Is Prescence a Present ? : Do you bring gifts to an engagement party ?

Q. I have received an invitation to an ‘Engagement Party’. Are gifts appropriate? Expected? Not expected? Your help and advice are appreciated.

A. An engagement present is not a requirement. Particularly if you are going to a large party, gifts are not expected. A recent belief on the part of many people is that a gift is expected so more gifts are being taken, but this doesn’t mean it is correct to take one. If you want to give an engagement gift, you may do so before or after the party, but you wouldn’t take a gift to the party. However, if you are invited to a small dinner party or other intimate gathering in honor of an engagement, then those invited are presumed to be very close and would likely take a gift. ? usually, only very close family members and friends give engagement presents.

Exs Etiquette : What’s the policy on sending congrats to your ex

Q. I am no longer dating the gentleman I had been for the past few years. His sister-in-law recently gave birth. Is it acceptable or proper for me to send a gift for the baby?

A. Certainly, if you retain fond feelings for her and want to offer your best wishes, as long as it wouldn’t be perceived as an attempt to win him back or ingratiate yourself with his family, if he is the one who terminated your relationship.

Spousal Suggestions : How to address a couple that is not married

Q.  I would like to know how to introduce my brother’s partner correctly. They have been living together for many years and have two children, but are not married. I have introduced her as his ‘partner’ at a social function but my brother did not like this and asked that she be introduced as his wife, or my sister-in-law. I do not feel comfortable doing this as it is in essence a lie. One should not simply decide that they want to be called married and asked that others perpetuate the lie, should they? Couples go to lot of trouble financially, emotionally, spiritually and socially to get the status of marriage and it shouldn’t come to those that simply choose to call themselves that.

I have taken to simply introducing her my name and letting her explain her relationship which I know is probably not the best way of handling this.

A.  Yes, your protocol is the best way of handling this. It is never necessary to explain relationships when making introductions. Someone’s name is all you need convey and your solution covers both bases – your brother’s dislike of “partner” and your uncomfortableness with using the word “wife.”