It Was A Wedding Gift, Not An Engagement Gift!

Dear Uncommon Courtesy,

I recently came across your post on giving wedding gifts, which advises sending a gift “around 1-3 months before the wedding.” What happens when I send the gift two months out (because theres not a lot left on the registry), and they very quickly follow with a Thank You note saying it was a “VERY generous engagement gift.” But, it was their wedding gift! So obnoxious! How do I handle this?


Not So Gifted


The Emily Post Institute says engagement gifts are neither “obligatory nor expected,” but that if they are given, they’re often given at an engagement party. The Knot also specifies that these parties should happen no more than three months after the couple has gotten engaged, likely to avoid confusions like this.

Victoria: HAHAHAHA omg. People are dumb is the answer. You don’t get an engagement gift, and if you were to get one, it would be immediately.

Jaya: This is totally a symptopm of long engagements right? Like, this would not happen if we had 3-4 month engagements.

Victoria: Yeah, although, I suppose that would be more confusing if there’s less time between the wedding and engagement.

Jaya: Maybe. I don’t know, it just seems like now engagement gifts are an expectation. I got a few, and they were all lovely, but I also had it in my head that if this was the only gift I got from that person it’d be totally fine!

Victoria: The point is engagement gifts are not to be expected- like you said, you got a few- that’s an exception rather than a rule.

Jaya: The writer certainly does not have to explain themselves. You bought them a generous gift, and now just go to the wedding and have fun. If they ask about an wedding gift that is incredibly rude, but if that happens you can explain the gift you got them was the wedding gift.

Victoria: Yeah, they will figure it out when they don’t get another gift. I suppose, if you were close to the person, you could call them up and be like “oh darling, how droll, you thought your wedding gift was an engagement present- too funny! See you at the wedding.” (I have been reading a British book about the 20s so this is how I speak now.) (Ed: It’s Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and it’s amazing!)


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