How to Give Good Gifts to Groomsmen

This time of year, lots of guys are standing up as groomsmen. Usually at the rehearsal dinner or on The Big Day, it’s traditional for the groomsmen to receive a gift of appreciation. Hopefully, it will be something they’ll cherish — at least for that weekend. Trust me. I’m kind of an expert on the matter.

I’ve stood up in 10 weddings. Ten. Five college friends, three brothers, a co-worker and a high school buddy. Know what that means? It means I have five flasks, three money clips and a trinket box — all with my initials — and one friend who took the time to get me something I actually cherish and use every day.

I don’t go many places where liquor needs to be snuck into, nor am I a fraternity member or a wild west gambler, so I don’t get a lot of use out of the flasks. As for the money clips, I don’t think I’ve ever had enough bills in my pocket to require a glorified paper clip. I still have them somewhere; maybe I should put them in the trinket box. Last time I saw that, it had some wheat pennies and Dan Marino rookie cards in it.

But I still use the Spider-Man watch (complete with rotating villains instead of dates) my co-worker gave me. And the exclusive limited edition Star Wars collectible he knew I was having trouble finding; that has a proud place in my collection. Steve gave everyone in his party something that was unique to them and spoke to their personality. He also gave all his groomsmen umbrellas that were black with blue highlights, like his tux. Thoughtful and practical — the best of both groomsmen gift worlds.

When it’s your turn to shop for groomsmen gifts, take the time to make them personal and unique to each recipient. A little thought goes a long way.

You know Joe likes the Ohio State and cigars. How about a Buckeyes tumbler filled with his favorite stogies? Personalize it with his initials – a groomsmen gift tradition – or a nickname, or a saying you share, and the date of the wedding. Every time he sips from his soon-to-be favorite drinkware, he’ll remember your big day.

You brother likes grilling. How about a nice set of grilling utensils and a King of the Grill tumbler filled with his favorite rub.

And your best man is an amateur mixologist. Put together a gift set with a measurement tumbler (which includes a shaker top), bar tools, gourmet stuffed olives and artisan bitters.

No matter who’s in your wedding party, give them something useful and specific to their interests. That way, your wedding day will always have a place in their hearts – not in their junk drawers.

— P.J. Butland