Gift for the newly-engaged girl
April 23, 2008 11:16 AM   Subscribe

One of my dearest friends just got engaged (yay!) and I want to get her a little gift to mark the occasion. What can I get for the newly-engaged girl who hasn't started planning anything yet?

My friend JUST got engaged last week and is in the process of telling friends and family the news. She and her fiance aren't in the planning stages yet; they just want to enjoy being engaged for a bit. I'd like to get her something practical, like a book, but I'm open to frivolous and fun gifts as well. I think it's too early for any bridal shower-type gifts or lingerie, though. I'm also open for getting something for him and her to share, but nothing too big because they don't have a lot of room to spare.

So, recent brides or brides-to-be, is there anything you wish you had had at the beginning of your engagement? I'm looking for a gift in the $20-30 range. (We're in Canada, if that matters.)
posted by pised to Shopping (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How about a nice ring holder for when she takes it off for showers and sleep?

I bought one for myself when I got engaged, but it would've been a great gift to receive as well :)
posted by at 11:22 AM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

yes, a ring holder!
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 11:26 AM on April 23, 2008

I think the book Bridal Bargains can be very useful for someone in the initial planning stage. If she's the type that might rip out pictures from magazines to save ideas, maybe a nifty looking binder or scrapbook?
posted by gnat at 11:27 AM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

I often give my newly-engaged friends one of the many books out there on wedding etiquette. I know it seems a little stuffy, but they can be really useful. There are so many little things that can come up when you're planning a wedding and it's nice to have that sort of resource around.
posted by shesbookish at 11:30 AM on April 23, 2008

Following sheshbookish, I got my friend a wedding planner book. It also happens that she's an event planner at work, so she was thrilled.
posted by jmd82 at 11:43 AM on April 23, 2008

I second Bridal Bargains. I read that book cover-to-cover when I was engaged and it was invaluable in saving money and not getting screwed by the wedding industry. If I had a sockpuppet, I would third and fourth it :-)
posted by DiscourseMarker at 12:03 PM on April 23, 2008

The best thing that I read right after getting engaged was the book "The Selling of One Perfect Day" by Rebecca Mead. You might have to be a little tactful when giving it but it has kept me calmer than any of the other wedding porn possibly could.
posted by mcroft at 12:08 PM on April 23, 2008

I got my newly engaged friend these good luck charms. Yes they're silly, but she loved them- especially the pre-nup one as she makes more than her fiance.
posted by dogmom at 12:12 PM on April 23, 2008

My mom gave me the book "Something New: Wedding etiquette for rule breakers, traditionalists, and everyone in between" by Elisa Mac Adam when I got engaged. It has really great advice that emphasizes etiquette as a way of making everyone feel comfortable and welcome, rather than putting etiquette in terms of "getting it right." There are lots of suggestions for the traditional way of doing a given aspect of a wedding, plus ideas for alternatives, and advice on how to navigate either option gracefully. It is the most useful etiquette book I've ever read.
posted by Meg_Murry at 12:13 PM on April 23, 2008

Is she planning an alternative wedding? I would have loved to get a copy of Offbeat Bride!
posted by sian at 12:13 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sheesh, she already got a ring . . .

Kidding . . . How about a subscription to a wedding magazine (Brides, etc.). They're just fun to peruse and to start a little planning.
posted by Sassyfras at 12:28 PM on April 23, 2008

My girlfriends and I have started a sort of a tradition among us. Whenever one of us gets engaged, the others send her an Organized Bride wedding planning binder. They're monogrammed and well-made. The binder itself really came in handy when planning my wedding. It has basic information and tips, worksheets, and checklists, plus plenty of space to store your own notes. It was great to have one place to keep all my wedding-related planning materials.
posted by geeky at 12:39 PM on April 23, 2008

Personalized stationery. She'll be writing a lot of thank you notes for all those lovely ring holders. :) You can do it cheaply - check your local stationery retailer and ask about Embossed Graphics: quick turnaround, cheap, and nice stock. Or if you're equipped with a decent printer, you can print them up yourself on nice stock from that same friendly retailer (Kate's Paperie in NYC; On Paper in Columbus, OH; Paper Place in Austin, Texas, etc.).
posted by cachondeo45 at 1:55 PM on April 23, 2008

When any of my friends become engaged I usually go to a bookstore and buy every single bridal magazine for her. My sister-in-law did this for me and it was so nice. That way she can figure out which type of bride she will be and what style she likes.
posted by saradarlin at 2:44 PM on April 23, 2008

I have to go against the tide and say to AVOID bridal-themed gifts...the pressure of planning a wedding is bad enough without immediately being overwhelmed with books that claim that you should have a post-reception afterparty, not to mention a wedding diet that needs to start NOW oh and by the way here is a 5,000 item long checklist.

Not everyone wants to take the swatches from the groom's tie to the florist 4 months before the big day, you know?

I appreciated most the offers of others who could lend their talents and love to my wedding day--including the rice-krispie-treat-tiered-cupcake-stand.

Or, take her out to brunch and let her talk about the engagement non-stop over some mimosas.

I would also suggest pointing her to indiebride's forum, which has advice from the traditional to the completely untraditional.
posted by sondrialiac at 2:59 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Something old? Something new? Something borrowed? Something blue?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 3:03 PM on April 23, 2008

When my best friend got engaged, I sent her and her betrothed a pyramid bamboo plant (similar to this) and a nice congratulatory (hand made) card. I considered giving them something like a couples massage coupon at a nice nearby spa or dinner for two at a romantic restaurant, but I didn't know the area well enough.
I agree with sondrialiac - avoid bridal themed things. Plus, there's no need to push wedding stuff on her now as she's not planning anything yet anyways.
posted by kirstk at 4:13 PM on April 23, 2008

Get her What No One Tells The Bride, by Marg Stark.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:21 PM on April 23, 2008

Ended up getting her Bridal Bargains, but thanks for all of the recommendations!
posted by pised at 4:02 PM on April 29, 2008

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