Modern Engagement Party Gift Etiquette, Explained

Here's what you need to know to be a great guest.
Photo: Maryna Terletska | Getty
emily rumsey the knot editor
Emily Rumsey
emily rumsey the knot editor
Emily Rumsey
Assistant Commerce Updates Editor
  • Emily helps maintain and update e-commerce content for The Knot
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Emily worked as a website editor and manager for The Paleo Diet®
  • Emily holds two bachelor's degrees in Journalism and International Affairs with a Chinese minor
Updated Nov 15, 2023

Yay, they're engaged! And your first invite (of many) to celebrate the happy couple just came in the mail: an engagement party. If they're the first of your loved ones to pop the question, you may be wondering what guest protocol, specifically engagement party gift etiquette, is. Let's start with the absolute most important question—what do you wear to an engagement party? Just kidding! It's do you bring a gift to an engagement party? Honestly, you don't have to. Between a couple's shower and the actual wedding, you'll have plenty of opportunity to surprise the lovebirds with a sweet present. That said, they won't reject the gesture. Below, we're covering everything that makes a good engagement party gift, from exactly what to buy the couple to how much you should spend.

Help! What is a good engagement gift?

Anything that celebrates the couple's new relationship status or helps them start wedding planning is a good engagement party gift idea. Think: a set of special toasting glasses, personalized wall art or a wedding planning notebook. You can also check if the couple has set up an engagement registry to help them start crossing off items on their newlywed wishlist. It's also important to choose a present the couple will both love and use. After all, an engagement party is a celebration of the two of them. This is one reason edible gifts, like wine (usually sparkling) are a popular present for newly engaged couples.

Can I buy them a bottle of bubbly and call it a day?

While some say you can never have too much Champagne (it's me, I say that), there are plenty of great and less popular engagement gift ideas if you want yours to stand out or you need to buy something that ships more easily. You should also keep in mind that not all couples drink, so make sure you know each of the to-be-weds drinking habits before running to the liquor store. Simply put, yes, you can buy the couple a bottle of bubbly for their engagement party, but there are lots of other champagne-themed gifts and gifts unrelated to alcohol to choose from too.

Real talk: How much should I spend on an engagement gift?

Since an engagement party gift is optional, there is no expectation for how much you should spend on one. For the most part, it depends on your personal wedding gift budget and your relationship with the couple. Anywhere from $50 to $75 is more than an appropriate price for an engagement gift—and, as mentioned, you can spend even more or less (or none). Keep in mind this is not the last gifting occasion for the couple. You should take into account how much you plan to spend on their shower and wedding gift when determining your budget for an engagement gift.

I wanna give cash. What's appropriate?

It's a totally acceptable gesture to give cash to a newly engaged couple—just pair it with a thoughtful congratulatory card (we'll help you pen a message). Like a traditional engagement gift, $50 to $75 is an appropriate cash gift amount for an engagement party. Whatever you feel comfortable gifting the love birds, they'll be very thankful for. After all, weddings aren't exactly cheap, so anything helps.

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