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Groom 101

The Ultimate Guide to Groomsmen Gifting Etiquette

Chris Easter groomsmen gift shopping guide

Your groomsmen and best man have been with you every step of the way — through good times and bad. Now, they’re ready to stand beside you on your wedding day. Your groomsmen will be renting tuxes, planning your bachelor party, making toasts, and helping out on the big day. It’s customary (and necessary) to thank them with gifts as a token of your appreciation. The following is a detailed guide that covers the ins and outs of groomsmen gift shopping and groomsmen gift etiquette.

How Much Should You Spend on Your Groomsmen Gifts?

The average amount spent on each groomsman is $42. This is based on The Man Registry’s groomsmen gift sales statistics from 2018 through 2019.

Of course, every wedding is different. How much you decide to spend on your groomsmen gifts is up to your individual wedding budget and what you’re comfortable with. Here are a few other things to remember:

  • Some grooms may choose to spend a bit more on the gift for their best man
  • If you’re shopping online, some websites may offer bulk discounts for your entire wedding party. It never hurts to research before buying.
  • Consider spending more if your groomsmen have traveled a long distance to attend your wedding, bachelor party, or shower.

High angle view of unrecognizable mature man placing USA Dollar bills into wallet. Horizontal shot.

 

When Do You Order Groomsmen Gifts?

Groomsmen gifts should be ordered no later than three weeks before the wedding. This is typically one of the final tasks that grooms and brides complete before the big day! We strongly encourage ordering earlier if possible – especially if you’re buying personalized or engraved gifts.

If you wait too long to order, you’ll end up scrambling at the last minute and settling for something less than ideal (plus you’ll pay more in rush and/or shipping costs.

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When Do You Give Out Groomsmen Gifts?

There are several appropriate times to give out your groomsmen gifts. Choosing the best time may depend on your wedding schedule and the type of gift being given out. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. At the Rehearsal Dinner

The most common time to hand out groomsmen gifts is at the rehearsal dinner. This goes along well with the tradition of couples getting most of the toasts out of the way on the night before the wedding. The rehearsal dinner is the ideal occasion to take a few moments to thank your groomsmen personally and present them with the personal gifts.

  1. Bachelor Party

If you plan on presenting bar or drinking-themed gifts to your groomsmen, one of the best times to hand them out is at the bachelor party. This way, they can start getting use out of them immediately while the entire group is having fun. Not only that, this sets a great mood for the rest of the evening.

  1. Wedding Shower

Are you having a groom or couple’s wedding shower? It might be a tough sell inviting your groomsmen to a wedding shower… this is why you need to go with a backyard or grilling gifts theme. If your groomsmen really need a push, tell them the only way they can get their gifts is if they show up!

  1. The Day of the Ceremony

Getting ready on the morning of the wedding is another option, as the groom and his crew will be sharing that time together. This is an especially appropriate time to hand out gifts if you’re presenting your groomsmen with an accessory they can wear during the wedding itself (like cufflinks or a tie clip).

One last thing to keep in mind is if your groomsmen will be traveling via air to attend your wedding. If so, they may have limited space to take their gift home, especially if the gift is bulky or fragile.

In these instances, we recommend shipping gifts to each groomsman individually.

groomsmen posing with their new personalized cufflinks

What Are the Best Groomsmen Gifts?

Being an all-star groom means doing it up the right way when it comes time to thanking your best man, groomsmen, and ushers. Sure, you could get them them the standard watch or cuff link set, but we can do better than that. The best groomsmen gift ideas involve doing a little research on each member of the wedding party and discovering the gifts that are perfectly suited for each guy.

Choosing the same gift for everyone in your wedding party might seem like the easiest solution. However, a one-size-fits-all approach might not work well for everyone. There’s no rule that says every groomsman should receive the same gift (unless, of course, they all have a shared interest).

We strongly encourage you to choose different gifts based on their individual personalities and interests. The best advice we can give you is to think of each member of the wedding party as if they were the only one standing by you on your big day. Not all of your friends and family members have the same tastes — so why try to buy them all the same type gift? To narrow the scope of your gift options, first consider settling on a price range and then buying something tailored to each guy.

