What Is the Proper Engagement Gift?

Making sure you give the right engagement present to the happy couple is key. Find out how to handle the task with these 3 tips from Modern Manners Guy.

Richie Frieman
4-minute read
Episode #142

A lot of experts argue about how long a couple should be together before they get engaged, but one thing they can’t argue about is the time of year that most people decide to pop the question - now!  

The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years are the busiest for engagements. Just turn on the television and you’ll see jewelry commercial after jewelry commercial showing a guy on one knee as the girl sobs “Yes, I will!”

With so many people getting engaged and you being the popular person you are, chances are you will be called with the good news right away. Your happiness for the couple might turn to panic, however, when you find yourself wondering, “What do I get them for an engagement gift?” Don’t worry; you’ll be able to handle this task with ease after reading my top three tips for the proper engagement gift:

Engagement Gift Tip #1: Don’t Break the Bank

Getting someone an engagement gift usually assumes that you are close enough with them that you’ll be invited to the party. And if you’re not invited to the party, don’t worry; I will be discussing this touchy subject in an upcoming episode. '

When it comes to time to pick out a present, remember that you will also be getting a wedding gift for them down the line, so don’t break the bank. Think of an engagement gift as an appetizer and the wedding gift as the main course.

Now, I’m not going to say how much you should spend because every person has different finances and really money is not the issue here. Presents are not about money; they are about the thought, and I will argue that until I’m blue in the face.

For example, my one friend took my wife and me out for dinner when we got engaged. We had a great night with him and his wife and it was a perfect way to congratulate us. He didn’t splurge on the nicest place in town, but then again it wasn’t McDonald's. His gift was a way to spend some time with us and share our excitement about the big day—it was just what we wanted.

What about if you're going to an engagement party? Again, engagement gifts are a way to say “Congratulations!” They’re not a competition. Keep it simple with a nice picture frame, a photo album, or a gift certificate to a restaurant. If you need more guidance, you can buy off the registry, but by all means do not go overboard. If you plan to do that, I highly recommend waiting for the wedding. After all, would you want the appetizer to taste better than the main dish?