Engagement Gift Ideas

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A variety of gifts are appropriate to give to a couple who have announced an engagement. Many newly engaged couples set up gift registries to make your shopping a breeze, but it's also suitable to give something for their home or a gift that provides a hand up with wedding planning. Because you'll likely spend money on a wedding gift, your engagement gift doesn't have to be expensive.

Check for a Registry

Publications such as The Knot and Martha Stewart Weddings magazine stress that it's not necessary to give a gift to a recently engaged couple. However, many people do contribute engagement gifts, and it can be enjoyable to find the right gift for the special couple in your life. Your first approach should be to check if the couple has already set up a gift registry; many couples register around the time of their engagement, which means it's simple to pick out a gift that fits without your budget.

Buy Something for the Home

If the couple hasn't registered or you want to buy something that's not on the registry, common practice is to give a gift that the couple can use around home. Simple ideas are perfectly acceptable, according to The Knot. You can buy a set of candles that fits the couple's sense of style, a picture frame to use for an official engagement photo or a potted plant. Other gift ideas that won't cost you a significant amount of money include flowers or a bottle of wine.

Help With Planning or Relaxing

Another approach is to give the newly engaged couple a gift that helps with wedding planning -- or offers some needed time away from the rigors of the planning process. Buy a wedding planning magazine for the bride-to-be and a book about how to be the perfect groom for the groom-to-be. If you're not sure which magazine or book is best, give a gift card to a bookstore. Or, to allow the couple some downtime, provide a gift card to a restaurant or a pair of concert tickets.

Keep Within Your Budget

Because you will likely contribute to a gift to the couple's upcoming wedding, avoid spending outside your budget for the engagement gift. The Knot recommends that you determine a dollar value for how much you wish to spend on gifts for the couple, and then use 20 percent of that amount for the engagement gift. Use another 20 percent for the shower gift and devote the remaining 60 percent for your actual wedding gift.