Traditionally, it was considered rude to wear black to a wedding as it was regarded as a protest against the union of the newlyweds. However, things have evolved since then, and it is now considered acceptable don your black outfit for a wedding celebration. Black is also a very safe color since you cannot be confused with the bride or the bridal party and it is considered a beautiful contrast to the bride. Your black outfit should, nonetheless, have a festive feel to it since you may not want to upstage the bride or take attention, positively or negatively, away from her.
Some wedding experts say that you shouldn’t wear white to a wedding while others only strongly warn against it for fear of upstaging the bride. There are some instances you may get away with wearing white. For example, if it is the theme color, if your dress is patterned, or if all the guests are doing the same. Beyoncé and Jay-z, for instance, asked all their guests to wear white to their wedding party. All the colors bordering white are also off the table since you may not be sure if the bride is wearing silk, ivory or champagne as her gown.
You should not feel pressured to gift the couple at an engagement party especially if the wedding invites have not been sent out. If you choose to buy a gift for the couple, then you could limit the contribution to a tiny one such as a wedding binder or a serving platter. This is because, during the wedding, you will be expected to present a gift. Therefore, the guests may not be prepared to register the gifts given. You may also attend the engagement party with the present that you would typically take to a dinner party. The etiquette leaves it up to the guests to decide what to offer the couple.
Sending a gift depends on how close you are to the couple. If you are close to the newlyweds, missing the event may upset you, and you may want to celebrate with the couple in a way makes you feel like you attended. The registry always provides an array of gifts, and you could choose the present that reflects the friendship you share with either the newlyweds. The more distant you are to the couple, the less the obligation to send a gift to the couple. It is acceptable to spend less or nothing on wedding gifts. Even if you decide to skip purchasing a gift, you should send a congratulatory message to the couple.