Personalized Gifts Etiquette

wedding gift

You already have your perfect gift picked out and ready to go, but now you need to figure what to put on it! Here are some personalized gifts etiquette to follow to make that gift just right for you.

Personalized Gifts Etiquette is unique to each project!


When in doubt, engrave a name!

Engraving the name of the individual is always a safe, timeless option. It will look appropriate on crystal gifts, a pen, a journal, desk sets…any of the personal or professional gifts out there ripe for personalization.

Last Names

When you’re personalizing an item for a newly married couple, such as a decorative sign or engraved cutting board for their kitchen, it’s important to remember a hard and fast rule for pluralizing last names: don’t use apostrophes.

Last names are pluralized by simply adding an “s” (for most names) or “es” (for names that end in s, x, z, ch, and sh). For names that end in a “ch” that sounds like a “k”, just add an “s”. That’s the rule. Names should look like this: The Smiths. The Lopezes. The Bushes. The Hallbachs (hard “k” sound).

This is a great rule to keep in mind at the holidays or anytime someone orders an item they want to personalize with a family name.

Custom wedding sign


If the engraving is part of a gift, you’ll want to make sure he instantly recognizes his initials and doesn’t ask, ‘um… what does it say?’.

We suggest using the initials in the first, middle and last order. For example, Adam Timothy (not his real middle name) Jones would be ATJ.

You may want to include periods  after each letter A.T.J. or A.T.J 

If you’re buying an engraved gift for a married couple (or soon-to-be-wed), the initials should be listed in the following order: the bride’s first initial, the surname of the couple, and the groom’s first initial.

For example, Adam Jones and Christine Nobody would be CJA.

Leather Briefcase


If the option exists, you could also choose a monogram style and have the surname (the J in the example above) larger than the other letters. Monogram’s are timeless and classic.

Or try this monogram where each letter is the same size


Communicate your message through careful font selection. We will not be engraving comic sans on a wedding gift (or anything else). Choose a font that is clear and easy-to-read. Do you want your lettering style to suggest strength or elegance? Both? Don’t be afraid to mix styles in a message. We have sooo many font options and can help you choose the perfect one based on the occasion and the size. Want to browse for fonts yourself, check out


If you are buying engraved gifts for multiple people like members of a department, people working on a specific project, or potential clients you are courting, company logo engraved gifts might be the perfect solution. It communicates exactly what brought you together and what you have in common. You could also pair a logo with a text personalized engraving like a name, initials, or a short message for another custom touch. The simpler your logo design, the more visually appealing it will be when paired with a secondary engraving so choose your rendering wisely.

Engraved with the logo on 1 side and names on the other

Always personalize to the individual

When giving to someone you care about, it’s always best to tailor the personalized engraving to the person specifically, even when buying multiple gifts.

  • Commemorative celebration-put the specifics of the occasion you want to celebrate.  
  • Nickname- use the person’s nickname no matter how embarrassing.
  • Illustration- Pair text with a custom graphic. We are graphic designers so we can help you work up a design. 
  • Actual Picture- we can convert a picture to engraving. Not every photo will work well so testing will be required. However, it comes out great with the right photo. 

Choose your words carefully

Make sure to say what is true and means a lot without wasting words as sometimes there are small areas to decorate. No, we can’t put one page of text onto a pen. 

Engraved Zippo Lighter


This is a little thing that can make a big difference in turning a personalized gift into a keepsake or heirloom. Handwriting engraving is hands down my personal favorite.

Handwriting engraving takes a piece of handwriting and engraves it directly onto the item. It could even be a small doodle, symbols, or children’s drawings.


Final Piece of Advice is to always spell check. Or else you might get “Poop” engraved on your watch instead of “Pop”. We will always send you a proof before we engrave anything. 

Misspelled personalized watch

We hope you gathered some info on personalized gifts etiquette to use on your next order. Visit our showroom to see samples and remember, there is no wrong way! Shop our gift catalog here or contact us here!

If you are going out of your way to get a personalized gift, you have already gone the extra mile!

-Alex, Goldilocks Promos

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