For example, you could consider a mini bourbon barrel for your whiskey-drinking best man, a custom BBQ set for your grillmaster brother-in-law, or a personalized cooler for the weekend warriors. Here are some other ideas to get you started:

Classic Groomsmen Gift Ideas

  • Groomsmen boxes that contain multiple items
  • Pocket knife or multi-tool
  • Wristwatches or pocket watches
  • Money clip
  • Lighters
  • Business card holders
  • Wallets

Gifts You Can Cheers to

  • Personalized beer mug or flask
  • Shot glass set
  • Corkscrew or bottle opener
  • Give each groomsman/usher a bottle of their favorite liquor
  • Custom bar signs

Gifts for Lovers of Sports or the Great Outdoors

  • Golf equipment
  • Fishing gear
  • Camping equipment
  • Game tickets
  • Gifts featuring logos of their favorite NFL, MLB, NCAA, NHL or NBA team.
  • Personalized baseball bat

groomsmen all wearing lebron james jerseys as the groom imitates lebron's pre-game ritual

Style Accessories the Fellas Can Wear on the Wedding Day

Organize a Group Outing

  • Casino night
  • Camping or fishing excursion
  • Sporting event
  • Concert
  • Golfing

groomsmen golfing in their new socks

If you’re still stuck with nothing, you can check out our list of the best groomsmen gifts in 2020 — or turn to sites like Pinterest and Etsy for ideas. No matter what type of gift you choose, the name of the game is to find a gift that will make your groomsmen feel appreciated (and help ease the pain of travel and suit rental).

Lastly, consider including a handwritten thank you card along with your gifts. Words can often mean more than a physical item and the guys will love knowing how much you appreciate their friendship and support throughout the wedding planning process.

groomsmen wearing matching suspenders behind the groom who is front and center

Top Tips for Personalizing Your Groomsmen Gifts

Personalizing a gift with a name, initial(s), or custom message is a great way to create a memorable gift that will be cherished forever. If you’re worried about making a mistake, remember these tips:

Don’t Forget to Proofread Your Personalization

Adding a name, initials or monogram to a groomsman gift is a great way to make it extra special, as long as you spell the person’s name correctly or use the correct initial order.

Of course, you’re human, mistakes and typos happen. But because personalized gifts usually can’t be returned, take a few extra minutes to confirm the spelling of all the names in your wedding party beforehand.

If you’re ordering online, check all of the personalization or custom text on your gifts, and then check them once again, before you hit “submit” to minimize errors. It’s never a bad idea to have another person (such as your fiancée) take a peek as well before you place an order.

Know the Difference Between Spelling it Groomsmen and Groomsman

Confused about how to spell groomsman? Use groomsman with an ‘a’ when you’re referring to a singular guy. Use groomsmen with an ‘e’ when you’re referring to the group of guys. It’s that simple, folks!

Know the Difference Between Standard Initials and a Monogram

Another common mistake grooms make is confusing initials and monograms. Here’s a quick cheat sheet on the difference between the two.

Initials

If you want to add standard initials to a gift, use this order: the person’s first name initial, middle name initial and then last name initial.

Monogram

For a monogram, use this order: the person’s first name initial, last name initial and then middle name initial.

Note that with monograms, the last name initial typically appears larger than the first and middle name initials that surround it. For example, with the name Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the standard initials are FDR and the monogram is FRD.

Married Monogram

On the flip side, if you’re ordering a gift for a couple there is something called a married monogram. In this case, the last name initial in the middle will also appear larger, and the order would be: the bride’s first name initial, the couple’s married last name initial, and the groom’s first name initial.

For example, the married monogram for Anne Marie Smith and David Benjamin Jones would be AJD, using Jones as the married last name. Same-sex couples often use a two-initial monogram comprised of either the first initials of each person’s last name or the first initials of each of their first names.

Personalize With Long-Lasting Sentiment

You want to ensure that your groomsmen will use their gifts well after the wedding day. Personalize the gift with the recipient’s name, initials or monogram, instead of your own.

While it might seem like a good idea to add the married couple’s names or wedding date to your gift, the recipient will be more likely to use it again if it has their own name on it. The exception to the rule: For gifts the married couple wants to purchase for their parents or themselves, adding the couple’s names, monogram or wedding date makes it a great keepsake of the big day.

Who Else Does the Groom Buy Gifts For?

It’s easy to remember to get a gift for the best man and each of your groomsmen, but don’t forget about the ancillary members of the wedding party (and any other people that will be a big part of your special day). Here’s who else you should consider buying gifts for:

  • Ushers
  • Ring Bearer
  • Father of the Groom
  • Father of the Bride
  • Officiant

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Thousands of Satisfied Grooms and Groomsmen

Since 2008, we’ve been the go-to site for personalized, unique groomsmen gifts and wedding tips for men. We’re also proud to be the original groom’s gift registry.

I reached out to The Man Registry on a Saturday, just 7 days before my wedding, asking for help with my groomsmen gifts. I heard back within an hour and was able to get 8 personalized coolers in just 3 days. Ordering was easy and the quality was top notch. Would highly recommend The Man Registry!

— Parker R.

The Man Registry is phenomenal. The customer service is exceptional - seriously. You send an e-mail and a person (a friendly one at that) actually responds within an hour. Also, gift options are diverse and plentiful so you'll be able to find what works best for you.

— Andrew S.