Trend: Engagement Gifts for Him
Here’s a trend on the upswing, and you can thank the women’s movement for it: engagement gifts for the groom-to-be, from his soon-to-be-spouse. As more couples wait until they both have disposable income before tying the knot, it’s becoming more common to hear that when he put a ring on it, he got something in return as well. There will always be people who feel, as one wedding board etiquette poster put it, that “his engagement gift from me is saying yes,” but for those who want to reciprocate, or just celebrate, we asked Anne K., editor of the blog Unique Gifter, for some guidelines on how to give a man an engagement gift he’ll love.
In decades past, women who wanted to give their fiancé a token of their esteem often gave watches, which “have become kind of a tradition,” says Anne K. Watches make sense as equivalents to engagement rings: they’re durable, visible, and can be used every day. (And like diamonds, watches can also scream “Guess how much I cost!” from 50 yards out.)
But if he already has his Rolex, or just isn’t that into wrist adornment, then it’s time to get creative. There are no rules, except these three:
- It should last a while. “Traditionally, women receive a ring that will last for a very, very long time, so reciprocating with something that also has a long life span just makes sense,” says Anne K. But that could include, say, making an “epic memory” by renting a Bentley for a wine-tasting road trip, or gifting him with courtside seats to a once-in-a-lifetime game.
- Plug into what he loves. Depending on your future Mr., the right engagement gift could be “a unique piece of sports team memorabilia, a scotch decanter, a weekend trip to see a favorite musician, or the suit for the wedding,” says Anne K. I’ve also heard of engagement pocket knives, engagement Wiis, engagement guitars, engagement wine, and engagement rifles (Can I resist a quip about a shotgun wedding? Guess not.). There’s no wrong answer here.
- But don’t break the bank. “One of the worst things you can bring to your life as a newlywed is poor finances,” says Anne K., so “do not let your desire to gift your fiancé something long-lasting also come with long-lasting financial baggage!”
For more engagement gifts, visit Gifts.com.
Lavonne Leong lives with her husband and daughters in Honolulu, where she writes about arts, education, science, families, and yes, shopping. She’s the editor-at-large for San Francisco-based Red Bridge Press, and her first children’s book, Up in the Hawaiian Sky, was published in 2013.