Getting engaged is a significant event in a person’s life, and many family members and close friends wish to express their excitement and appreciation by giving the couple a gift. Engagement gifts are not required, even if you’re attending an engagement party, but they can be a thoughtful gesture. You can find engagement gift ideas on a number of websites, but the important thing is to pick something that’s appropriate to you and the couple, and that sincerely expresses your congratulations.
- Engagement gifts come in all types and sizes. They may be practical, such as pretty postage stamps or a photo album; gourmet, like exotic coffee samplers or chocolates; fun, such as two movie or event tickets; or humorous, such as advice books or good luck charms. Since every couple’s taste varies, and doesn’t always match that of the gift giver, consider how the gift will be received, especially if it’s intended to be humorous or you plan to give it in the presence of the couple’s families. While parents or grandparents may choose to give a fairly substantial engagement gift, it’s perfectly acceptable to select a small but thoughtful gift.
- Choose an engagement gift that’s well suited to the couple, or at least to the half of the couple you know well. While some couples may be delighted with a gift of wine or champagne and two glasses, a couple of teetotalers wouldn’t be so appreciative. If one of your best girlfriends just got engaged and you know she loves to scrapbook, give special paper, stickers and supplies she can use in the months ahead. For a couple who loves spending time outdoors together, a picnic backpack can be a thoughtful and useful gift.
- Engagement gifts can be as practical or as frivolous as you want. They just need to express your congratulations and suit the couple’s style. For the practical couple, pick things that will last them a long time, such as kitchen utensils, soft towels, picture frames, cookbooks or even a magazine subscription you know they’ll enjoy. For the more fun-oriented couple, consider novelty items, such as bride-to-be and groom-to-be hats or T-shirts, or wedding joke books. Gift cards and cash, while not very personal, are always practical.
- Give an engagement gift any time after the couple has officially announced their engagement, and before any bridal or wedding showers. If the couple is having an engagement party, consider using that opportunity to bring a gift. However, if most of the attendees won’t be bringing gifts, or the host asked guests not to, showing up with a present in hand may cause some awkward moments. Pick a more private time to surprise the future bride and groom. If the engagement takes place long before the wedding, consider giving the couple a gift they can enjoy now. For short engagements, gifts that help the couple prepare for the wedding, or that they can enjoy together afterward, such as household supplies or a bubble bath gift basket, may be appropriate.
- Although engagement gifts are traditionally given to the couple, you may only know one of the pair well. For example, your college roommate may have moved out of state and gotten engaged to someone you’ve never met. It’s okay to send your friend an engagement gift that’s best suited to her, even if it won’t make the guy’s day. For any engagement gift, presenting it well and selecting a heartfelt congratulations card can complete the package. If you’re giving bath items, consider bundling them up in an attractive container and tying them with ribbons for a professional gift basket look. For kitchen supplies, a pot, bowl or counter-top canister can provide the perfect gift container.