Non-Couple Engagement Gift Ideas (Let Me Explain)

20130421-171206.jpgI’m seeing a friend today, and since we last were face-to-face, she’s become engaged. Now, what you also need to know is that her engagement was no surprise. Every time she’s even spoken of this guy, she simply lights up and the few times I’ve seen them together, impulsively and without warning, the phrase “meant to be” invades my mind space–this coming from a slightly-jaded, often guarded, once divorced (albeit now remarried), New Yorker.

When shopping for a newly engaged friend, I find that I want to give them a gift that imparts how excited I am for their happiness, how moved I am by their love, but when I am not a friend “of the couple” it’s usually a personal gift and if I am being myself, it can’t be sappy (truth be told most of my friends aren’t sappy either).

Also, as with most gifts, the card is critical and provides the context and set-up for your gift.

If your bud has a new sparkly bauble to show off, a gift certificate for a manicure (or a series of them) is incredibly thoughtful and useful. If not, a certificate for pampering to escape the stressors of planning a wedding still is a great gift.

Jewelry Box
20130421-105429.jpg 20130421-105504.jpg
Again, it’s all about the ring. You can find one that only holds a single ring like this dish style one from Red Envelope (To Have and To Hold $49.59, right) or this branch style one from CB2 (Tree Branch Holder, $9.95, left).
You can also go all out with a jewelry box like the Glass Jewelry Box from Urban Outfitters, $39 (above).

Nothing says celebration like some bubbly…for your bestie to share, with their love. Want to create a mood? Include bubble bath, maybe some chocolates too.

Subscription to bridal magazines
This isn’t for everyone, and format matters…so would they want a print or digital subscription? It depends on their style and how long they are taking to plan their big day. Brides magazine is the go-to guide plus, the digital edition (iPad, for example) is included with a print subscription. To see more wedding and bridal magazines go here.

Wedding planner
This is usually the first thing a newly engaged person purchases, so make sure he/she doesn’t already have one of these bad boys. I loved my Martha Stewart one ($35 List Price,, pictured), but there are tons of them. The Knot makes one ($29.99 List Price, Amazon) as does Emily Post ($27.99 List Price, Amazon).

Frame or photo album
Your friend is starting a new chapter of their life, and memories will abound. Even in an age of mobile phone snaps and digital photo sharing, we still like to display precious moments (at least I do). Only you know if this will resonate with your friend, and whether they would be into an album or a frame (or both).

Witty and Whimsical
I liked the idea of finding unique pillow cases (or even bedding, but pillow cases seemed really whimsical) that were thematic and sweet. These SOUL MATE ones ($36, are adorable.

The philosophy line is so lovely smelling and their packaging is beautiful and well thought out. Here Comes The Bride is a sweet-smelling and just-indulgent-enough package of goodies that covers a broad range of beauty needs: fragrance, skin-care, bath and shower ($32, Nordstrom).

The Missus:
If you follow this blog you know my adoration of monograms, so these Kate Spade New York Say Yes “Mrs” Studs ($48, Zappos Couture) made my list of “must-sees.”

Related Links:
Wedding Shower Ideas
My Casual (But Perfect) Wedding
First Time Gifts: Buying For A New Boyfriend or Girlfriend
6 Really Cool Stationery Sites
Monogrammed Gifts: Jewelry

Lead image courtesy of Surachai /

Gifting Whisperer Affiliate Disclosure


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