So your friends are engaged. Now what? Amidst the flooding of Facebook congratulations, you’ll probably find yourself with a few friends you want to celebrate in a special way. If they haven’t registered yet (or don’t plan to), it can feel a bit overwhelming.
I’m lucky enough to have received some really great gifts when we got engaged in October and also absolutely love putting together little packages for friends, so I’ve created 5 engagement gift ideas. Whether you’re celebrating with your girlfriend or the couple, there’s something here for everyone! Bonus: some of these ideas would make the perfect wedding gift as well.
For the Bride
Once you’ve stopped squealing, you’ll probably want to get the bride a little something for the occasion. These sweet gifts will help you to share in her excitement and fuel her newly-engaged glow.
From tiny trinkets to glossy magazines, there are so many little items you can pick up for the newly-engaged gal in your life. A girl can never have too many bridal magazines, so tie a few up with a bow and bring them along when you pop in to admire her bling! Two of my Canadian favourites – Weddingbells and WedLuxe!
Want to help her shout it from the rooftops? Consider these golden pieces from Kate Spade New York Bridal collection or the comfy BRIDE Sailor Tee from J. Crew ($70). These gifts work best when paired with a thoughtfully-written card and a hug!
Prepare your girlfriend for weeks of bling-flashing with a cute little care package designed to get her tips in tip-top shape. Pick up a box from Dollarama and fill it with these luxe essentials: Dior Abricot Fortifying Cream (to soothe ragged cuticles overnight), Cake Milk Made Smoothing Hand & Cuticle Buffer (for gleamingly gorgeous hands), L’Occitane 20% Shea Hand Cream (for the ultimate in soft skin) and bridal-appropriate polish in a finger-lengthening pink (I love Essie Made To Honor – shown – and Urban Jungle). This unique gift will stand out in a sea of flowers and will keep your girlfriend groomed until the wedding day. Throw in a gift certificate for a professional mani if you’re feeling extra-generous.
For the Couple
The groom is oft-forgotten in the engagement bliss but remember: it’s all about the couple! These gift sets create experiences for the pair and help them to remember this exciting time.
When in doubt, go sentimental. These tokens will remind the bride- and groom-to-be of this blurry-but-blissful time for their whole lives. Consider a beautiful keepsake frame filled with a custom piece of art – how about a drawing of the couple? – or, if it’s around the holidays, a keepsake ornament to commemorate the occasion. Bonus: either of these gift ideas can be re-purposed (by you!) for the wedding by providing another matching item with a wedding vs. engagement theme.
Custom cartoon art by Toronto-based artist Sean Ward. Starting at $150 – email firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Kate Spade New York Sullivan Street Frame ($58).
Considering the amount of time you spend together on the road to getting engaged, the most shocking aspect of the actual engagement is having less time for one another than usual thanks to a slew of new commitments & people who want to see you. Encourage the couple to spend a lazy night in with these adorable (and affordable!) his & hers mugs (or hers + hers or his + his), a red-hued tea with aphrodisiac properties and an heirloom blanket to cozy up under. Toss in one of the couple’s favourite DVDs (maybe the flick they saw on their first date?) or something hilarious and wedding-related (think Bridesmaids, American Wedding, Father of the Bride) to round out the set.
Spoiler alert: wedding planning is not all fun and games. Gift the newly engaged couple in your life with the ultimate wedding planning survival kit to bring a little levity and also prepare them for the process. The essentials include a planner (Kate Spade New York Large Planner Gold Dots), a get out of jail free card (date night! Chalet Sauce heals all wounds), liquid courage (to get them through it + celebrate) and a cute calendar to help them keep their eyes on the prize (these handmade countdown blocks are adorable). Package it up in a re-usable basket with a little card describing each of the items’ purpose and you’ve got yourself a fun gift.
What was the best engagement or wedding gift you gave or received?