If we're completely honest with ourselves, the pressure of wedding gifting sometimes taints the excitement of knowing one of your nearest and dearest (or semi-casual acquaintances) is getting married. Knowing what to buy and how much to spend is an absolute minefield at the best of times and that confusion only multiplies when we enter the realm of engagement gifts.
Let's take a moment to appreciate your generosity. Just considering the possibility of celebrating your friend or family member's up-coming wedding with an engagement present is truly wonderful. You've won brownie points for even thinking it. But how do you go from good intentions to actually nailing the art of what is, let's face it, one of the more awkward gift giving life moments.
Anniversaries are straight forward; there are traditional themes to play with. Even wedding gifts are a bit easier to manage because, more often than not, you'll have a registry to pick from, or the couple might just make it really easy and ask for some cash towards their three-week safari extravaganza honeymoon. But pre-wedding gifts are tricky. You don't want to clash with anything the betrothed couple are already planning to pop on their John Lewis Gift List, you don't want to preemptively buy something so great that the present you buy on the big day seems inconsequential in comparison and, let's face it, you certainly don't want to spend thousands of pounds this early in the game.
We've taken some of the fuss out of the equation and narrowed things down for you. Whether you're buying for your best friend or your sibling, there's a perfect present out there somewhere. Here are some engagement gift ideas to get you started.
Engagement Gift Ideas For Couples
Fortnum’s Blanc de Blanc Champagne Gift Box
This surely won't be the first celebratory bottle they pop but perhaps your gift could be the first.
£36.50, Fortnum & Mason
Pie’s The Limit Cake Serving Set
Think ahead and gift them a beautiful engraved cake-cutting set for the big day.
Loop Gold Wine Wrack
To store all those other bottles of fizz they'll probably be receiving...
£45, Oliver Bonas
Engagement Gift Ideas For The Bride
Stelton Tall Reflection Copper Candlesticks
Candlesticks are the often overlooked savior of baron window sills, dining tables and mantle pieces. But these Copper ones won't go unnoticed.
Bridal Blushing Floral Gift Log
There will be plenty more gifts on the way, but this little organiser will help the bride keep track of what came from who, and where thank you notes need to be sent.
£15, Kate Spade
KABINSHOP Personalised Wedding Ring Dish
This personalised ring dish is both useful, beautiful and can be used both sides of the wedding day.
Engagement Gift Ideas For The Groom
Carafe & Stacking Tumblers
A glass carafe and tumbler set would look at home in most rooms around the house. And it's impossible to have too much beautiful glassware, don't you think?
£35, The White Company
‘Top Tips For Grooms’ Book
We all need a helping hand every now and again, and this handbook is here to assist. From tips preparing for the stag and choosing an outfit for the big day, this will probably become the groom's best friend.
£5.99, Oliver Bonas
Mr Luxury Bath Robe
A beautiful, luxe dressing gown is one of those things you don't realise how much you need until you actually have it. And who can turn down a little gifted luxury? You can always buy a pair if you fancy treating the couple together, too.
£79, John Lewis
Engagement Gift Ideas For Your Sister
Crispin Finn Champagne Cocktail Screen Print
Know your sister's interior style in and out? Treat her to a trendy, tongue in cheek piece of wall art that she can keep and laugh at long after the wedding stress.
Stoneware Large Vase
There's bound to be an influx of flowers on the horizon, so give her something equally beautiful to pop them in.
£50, The White Company
Le Petit Wedding Keepsake Book
Don't believe anyone who says they're not bothered about keepsakes. There will come a time when they want to look back at all the little bits and bobs they tirelessly fawned over in the run up to the wedding, and they'll have you to thank for providing a place to keep it all.
Engagement Gift Ideas For Your Brother
The Mens Society Stag Survival Kit
Whether you like it or not, your brother is probably going to have a stag do. While you might not be able to shield him from the, erm, messy, reality of it all, you can at least make sure he's got a couple of tools to help him out.
Tateossian Industrial Enamelled Cufflinks
Nothing quite says 'I love you, bro', like a pair of ace designer cufflinks to wear on the wedding day, right? Right.
£210, Mr Porter
Big Stitch Personalised Towels
Practical can be cool, too. Like these beautiful embroidered towels that he can use at home, take to the gym or match with his partner if you're feeling generous.
Engagement Gift Ideas For Your Best Friend
Gin Bar Prep Board
We've all spent time lusting after those beautifully curated bar carts on Pinterest, so help your friend on her way with this handy gin bar prep board.
Ianthe Leather Photo Album
Instagram is fine for a time, but with something as special as a wedding engagement you're going to want something physical to hold on to. Here's an excuse to take (and print!) lots of pictures in the run up to the big day.
£90, Liberty London
Lantern with Handle
Homeware never goes amiss in the gifting game. Something like this large, gold detailed lantern would look great in any home (just in case the couple aren't living together yet, or have a move on the horizon).
Engagement Gift Ideas For Your Fiancé
StompStamps Personalised Mr & Mrs Stamp
Thank you cards are an inevitable choir in the wedding pipeline, but you can take some of the pain out of it with this handy personalised stamp.
£29.95, John Lewis
Secret Escapes Gift Voucher
At this stage of the relationship, we wouldn't blame you for having a 'what's mine is yours' outlook from time to time. And if you can't wait for your honeymoon, why not take a celebratory luxury break away to cement the engagement? Secret Escapes have rolling deals going all the time if you're looking for something special.
MORE: Wedding Gift Ideas To Suit Every Budget
LINEA Box Silver Plate Frame 4x6, £20, House Of Fraser
You'll probably take more pictures on your wedding day than any other day in your life, here's a place to store one of them.
Google Home Mini Hands-Free Smart Speaker, £39, John Lewis
OK Google, isn't this the perfect time to upgrade your tech? You and your partner can keep up to date with news and weather using this hands-free gizmo.
Jo Malone London Red Roses Home Candle, £45, John Lewis
There's nothing like a rose-scented candle to add a touch of romance to the home... especially if you can't be bothered to sprinkle rose petals everywhere.
Vera Wang for Wedgwood Love Knots Candlesticks, £55, John Lewis
Another way to add a touch of romance, a pair of Vera Wang candlesticks - because you probably don't have these already.
BORDALLO PINHEIRO Tomato Box, £65, Liberty
Time to put your joint stamp on your home with this delightfully absurd tomato box - which could probably fit a whole load of other fruit too.
Eltham Silver Rimmed Champagne Coupes, Set of Six, £75, Soho House
Here's to many more toast with (less than four or they'll have to use a mug) friends.
KATE SPADE NEW YORK `just Married` Straw Hat, £88, House Of Fraser
Going on a honeymoon and want to show off your new status? This one's for you.
Croft Collection Cashmere Blend Cable Knit Throw, £90, John Lewis
Even if you got married in the summer, you'll need something to snuggle under in the winter - might as well make it cashmere.
L'OBJET Amphora Incense Holder, £125, Liberty
After all the STRESS of wedding prep, and the nerves of the big day, you'll need something to clear the air.
LE CREUSET Cooks Special Risotto Pot, £130, House of Fraser
This is such a classic it's almost cliche, BUT if you don't have one of these already now is the time to get one.
TOM DIXON Plum Wine Cooler, £145, Liberty
Cool wine is must, and there's never enough space in the fridge anyway...
HOUSE OF HACKNEY Pineapple Bookends, £175, Liberty
Want to put your own unique stamp on your home as a newly married couple, pineapple bookends should do it.
STAUB Heart Cocotte Cast Iron Casserole, £199, John Lewis
Nothing says I love you like a heart-shaped casserole dish!
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