The Best Engagement Gifts of 2023
May 22, 2023
It could be argued that an engagement, which is full of giddy love and anticipation and lacking in the stress and logistics of the wedding, is the most joyful event of all. And, as giving goes, it’s much less prescribed. No registries, no boring bath towels to buy—you’re free to gift as you wish. The gifts on our list span the field from the traditional to the outdoorsy and the useful to the purely entertaining.
Hand blown in Poland, these jewel-toned flutes are available in a dozen hues and offer a celebratory, whimsical splurge.
A set of flutes and a bottle of bubbly is the traditional gift for the newly engaged; these vibrant hand-blown glasses put a colorful twist on the conventional. Sets of two come in an array of colors from the lightest blush to the inkiest blue. And when the wedding rolls around, the couple can build out their set with colors of their choice. As for what to put in them, senior staff writer Lesley Stockton suggests Pol Roger Brut and Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru as her go-to special occasion bottles.
This Brooklyn-based monthly subscription selects and sends two to three bottles of natural wines from producers all over the world.
Exploring new wines together might not be the secret to a lasting marriage, but it certainly can’t hurt. Deputy editor Jason Chen recommends The Stranger Wine Share, a subscription from a natural, organic wine shop in the heart of Brooklyn. For about $75 a month, you receive two to three carefully selected bottles plus a unique piece of art that doubles as the tasting notes.
Though it looks delicate, this petite, personalized dish is actually made of a shatter-resistant clay and works as a durable catchall for rings and bands.
Handmade from a pliant clay that resists shattering, these sweet dishes are the perfect spot for newly acquired bling. Customize the 3-inch pieces with liquid-gold initials and the wedding date, or add a delicate watercolor illustration for about $24. Each piece is made by request but ships within five days of ordering.
Give these sassy, stemless, and dishwasher-safe wine glasses to a newly engaged couple.
Not everyone approaches getting hitched with staunch propriety. These sturdy, just-for-fun wine glasses saucily celebrate a couple’s newfound status. Each stemless 18-ounce goblet depicts a gold hand flipping the ring finger, and they come in a snazzy, satin-lined box. For the right couple, they’re a cheeky, dishwasher-safe score. But points are deducted since we couldn’t find sets for same-sex couples.
Framebridge is easy to use, offers customizable products, and frames most types of art (not just photos). They also offer free design help.
Whether the engaged couple in your life is taking formal engagement photos or just enlarging beloved snapshots, framing is in their future. Our favorite online frame shop has an easy-to-navigate website, excellent designs, and terrific customer service, and they charge flat fees depending on the size of the art. Couples can send digital photos, physical prints, or original art or documents like their engagement announcement or wedding invitation, and Framebridge will create an instant digital mock-up.
Created by relationship guru Esther Perel, this card game offers prompts and questions to get the conversation going, whether you’ve been together 30 days or 30 years.
Discovering your partner is a lifelong pursuit, aided by Esther Perel’s smartly designed card game, Where Should We Begin – A Game of Stories. Each of the 250 story cards stimulate conversation and openness with prompts that probe everything from silly memories to serious fears. Senior editor Catherine Kast took the game for a spin with her husband: “I heard stories I’d never heard before, and we’ve known each other for more than a decade. I was surprised at how the game was able to elicit hilarious tales from childhood as well as revelations about our relationship.”
Personalized art prints depict how the cosmos looked at a specific moment in time—for example, the day of an engagement.
These sentimental and scientific maps capture the night sky at the time and place of an important event—an engagement perhaps, or even a wedding. The prints are available in three sizes and the user-friendly website offers a few simple design options. They’re printed on museum-quality paper using archival ink. You can also choose a festive gold foil option for about $15 more. If paper feels too flimsy (or you don’t want to bother with a frame), opt for stretched canvas, which starts at $85.
This lightweight, packable chair weighs just a pound and stores flat. It provides ample support and padding for those with small or medium frames.
For camping couples or festival couples or just couples who enjoy a day in the park, a pair of these flat, packable outdoor chairs are just the thing. Each seat weighs only a pound and has adjustable nylon straps, so relaxers can get the sitting angle just right. Anyone with a larger body may feel more comfortable in the Original Chair, which is usually about $20 more but bigger and sturdier.
Classic French bread and cake knives with stainless blades and acrylic ivory handles set in a slim wooden tray.
Your favorite traditionalists will appreciate this history: The Laguiole name has been known for fine French knives since the early 19th century. These versions from Jean Neron, a third-generation knife-making family, have sturdy stainless steel blades, the region’s signature bee emblem, and acrylic ivory handles. The set comes in a flat wooden tray, just ceremonial enough for that big cake-cutting moment and a lifetime of celebrations sure to follow.
This box of 40 clever scratch-off date ideas is designed to get couples out of their routine.
May be out of stock
This box of 40 scratch-off date idea cards forces couples to get up and out of a Netflix-and-chill rut. But it comes with a few rules: keep your phones off, don’t switch cards once the date has been revealed, and be open-minded, even if the date doesn’t appeal to you at first. All cards are marked with icons to indicate cost, duration, setting (indoor or out), and transportation needs before the details are revealed. Some suggestions include IKEA hide-and-seek (loser buys the meatballs) and purchasing art supplies for portrait painting over drinks and snacks. The flip-side of each card has a sticky tab for a 2-by-3-inch photo—like the ones from our favorite instant camera, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 12, which could be a fun gift add-on.
A modern, personalized desktop calendar counting down to the big day.
If the couple you’re celebrating has set a date, a personalized countdown calendar is a fun way to track the days leading up to the nuptials. Supply the wedding date and color choices, and the betrothed couple will receive a chunky page-a-day calendar with a handmade desktop easel counting down from the present moment. The first page can be printed with a sweet message to the couple, and each page includes a love-inspired quote, but the vendor can leave that off for a cleaner design.
This cookbook has 650 classic recipes from America’s Test Kitchen, scaled down to feed a duo.
As two singletons come together, so too will their kitchens. This modern classic and perennial best seller from America’s Test Kitchen makes it much simpler by scaling down 650 recipes to feed two. Even things like stews, meatloaf, cakes, and pies have been carefully calibrated—portions, temperatures, and cooking times are all adjusted—to meet the needs of a pair. Recipes range from rather basic to a little fancy, so it’s a fantastic gift for couples who know a simmer from a sizzle or for those who are ready to learn more.
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This article was edited by Hannah Morrill and Jennifer Hunter.
Except for the time she gave a boyfriend her mother’s old toaster for Christmas, staff writer Samantha Schoech has a reputation as an excellent gift giver. She lives in San Francisco with two teens, two cats, a geriatric betta fish, and a bookseller husband. Her first book of short stories, My Mother’s Boyfriends, is coming out in 2024.
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