Engagement Parties: To Gift or Not to Gift, What? Is the Question

I never thought people had engagement parties until I was invited to my first one a few years ago. It was a nice event where the host provided food and drinks. The couple had just become engaged so they hadn't yet started any registries. So my big question was, do you bring a gift? If you bring a gift what do you bring? My rule of thumb is if you are formally invited to an event and you are being provided cocktails and food, you should bring something. For the particular engagement party I mentioned above we brought a bottle of red, and white wine. We knew the bride and groom had different wine preferences. However, the more engagement parties I was invited to the more creative I became with my gifting. My second engagement party I purchased a gift certificate for a couples cooking class, I thought it was unique, and something the couple would enjoy together, plus they might just learn something. Another "go to" gift I have been using for engagement parties is restaurant gift certificates, everyone likes to eat out, and you can't beat free! As the saying goes "It's the thought that counts."