18 thoughtful gifts for newly engaged couples, from someone who recently got engaged

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Ash Wood 12 bottle wine rackJK Adams

Shortly after my partner proposed to me last year, we began planning our engagement parties - yes, parties plural. We wanted to celebrate with my family in Florida, her family in New Jersey, and our friends in Brooklyn. Needless to say, it was a lot of work.

We decided not to register for our engagement parties because we didn't love the idea of people feeling obligated to buy us fancy gifts twice. For the wedding, sure - we'll be registering for a Vitamix if anyone's wondering. But for the engagement parties, we just wanted to be with our friends and family, celebrating this exciting next step we chose to take together.

I'll be honest - money is always a great gift for a newly engaged couple. The cost of a wedding these days could make your head explode, and it's likely that your gift will go toward helping them build a budget. But if you want to get them a physical gift, it's best to go with something inexpensive that they can enjoy together.

Save the big gifts for the wedding once they've registered for the things they really want and need.

Keep scrolling to read my engagement gift recommendations, or check out more ideas here:

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A cute set of mugs

A cute set of mugs
Personalized Family Mugs, availed at Uncommon Goods, starting at $30

When my partner and I got engaged, someone sent us a set of these mugs with our avatars printed on and the year we met on the back. I'm not one for kitschy gifts, but honestly these were too cute. The idea itself was so thoughtful and sweet, and the mugs themselves are actually really great quality.

A decanter for the whiskey-loving couple

A decanter for the whiskey-loving couple
Your, Mine, and Ours Engraved Decanter Set, available at Uncommon Goods, $65

Whiskey is a way of life for some couples. You know the type; it's the only thing they order at bars, the drink they love to sip at parties even when the host went out of their way to make special cocktails, and the night cap they share at the end of a long day. A nice decanter set with gender-neutral glasses will make this couple very happy indeed.

A cake stand for sweet celebrations to come

A cake stand for sweet celebrations to come
Glass Cake Stand, available at Uncommon Goods, $35-$105 (prices vary by color and size)

It's becoming more and more common to have the top tier of a wedding cake preserved for the couple to eat on their one year anniversary. Give them something beautiful to serve it on, or to use for all their dinner parties and family gatherings in between.

A place to put all the wine they're going to get

A place to put all the wine they're going to get
JK Adams Ash Wood 12-Bottle Wine Rack, available at Uncommon Goods, $42

They'll be getting enough bottles to fill up a whole rack, so this compact storage unit sure will come in handy.

A custom map of where they got engaged

A custom map of where they got engaged
Custom Maps and Posters, available at Grafomap, starting at $49

A a Christmas gift this year, I got my partner a Grafomap of the exact spot where she proposed to me. It totally blew her away! The maps can be customized with different colors, zoomed in or out as far as you want, and you can even include a special date on your map.

A calendar with photos of the happy couple

A calendar with photos of the happy couple
Brass Easel & Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, $55

Assuming they live together, they'll both be able to take advantage of this little desktop calendar to keep track of their days — but more importantly, they'll be able to reflect on all the sweet memories you chose for them to see again.

A cake-serving set for the wedding day

A cake-serving set for the wedding day
Kate Spade Take the Cake 2-Piece Cake Knife and Server Set, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $64.99

The engraving on the cake server says "how sweet it is" — perfectly apropos for a loving couple.

A cookbook they'll want to use together for date nights in

A cookbook they'll want to use together for date nights in
Date Night In, available at Anthropologie, $27.50

Date night doesn't always have to mean going out for a fancy dinner. Sometimes it's just about spending a night in with a pile of takeout, or taking the time to cook a nice meal together. Get them a cookbook that portions out ingredients for two so they know just what to make and how much to buy at the grocery store.

A Champagne-scented candle that's just as good as the real thing

A Champagne-scented candle that's just as good as the real thing
Jonathan Adler Pop Champagne Candle, available at Shopbop, $42

Shake things up a bit with a Champagne candle instead of a basic bottle (they'll be getting enough of those — I can tell you from experience!).

A set of tea for the chillest couple

A set of tea for the chillest couple
Vahdam Assorted Tea Gift Set, available at Amazon, $34.99

If wine isn't quite their thing, a gift set of loose-leaf tea might be the perfect alternative. It feels special and celebratory, but you can still operate a vehicle safely after having a few cups.

A gift card to pick out a luxurious set of sheets that matches their decor

A gift card to pick out a luxurious set of sheets that matches their decor
Brooklinen Gift Card Box, available on Brooklinen, from $100

Give the newly engaged couple new sheets — and the freedom to personalize prints, sets, and sizes — with a gift card box to the internet's favorite bedding startup, Brooklinen. Senior editor Ellen Hoffman calls them one of the best purchases she's ever made.

A custom stamp for all their invitations and thank-you notes

A custom stamp for all their invitations and thank-you notes
Custom Stamp Gift Set, available on Paper Source, $29.95

Planning a wedding includes quite a bit of snail mail — invitations and thank-you notes, for starters — and a custom stamp can make the process go by much faster. Each gift set includes a self-inking stamper, one black ink cartridge, and one gift certificate that allows them to customize a stamp plate online.

If you've got a bigger budget, there's a beautiful copper version on Food52 from $185 as well.

A beautiful bouquet of flowers

A beautiful bouquet of flowers
Personalized Bouquet, available on Urban Stems, from $35

If they've been living together for a while and you just can't think of anything they need at home, a beautiful bouquet of flowers are always a safe bet.

If you're looking for more options, check out the Insider Picks buying guide to the best flowers you can buy online.

A monogrammed passport and luggage tag set for frequent travelers

A monogrammed passport and luggage tag set for frequent travelers
Leatherology Passport Cover + Luggage Tag Set, $55 [monogram from $20]

Whether they travel all the time or just have big plans for their honeymoon, they'll definitely make use of this set. Either split the gift between them, or purchase one for each person — either way, you can't go wrong with a simple and useful gift like this.

An unexpected and clever sweet treat

An unexpected and clever sweet treat
Sugarfina Cheers 3-Piece Candy Bento Box, $28, available at Nordstrom and Sugarfina

Pop the Champagne ... bears, that is! They're probably going to be drinking a lot of Champagne in the upcoming months as they celebrate their engagement, so gift them these gummies for a sweet, edible change.

A candle that brings a romantic ambiance to any room

A candle that brings a romantic ambiance to any room
Single Flame Gift Box, $36, available at Otherland

Candles might be a common gift, but Otherland's are among the best ones to give. That's because the scents are unique, the packaging is gorgeous, and everything down to the matchbox message — the engagement-themed one says "The Perfect Match" — is thoughtfully designed.

An instant camera for capturing life's sweetest moments

An instant camera for capturing life's sweetest moments
Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S Instant Camera (with 10-pack film), $49.99, available at Walmart

The fanciest DSLR can't beat the novelty and instant gratification of this Instax camera, which produces mini prints to slip in wallets and hang on the wall. Personally, we plan to pick a couple of these up for our wedding day so guests can take photos of each other and bring them home!

A smart lighting kit to add a little flair to their home

A smart lighting kit to add a little flair to their home
Echo Dot (3rd Generation) with Smart Bulb Kit by Sengled, $49.99, available at Amazon

Their entry to the perfect smart-home setup starts with this Echo Dot smart bulb kit, which will let them turn their lights on and off or adjust the brightness with their voice.

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