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- Weddings aren’t only expensive for the couple. Usually their friends and family also end up spending a surprising amount of money on the event, from engagement, shower, and wedding gifts to clothing and transportation.
- With these thoughtful engagement gifts under $50, you can express your excitement for the couple and stay within your budget.
- Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all Insider Reviews gift guides.
A 2018 survey from Bankrate revealed that wedding guests spend an average of $628 on wedding-related expenses, including gifts, attire, and travel. If you’re a friend of someone who got engaged recently, this number probably isn’t something you want to be reminded of.
However, accompanying this expensive revelation is our own reminder that the utility and thoughtfulness of your wedding-related gifts matter more than how much you spend on them. The engagement gift in particular doesn’t have to be splashy (save your money for the big wedding gift) and is more of a way to extend your initial congratulations.
For a memorable engagement gift, consider something that will help them prepare for the wedding, an accessory to match the larger wedding gift they’ll probably receive later, and treats or relaxation tools to calm them down before the big day.
The top 5 affordable engagement gifts:
- A personalized card and gift box (from $13)
- A custom map poster of a meaningful location ($49)
- An egg cooker that’s a huge kitchen timesaver ($16.99)
- A frame that can hold their wedding invitation and engagement photos ($48)
- A unique take on the classic champagne celebration ($28)
You won’t need to spend more than $50 on these 35 engagement gifts:
Cooking every day at home isn’t easy, but it becomes just a little more appealing when done alongside their loved one, with this book of 130 recipes cracked open.
Simple and pretty ceramic dip dishes
Dip dishes are often overlooked when buying dinnerware and serve-ware. The small, multicolored ceramics from Year & Day make even the messiest spreads look elegant.
An assortment of low-maintenance plants
Succulents last a lot longer than flowers, and are easier to take care of, too. The Sill offers these small plants as well as a variety of other indoor house plants to fill their home with greenery.
Pop the champagne … bears! 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 competitive card game designed for couples
Perfect for competitive couples, this fun card game helps them get used to married life and encourages each partner to perform thoughtful tasks for the other in order to earn rewards.
A bottle of authentic, high-quality EVOO
Good for the body and easy on the eyes, Brightland’s olive oil is the essential ingredient every home cook wants in their kitchens right now. This specific oil is smooth and nutty, great for use in dressings and baked goods.
Washcloths are the perfect towel size for a small engagement gift. Ordinary towels these are not — they’re ultra-fluffy and soft, made from 100% organic long-staple cotton, and can be personalized with a variety of embroidery styles.
While some luxury silk pillowcases can run you $100 or so, Lilysilk’s are both really affordable and effective. Your recipients will enjoy the cool and smooth feel of the cases all night long, and their hair might emerge looking better, too.
A surprisingly sleek dish rack
Simplehuman puts a sleek twist on boring kitchen products, like this steel frame dish rack with a smart drainage system that prevents water from dripping on the countertop.
A custom rubber stamp
Is it really official until they have a shared return address stamp? This classic wood block stamp finishes off their invitations and letters cleanly and efficiently.
A popular egg-making kitchen appliance
People love this seemingly gimmicky egg cooker that can quickly make six eggs (hard boiled, soft boiled, poached, you name it) at a time. Whether they’re meal prepping or just ravenous, they’ll appreciate having this device on hand.
A media streaming stick
No need to worry about figuring out a new cable subscription together — the Fire TV Stick holds and organizes the streaming services they’ll actually use for shows and movies. This new remote features a Wi-Fi antenna design optimized for 4K Ultra HD streaming and can be set up in minutes.
A list of essential films to watch together
There’s no excuse for having nothing to watch for the next 100 movie nights. As they watch these can’t-miss films, they can scratch off each “ticket” to reveal a full-color image underneath.
A custom map poster
Take them back to the college campus they once ruled, their first date, or their favorite vacation destination, down to the exact coordinates. Good luck deciding on one of the many bold and artistic map designs.
A beautiful candle
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 to capture shared memories
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.
*Although we selected this gift when it was under $50, the price can often fluctuate, and it may occasionally rise above $50
Unless you’re very close to the couple, we don’t expect you to know their underwear sizes or color preferences. A $50 gift card will cover the cost of MeUndies’ fun matching underwear set, which lets them choose their individual underwear cuts and a quirky print or pattern.
An unbelievably soft sleep mask
If they love their silk pillowcase, there’s more where that came from. This soft sleep mask, available in seven styles, uses the same material.
A smart home assistant and light bulb bundle
Their entry to the perfect smart home setup starts with this smart bulb kit, which will let them turn their lights on and off or adjust the brightness with their voice.
A new paint job for their shared space
Whether they’re moving into a new place together or have been itching for a change in their current home, this next phase of their life is a good excuse for a color upgrade. The gift card comes with a paintbrush that they can dip immediately into one of Backdrop’s many eye-catching colors.
A journal they can share thoughts in
This daily question journal will show definitive proof of how much the couple changes in three years and only requires a couple minutes of thought and few lines of writing per day.
A small, personalized gift box
Greetabl is a cool service that lets you choose an eye-catching box design and a gift (options range from $4 confetti to a $28 bracelet) to go inside it. Then, pick a few photos, write a personal message, and you have a small gift that may not be extravagant but is infinitely thoughtful.
A face mask to pamper and moisturize their skin overnight
Planning a wedding is stressful, but this thick, soothing mask made from avocado will melt all the tension away.
Matching monogrammed leather keychains
These little leather accessories provide a touch of luxury every time they reach for their keys. There are multiple leather colors available, and you have the option to monogram the keychain so they’ll never mix their keys up.
Matching ceramic mugs
It’s the simple things — like sipping coffee or tea together on a quiet weekend morning — that are often the most enjoyable. Individual Mr. and Mrs. mugs are $17 each and you can pair them up accordingly.
A soothing bath salt
Another thoughtful self-care gift is this synthetic ingredient-free bath salt composed of lavender and essential oils.
A hand-drawn card
So it’s not hand drawn by you, but the thought put into finding a beautiful card also counts. Bonus points if the recipients are outdoorsy.
A marble cheese board
Every night will end up including an Insta-worthy cheese and charcuterie spread once they own this chic board.
Coasters in an unusual shape
A departure from the usual round coasters, these slate accessories do the job just as well.
A cold brew iced coffee maker
Since there are so many different types of coffee machines on the market, you’re better off waiting to see which one they add to their registry to buy as a wedding gift. But in the meantime, this convenient cold brew maker is an affordable choice to satisfy their coffee fix.
A book that has been called a ‘wedding therapist in a pocket’
A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, $14.01 available at Amazon
It’s all too easy to let the insignificant details of wedding planning overshadow the real purpose of the event. This practical guide will keep them calm in the face of overwhelming wedding complications.
An invitation frame
After all the time spent designing and sending out invitations, they can’t forget to keep one for themselves. A double frame is a sweet way to feature the announcement.
A bottle of nice (and sustainable) wine
There’s no such thing as too much wine, but the story behind this winery is especially compelling and noteworthy: It’s led by one of the industry’s few female CEOs, and it’s the only winery to win an ISO award for sustainability.
A unique photo display
The unexpectedly stylish combination of solid brass and Portuguese cork will share the stage with whatever photo they decide to display.
A personalized wooden ring box
This rustic box will keep their rings safe before and after the wedding. With its wooden construction and custom engraving, it’ll be easy to distinguish from their other jewelry storage accessories.