It’s that time of year where invitations for various wedding events are showing up in the mailbox daily. From an engagement party for your best friend that just said “yes!” to a wedding shower for partner’s college roomate, it seems like you have another wedding related event to attend every other day. But, which of these events actually require you to bring a gift?
Engagement Party: An engagement party celebrates the couple’s recent engagement. Often it will take place shortly following the proposal and before any real wedding plans have been made. Engagement parties tend to be more intimate affairs with family and close friends of couple in attendance. A gift is not required when attending an engagement party, although many guests will bring bottle of champagne for the couple or something small and sweet (like a ring holder, planning book, or family heirloom) to say congratulations. You don’t have to feel bad if you show up empty handed though!
Shower: Some couples will only have one shower, others will have many. If it has shower in the title, a gift is expected for every shower you attend. As a guest, this can become overwhelming and costly if you are invited to more than one shower, but plan accordingly. It is poor etiquette to show up without a gift even if you brought a very nice one to the last shower.
Bachelor/Bachelorette Party: Unless otherwise instructed by the host, gifts are not expected when you attend a bachelor or bachelorette party. However, while a gift is not expected, if you’re invited to this event, be prepared to cover expenses for the bride or groom in the form of dinner, hotel stays, bar tabs, etc.
Luncheons: While bridal luncheons aren’t as common as they used to be, they are still prevalent in southern or high end weddings. The guest list for this is typically limited to bridesmaids and close female family members (grandmothers and aunts). But, if you do find yourself invited, a gift is not required.
Wedding Weekend Events: Weddings are turning into weekend affairs with multiple events taking place over the course of a few days. The only wedding weekend event that requires a gift is the wedding itself. Although, it is completely acceptable to send the gift to the couple prior to the wedding or immediately following instead of physically bringing it with you on the day. For every other event on the wedding weekend, your presence is present enough!