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Bridal Shower or Engagement Gifts the Wedding Couple May Not Register But Will Want

Abby Slutsky is responsible for purchasing most of the gifts in her household.

Sometime you can find a wonderful shower or engagement gift that is not on the registry. Wrap it beautifully to make it look special. Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich:

Sometime you can find a wonderful shower or engagement gift that is not on the registry. Wrap it beautifully to make it look special. Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich:

Although the bride and groom will usually register items that they want when starting their lives together, sometime it may not be practical to purchase an item from their list. Perhaps, you do not see something in your price range, or maybe nothing on the list strikes your fancy. Perhaps, the list is picked over and there is not much left. Whatever the reason, you do not have to select something from their registry list. However, it is nice to select something they can return if you choose an alternative gift. Fortunately, there are many gifts they may not register but will be thrilled to receive.

These beauties are still in the bag as they are earmarked for an engagement party. gift.  If you look carefully, you can see the striped pattern on the bottom package. They are thick, beautiful napkins.

These beauties are still in the bag as they are earmarked for an engagement party. gift. If you look carefully, you can see the striped pattern on the bottom package. They are thick, beautiful napkins.

Reversible Napkins

Couples may not entertain often, so cloth napkins may not be an item on the registry. Nevertheless, if the couple only has one or two sets, reversible napkins offer terrific versatility because it is possible to set the table showing the pattern on either side. Reversible napkins are usually a durable thickness and can compliment sophisticated and casual entertaining.

Choose 20 x 20 dinner size napkins, as the couple is likely to use them during the evening meal. The C & F Ainsley napkins comes in sets of 6 and will compliment most table settings. They feature a striped pattern pattern in soft blues, yellow, white and green one side. The other side has a white base with a blue and yellow floral pattern. The napkins are machine-washable and cotton. Give a single set of six or two sets for a total of 12 napkins. The C & F Miriam Ochre Reversible napkins are another pattern that also is available in sets of 6 napkins. These napkins have a yellow-goldish striped pattern on one side and a yellow floral pattern on the other. At the time of this article, the napkin sets are about $46.00 each.

In addition to providing options to creatively set a table, the dual patterns on these napkins make them a space saver for couples who have limited storage for linens. They can add color to a plain white tablecloth or add a dressier touch to placemats. I have set my table using all the napkins on the same side or alternating the patterns at each table setting.

Although ironing these after washing them makes them look crisper, I often fold them while they are still warm from the dryer, and the fabric looks smooth enough to use.

Napkin Rings

Napkin rings are a quick way to make napkins look special without any elaborate folding. You can tuck silverware into a napkin that is secured by a ring, or just use a napkin ring to secure the napkin without adding any cutlery to it. The bride or groom can place a napkin secured by a ring across a plate, or place it in front of the plate with a fork tucked inside. The Accmor Napkin Rings are one of my favorites, especially if you do not know whether the bride and groom have china trimmed in silver or gold. These can also add festiveness to the table during the Christmas holidays or can help tie together a place setting that is set on a metallic charger.

These napkin rings have two-toned gold and silver appearance that is dressy enough to jazz up a fancy dinner party but understated enough to use for a more casual gathering. They would go equally well with fine china or an everyday table setting. These napkin holders are sturdy and reasonably-priced. At present, they are approximately $12.00 for a set of 4. Depending on your budget, I recommend giving two or three sets as an engagement or shower gift.

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Casual Wine With or Without Markers

While many couples register crystal wine glasses, the wine glasses your friends will reach for over and over are the ones that can go in the dishwasher. I prefer the stemless style because they are usually less delicate that the glasses with stems. Thus, if you put them in the dishwasher, these glasses may last longer than glasses with stems. My sons have the Design Master Classic Stemless Wine Glasses, which can double as water glasses, if desired. Although I have only used them a few times at my son's house, they are comfortable to hold. At under $20 for a set of six, these are an excellent shower or engagement gift if you are on a budget. If you want to spend a little more money, consider adding a box of wine markers with the glasses. Gainwell Wine Glass Markers are perfect for identifying glasses when you entertain. This pack has metallic colors that add a festive touch to each glass. Choose from shades of purple, pale blue, silver, gold, black, pink or green. The couple can use color to embellish their wine glasses to coordinate with the holiday or occasion. When company leaves, simple wash off the names with soapy dish water.


Many couples do not think about how they are going to move china, or keep dishes that are used infreqently clean. These lightweight, zippered dish pouches are perfect for the job.

Many couples do not think about how they are going to move china, or keep dishes that are used infreqently clean. These lightweight, zippered dish pouches are perfect for the job.

Honey Can-Do Dishware Storage Set

Someone gave these to me for an engagement gift and years later, I am still using them. (The interior pattern may have changed slightly since I purchased mine.) These dish storage containers are perfect for storing infrequently used dishes. They keep the dishes sparkling and dust free if they are not regularly washed. These storage containers are also ideal if the couple moves. They help make it easy to move breakable dishware. The Honey-Can-Do SFT-01630 includes five dishware storage containers, including a rectangular container that is sectioned for coffee cups. It is not unusual for couples to move shortly before or after getting engaged, so this gift is sure to be useful. Best of all, at the time of this article, it is priced at under $25.00.

No matter the gift you choose, your engaged friends are sure to appreciate your thoughtful engagement or bridal shower gift. Ship the gifts directly to the couple or deliver them to your own home, so you can briing them to the party. Happy shopping!




This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Abby Slutsky

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