weddings

'Please don't ask me to buy a present for your engagement party. It's greedy and I refuse.'

Call me the wedding Grinch, but I have always hated the whole palaver that goes along with celebrating someone’s wedding. 

I love weddings don’t get me wrong, but I find everything that surrounds them very… unnecessary.

But engagement parties are what anger me the most.

Engagement ring trends through the decades. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

Wedding season is once again upon us and my fridge door is already running out of magnets. I’m pumped. I truly can’t wait to shed a tear as I watch my friends exchange vows in the new year.

But on the weekend I collected yet another invite from my letterbox – this time for an engagement party.

As I scanned the text I realised that they… expected gifts. Or that’s what I assumed as there was no “no presents please” anywhere on the invite.

I’m sorry, but that pisses me off.

So, you expect me to bring you a present to celebrate your engagement, probably spend a bucketload at your hens, and then give you another gift at your wedding? Who decided that this level of exorbitant gift-giving was the done-thing please? I would like to bop them over the head.

If you look at the origins of engagement parties, they were held so the father could announce his daughter’s impending nuptials to the world. The literal sole purpose was to share the engagement news with family and friends (and the bride didn’t even attend FYI).

But in an era where social media plays the role of engagement announcer, having an engagement party is completely redundant.

Young couple taking selfie of engagement ring
Social media has replaced the need for an engagement party. Image: Getty.
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Think about it: nowadays brides-to-be often wear white, cut a cake, take home a heap of presents and have their nearest and dearest cheer their love. Isn't that what a wedding is?

There are two legitimate reasons I can see to have an engagement party; if you plan on having a tiny wedding with only a select few in attendance, or you are actually throwing a surprise wedding.

Weddings are expensive. As a guest you are expected to hand over about $100 per couple in gift form (at a minimum), and you often have to buy a new outfit/accommodation/flights. I truly find it greedy that a couple would expect a second present at an engagement party. To me, an engagement party feels like an excuse to get more dough from guests.

Then comes the next dilemma. What do you buy for an engagement gift?

Household items? A plant? Artwork? Can I just chuck in a $20 note? Is that rude? How about I buy you a salt shaker for the engagement party and you can have the pepper shaker for your actual wedding? (Sorry, that definitely was rude.)

Sigh. I promise I am not a wedding Grinch. In fact, I adore them and I am happy to contribute to a present on someone's actual wedding day.

But to me, engagement parties are redundant, old fashioned and rude.

If and when I get engaged to my lovely boyfriend I have already told him we won't be having one. I'd agree to a gathering at a pub perhaps and a cheers of a beer - but that's about it.

I am well aware that it's each to their own - if you want a fancy engagement followed by a fancier wedding go for your life. I am happy to attend as your friend and cheer you on. However, I refuse to buy you a gift.

I'll be saving that for your wedding.

The author of this post is known to Mamamia and has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. The image used is a stock photo.

How do you feel about gift giving at engagement parties? Let us know in the comments below.

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