Hand embroidered initials and ampersand in frames, against a pink wall, and on a painted original fireplace

The most popular engagement gifts for 2024: unique, thoughtful and handmade

gifting thoughtfully
by holly tucker

3RD APRIL 2024

The best engagement gifts in the UK in 2024, in my opinion, should be every bit as original as the couple they’re for. Great but how do you find them, I hear you ask? The secret is small businesses…

Do people still buy engagement presents?

Engagement gifts are a funny one. When I got engaged during lockdown in 2019, Frank and I had already been together for more than 15 years. Our wonderful Harry was in his teens and I’d already been married before so I felt almost as if we didn’t need gifts. It wasn’t like in Roman times where people gave land or jewellery as a symbol of the groom’s commitment (rather a shame actually as I quite like the idea of a nice summer field or two to host a festival on...).

Anyway, I recently read that in Victorian England, people often gave elaborate love tokens that were intricately crafted and full of sentimental value which I must say, just sounds perfect. Yet while the nature of engagement gifts may have evolved over the decades, I’m pleased that the sentiment remains unchanged — to celebrate love, dedication and the happy anticipation of a shared future, which I wholeheartedly support. Especially in an age of digital communication and instant gratification, I think there’s lots to be said for having a physical, tangible ‘something’, to remind a couple of the occasion and share in their joy. And who better to turn to for inspiration than independent businesses?

What are the best engagement gifts for 2024 in the UK?

Well of course this is slightly subjective (!) but ultimately, as someone whose life’s work is to champion small businesses and scour the UK for some of the very best ones, I can safely say we’ve found some really special options. When you think about it, a good engagement gift is one that is thoughtful, meaningful and unexpected — and if it reflects the unique personalities and interests of the couple it is for, even better (that’s certainly what customers prefer at Holly & Co). So whether you opt for a sentimental keepsake, something sheerly celebratory or an experience they can enjoy together, the best engagement gifts, in my mind, are those that come from the heart — and if they’re unique and made by hand, you’ll be extra proud to give them.

What do you give someone as an engagement gift?

It’s not easy to find the perfect engagement gift as like everything in life these days, there are plenty to choose from. You could go for a modern twist on tradition with one-of-a-kind jewellery, a wedding book to help them prepare for the big day, or something else that they would truly never expect. How about adding to their passions? Could you give them an experience in the form of a calligraphed ‘golden ticket’ by Another Loop perhaps? Or something else handmade? Gifts that have been crafted with love and care will add a personal touch and every time they see it, they’ll remember their special milestone.

The power of personalised engagement gifts

Personalisation can add an extra layer of thoughtfulness on top, showing the couple that you've taken the time to choose something special just for them. So look for opportunities to add a unique touch, whether it's through custom engraving, monogramming or handmade detailing. Ultimately, the most popular engagement gifts will be those that bring joy and happiness to whoever you’re shopping for, so use that as your compass.

Unique engagement gifts for the couple who has everything

And for the couple who has everything, how about something they just wouldn't buy for themselves? A piece of custom artwork or a commissioned portrait capturing them or their story in a unique and meaningful way? Just consider the couple's tastes, preferences and style to see if it will fit. Take the time to think about what they enjoy doing together, and their hobbies and interests too, as this can be a rich area for inspiration.

In conclusion, the best engagement gifts are usually the most personal

I honestly think that whatever you choose, making it personal is the key. Above all, choose a gift with sincerity and genuine thoughtfulness, as it is these qualities that will truly resonate. Then all you need to do is wrap it beautifully, which no doubt, will fall to you! If you need some unique wrapping paper options or engagement cards, try our collections. I wish you all the luck.

Of course, these are just a few of the small business finds we’ve curated for those getting wed. Do have a look at the full range of brilliant engagement gifts available at Holly & Co or discover the many thoughtful gifts we’ve handpicked for other occasions, too — from the ones you might expect to the altogether less ordinary. I really hope it helps.

Love holly