A special couple in your life just got engaged. Whether it’s several months or a few years away, preparing for the wedding is an exciting time for the soon-to-be bride and groom. There will be plenty of time for wedding registries, but you can share your support early with one of these heartfelt engagement gift ideas.
Most importantly, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to show you care. The best engagement gifts have that personal touch that shows you put in the extra thought.
Tasty Gifts for Foodie Couples
The old adage is true — the way to a couple’s hearts is through their stomachs. Chances are, there will be a lot of romantic dinners ahead for the lovebirds. If they’re moving in together for the first time, they’ll probably also look forward to breaking in their newly shared kitchen with some home-cooked meals. Consider a food- or beverage-focused gift they’ll use for years to come. You can even give your gift a personal touch by offering home cooking.
Cake Stand and Cake
If your friends are hosting an engagement party, be the beloved guest who shows up with cake. Bake your favorite recipe, or whip up some cupcakes and place them on a fabulous cake stand the couple can keep. If you aren’t a baker, store-bought also works. Either way, they may just end up using your gift on their wedding day.
Your Favorite Cookbook
If you’re a chef yourself, grab a new copy of your favorite cookbook. Mark your favorite recipes with Post-Its describing your thoughts on the recipes or why you love the dishes. You can include personal notes like “Perfect rainy-night meal” or “Didn’t have sesame oil, so I used olive. Tasted great!”. Your friends will think of you each time they crack it open. Not to mention, your helpful hints might save them a lot of trouble.
Coffee Lover’s Gift Basket
If your friends are coffee drinkers, chances are they’ll love anything related to their daily brew. This doesn’t mean you need to buy a fancy new coffee maker. Chances are, they’ll put that on their wedding registry. Instead, get them a small French press or cold brew maker. Make it a package by including a bag of coffee and Mr. and Mrs. mugs. Stroll through your local Marshall’s or Home Goods, and you’ll be sure to find all of the ingredients. For iced coffee lovers, this Kate Spade New York Miss to Mrs. tumbler is a must-have.
Champagne Flutes and a Bottle of Bubbly
The happy couple will have plenty to celebrate in the coming months. Inspire their many toasts with a DIY gift set—a pair of champagne flutes packaged with a bottle of bubbly and your favorite chocolates. It’s a romantic evening in a box. (You can also substitute for wine glasses and a bottle of vintage wine if your friends are wine-lovers.) You might consider beautiful Mr. and Mrs. glasses or these Crate and Barrel Cheers to Forever glasses if your bestie isn’t changing her name.
Custom Cutting Board and Artisanal Cheese
Couples who are always entertaining will love a custom-engraved cheese board. This custom cutting board and knife is a great option. Add a special message, or simply engrave it with the couple’s names (and add their wedding date if you like). Round out the gift with a block of your favorite cheese and some summer sausage. For an extra special engagement gift, bring your favorite bottle of wine that pairs well with the cheese.
Experiential Engagement Gift Ideas: For the Couple with Everything
For the couple who wants for nothing, gift an activity. Chances are, they’ll receive plenty of wedding gifts, so they’ll welcome a unique experience. Whether it’s wedding related, a special date night, or the perfect stress reliever, help them create more happy memories before saying “I do.”
Engagement Photo Shoot
Book your friend and their new fiancé an engagement photo shoot session or, if your gal pal is particularly bold, a boudoir shoot of her for the groom-to-be. Wrap the card in a gift box with a pretty picture frame. If you’re handy behind the lens and have a nice camera, you can offer your services instead.
Pre-Wedding Workout Class
Being engaged is one of the happiest — but often most stressful — times in life. Give your friend a gift card to one of her favorite workout classes to de-stress. If she’s into yoga, head to a local studio. Or, if she prefers a heavy sweat, consider a spin class like SoulCycle. You can also purchase a gift certificate to your gym and invite her to join for a workout class.
Design the Wedding Website
If your friends aren’t particularly great with computers, you can offer to design their wedding website for them. Just ask for their wedding details and some photos, and you can create a few options. They’ll appreciate that you put in the sweat equity, and it’s a completely free gift if you’re tight for cash.
Engagement Gift Ideas They’ll Really Use
While we all love a pretty cake knife or sculptural wine decanter, they only get broken out a few times a year. These timely, practical engagement gifts are sure to get a lot of use. And, useful doesn’t have to equal boring. Add a personal touch by turning a practical gift, like a wedding planner, into a custom gift box complete with pretty pens and a handmade gift card for “one Sunday planning session with wine.”
Wedding planning is much more fun with a beautiful planner. The bride-to-be will absolutely use it often, and you can package it with a nice set of pens. Pick one in her wedding colors or opt for a personalized wedding planner on Etsy.
Thank You Cards
From bridal shower gifts to wedding gifts and every sweet gesture in between, the couple will be sending a lot of thank-you notes. A beautiful box of thank-you cards is a great engagement party gift they’ll need right away. Want to really make it personalized? Include a sheet of return address labels with their new shared last name.
A ring holder or jewelry dish is a must for every kitchen countertop. Even the most glam brides and grooms need a place to stash their rings while they wash the dishes. For the modern couple, consider a sculptural ring holder, like Anthropologie’s Flocks of Trinkets Ring Holder, available at Nordstrom. You can also consider choosing a more traditional ceramic ring dish and personalizing any option with their monogram or wedding date.
It’s the Thought That Counts
Gifting can be tricky, especially for the couple that has everything. But the perfect gift is anything that shows you’ve put time and effort in selecting it. Give each keepsake or experience a personal spin by including something only you know the couple will love, like a shared passion or an inside joke. It sounds cliché, but it really is the thought that counts.
If you took a terrible yoga class together, gift them a spinning session with a note saying you hope this is more zen. If you’re a world-class chef, bake them something and include a handwritten recipe card. That special attention will be appreciated and remembered.