were missing out on gifts from all her friends when she had bought for all their children.
We didn't have a party and missed out on countless tea towels etc because of this. I'm still not convinced we missed out. We had a lovely wedding though, which is more than BIL who did have engagement party and then separated before the wedding date was even booked.

WentOnABearHunt Wed 11-Sep-13 12:21:57

not unreasonable at all!

i do think that facebook invites to 'formal' events are though!

gosh, i would never expect a present! my OH and I dont even want presents for our wedding later in the year - we just want our friends and family to come and have fun!

flowery Wed 11-Sep-13 11:57:58

"If the party had been hosted at their house, I would have brought a bottle of something, but not to a party at an hotel."

Interesting - I would have thought the opposite. A hotel do is more of a big deal and more formal and more expensive than a gathering at home, so a present more appropriate there imo.

Not that presents should be 'payment' for attendance at something in any way, just that it feels more appropriate to give a present in those circumstances really.

celticclan Wed 11-Sep-13 11:51:09

When we got engaged I was really surprised when the gifts started rolling in, I wasn't expecting any. We announced our engagement at a family gathering for my 21st birthday there was no separate engagement party.

A few of my relatives invited us to their engagement dinners (guests paid for themselves), I bought them each a small gift. Perhaps it was a little rude of you to go empty handed but it was ruder of your relative to tell people that you didn't bring a gift.

BigKidsMadeMeDoIt Wed 11-Sep-13 10:25:11

I have recently got engaged and it never occurred to me that people might give me presents. we got lots of lovely cards instead. the only present we got was from an old friend of my mum's who sent me a tea towel in the post because "a new bride can never have enough tea towels" which I thought was brilliant! smile

YeahWhat Wed 11-Sep-13 10:21:51

I would have taken a card and, possibly, paid for some drinks or a bottle of wine or champagne at the hotel. I wouldn't have bought a present and it wouldn't have worried me if I didn't get wine or champagne at the hotel.


MotherofBear Wed 11-Sep-13 10:16:08

What kind of gift would be acceptable to give at an engagement party?

I wouldn't have thought of giving a gift, I would have a made a card and taken that. If the party had been hosted at their house, I would have brought a bottle of something, but not to a party at an hotel.

Calloh Wed 11-Sep-13 10:02:45

I would however take a card (as you did) and would write and thank them for inviting me to a party as I would to any hosts of any wedding or party to which I had been invited.

Calloh Wed 11-Sep-13 10:00:10

I definitely do not think it is the done thing to take a gift to an engagement party.

Engagement parties are often drinks parties, although here there was a meal.

I think it is decidedly infra-dig to expect a present at such a function especially when one would presumably accept that guests may give presents at a wedding. And then to circulate that someone was the only guest who did not bring a gift is really vulgar.


flipchart Wed 11-Sep-13 09:59:11

festered What? Too short notice to nip into Tesco express and buy a bottle of champers!!
Don't be daft, nobody saying you have to go out and get a Denby tea set or anything.
I would have just got a token gift.

galletti Wed 11-Sep-13 09:52:31

I would have taken a gift to the engagement party.

However, I would never expect a present/comment on anyone who did not bring a gift.

festered Wed 11-Sep-13 09:47:18

It's a bit short notice to arrange a gift.

Hegsy Wed 11-Sep-13 09:08:31

We had an engagement party, it made more sense I worked 2 jobs at the time so trying to arrange time off for celebration drinks with our different groupsi.e work colleagues who enjoy a piss up, my parents who love going out for meals etc, inlaws who do nothing social EVER hmm was a nightmare, it just became easier to organise a party. Anyone that asked we told them no gifts, we still ended up with loads and we were very appreciative but one of the favourite things we got was a card that had been made with our names printed and pop out decoration(cannot remeber what its called!) a lot of time and effort clearly went into it and we still have it now.

OP YANBU I'd rather have a nice thoughtful card than engagement 'tat' anyday!

flipchart Wed 11-Sep-13 09:01:50

I would have taken a card and a bottle of champagne tbh.

All those saying no time for a present and they only found out 3 days before the event, well in 3 days MOST (OK not all before you jump on me) can find the time to go to Asda, Tesco, whatever or pass an Offie to get a bottle.

Whether it was expected or not is irrelevant, I would have felt uncomfortable turning up with just a card to a celebration.

jacks365 Wed 11-Sep-13 09:01:28

Writerwannabe I'd class a bottle of wine as a gift. It's still something you give.

CaptainUndercrackers Wed 11-Sep-13 08:58:57

Engagement parties and presents seem a bit old fashioned to me. It wasn't the couple that mentioned the lack of gift though, was it? It was one of their parents. I suspect there's a generation gap thing going on - the parents still expected gifts as that's how it was done 'in their day'. I bet the couple didn't mind at all about the lack of gift.

SockQueen Wed 11-Sep-13 08:57:04

I've never got anyone an engagement gift, and nobody got us one, though we did get lots of lovely cards. YANBU.

wigglesrock Wed 11-Sep-13 08:55:54

Yup, those bloody orchids in pots were solely invented for it smile

Writerwannabe83 Wed 11-Sep-13 08:52:06

wiggles - do people actually expect gifts at house warming parties?? Jesus! grin That is mental!!

Taking a bottle of wine is one thing, seeing as you are probably going to be drinking it yourself anyway, but to buy the people a gift? I would never do that smile

Kerosene Wed 11-Sep-13 08:50:34

I think a card is more than sufficient, particularly for people you don't know well. Assuming it was a Friday night thing, you were invited on what, Wednesday? That's not a great deal of time to actually get out to the shops and buy something.

Short notice, acquaintances rather than friends, complaining after the fact? Sounds grabby.

flowery Wed 11-Sep-13 08:47:36

I think an engagement party at a hotel is a bit over the top.

I think engagement presents are over the top and unnecessary.

However I think if someone invites you to a party to celebrate an event, you bring a gift.

wigglesrock Wed 11-Sep-13 08:32:01

I've always brought something small to an engagement party. I've only been to a few, not everyone I know has them. When I say small I mean like a £10 photoframe. I got engaged 16 years ago and didn't have a party but I was surprised to get a few presents mostly from my Mums friends.

I don't think engagement parties are tacky and if they are they are exceptionally less grabby than housewarming parties.

firesidechat Wed 11-Sep-13 08:29:42

Oh, I probably ought to add that I don't think I've actually been to an engagement party, so it's all a bit academic really.

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