So before I get started with my explanation I am aware that any mention of gifts on an invite (including that you don't think people need to get them at all) is considered gauche. I get it, I'm not supposed to be thinking about gifts. The thing is, we really
don't want and can't use gifts at this time, we won't ask for money and I feel if we just spread by word of mouth, only some people will listen and those people may feel bad when others show up with gifts.
My parents wanted to throw this engagement party for the purpose of my extended family getting a chance to meet my fiance. We also decided to invite some of his family (parents, siblings, aunts and uncles) so that our families can get to know one another. The party will be at my parent's house on Long Island where 90% of the guests from my side reside, but his family is in either Connecticut, Massachusetts or Upstate New York so those attending will have to travel a bit.
One of the things he made clear when we started discussing the engagement party is that he was only ok with it if it was very casual and people didn't bring gifts. This seemed fine to me because I don't see engagement parties as gift giving opportunities. Then I went to my cousin's engagement party and everyone seemed to bring a gift. Most of these same people will be attending mine.
Finally, we just both moved into a smallish (350 square foot) 1 bedroom apartment and are having difficulty getting rid of things so that we can live comfortably. We don't have any room for more stuff at this time. We also live 3 hours away from where the party will be and will be getting home by train because we don't have a car. We can't easily transport gifts to our home without spending a fairly significant amount of money to do so.
All of that being said, would it be appropriate in our situation to put in small font on the bottom right hand corner of the engagement party invitation (no gifts please)?