The tradition of having groomsmen goes back hundreds and hundreds of years, and the purpose of this position at a wedding has evolved quite a bit. However, the story behind groomsmen gifts isn’t as clear, but there are some implications based on the function they hold when witnessing a marriage. Since this custom has started, there has been progress in how to give the right gift to your groomsmen.
Back in ancient Rome, a marriage had to be witnessed by at least 10 people, and those individuals needed to be men. This means that groomsmen actually predate bridesmaid in the historical tradition of wedding parties.
At first, groomsmen helped the groom capture his soon-to-be bride. “Marriage by capture” was a scheme to avoid any prejudice or displeasure the bride’s family may have with the impending marriage. The groomsmen would literally fight off family members to ensure the groom successfully ran off with his bride.
Another purpose for the male witnesses and maids of the bride was to confuse spirits who might attempt to hurt the newlyweds. The lads and ladies would dress in the same outfits as the bride and groom, which has stuck somewhat into the modern era.
Nowadays, the bride and groom are dressed slightly different while the groomsmen and bridesmaids are dressed alike. This group of men is typically made up of the groom’s best of friends who stand up to show their support and approval of the marriage. Fortunately, kidnapping the bride seems to be a thing of the past, so groomsmen instead work together to throw bachelor parties to celebrate the end of the groom’s single life.
The implication behind giving a groomsman a gift could go back to the “marriage by capture” days. Imagine risking your life for your friend’s love. That is undoubtedly deserving of a gift of some sort. Heaven forbid the confused, vengeful spirit attacks you. Another reason to receive a gift of thanks.
Being in a wedding as a groomsman isn’t free either. There are logistical and financial commitments when someone agrees to take on groomsmen duties. They’ll likely have to purchase a suit, shoes, and accessories to match the other men. They may even need to arrange travel for fittings, celebrations, rehearsal, and the wedding itself. Time and money are being committed, and that should be thanked.
There are several ways to select what type of gift to give your groomsmen. It can range from practical to comical. They can even be personalized, so your groomsmen have a custom gift from you. For example, you could get an extra special gift, like a wallet with an engraved message, that is meaningful between the two of you.
Here are some examples of practical gifts to consider:
If you’re particular about what your groomsmen will be wearing at your wedding, you might want to gift them certain items for their outfit. This works well because it’s less money a groomsman will spend and decreases the chances of a mistake being made when putting the outfit together.
Here are some parts of the groomsmen outfit you might gift them:
There is a trend for grooms to have an epic gift for their groomsmen, and they do not disappoint. Some of the more outlandish gifts are whiskey box sets complete with whiskey and glasses, cigar sets, grilling tools, customized beer steins and mugs, and shaving kits.
The groom presumably knows his groomsmen best, at least good enough to ask them to stand next to him as he marries his future wife. The relationship the groom has with each of his groomsmen can help solidify what the best gift can be for each individual. You shouldn’t feel pressured to get the same gift for all of your groomsmen if you don’t want to.
You may reflect on how you met each of the men or what they enjoy doing during their free time. For example, you may have met one groomsman during law school, so a nice briefcase could be seen as thoughtful. Perhaps another one loves fishing so you may consider a custom tackle box to keep lures in. If your group goes on a beach trip together, you could think outside the box and gift them with a really nice beach lounge chair.