Engagement Party Etiquette

I received an invitation for an engagement party recently.

While that’s no huge surprise in itself (although I do wonder how I make the cut for an ex-colleague’s sister’s wedding), what was interesting was that along with the crafty invite was an equally decorative note detailing the gift registry. For an engagement.

Now, for a wedding, regardless of how you feel about being told what to buy, a gift registry is both expected and accepted. As is asking for cash.

Sure, wedding gifts throw up plenty of dilemmas; What if everything on the list is ridiculously expensive? What if you don’t like anything on the registry and want to get something else? Where is your cash going? Not to mention the fact that for both options, the newlyweds will be able to see how much you spent.

But hey, if you can navigate those predicaments, it makes the whole gift thing pretty easy for guests. Plus, the couple won’t get four toasters, won’t need to return or re-gift anything they hate and can deck out their home/kitchen/garden to their taste.

But having a gift registry for an engagement? That seems like a bit of a stretch. A bold one at that.

Not so long ago, people didn’t even have engagement dos, and now they’re scanning items in department stores hoping for a loot of goodies for popping the question and accepting?

The reality is, people will bring a gift to an engagement party anyway, but telling them what to bring seems like a slap in the face. Guests have to fork out enough to attend a wedding (especially if it’s out of town), not to mention kitchen teas, hens dos and bucks nights.

So don’t use an engagement party as a chance to cash in, or you might not have any friends left to invite to the wedding when it comes round.

And the ones you do have will be broke.

Image courtesy Matthew Hogan, via Flickr