Groomsmen Gifts

Written by Shirley Parker
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Groomsmen gifts are a recognized part of wedding etiquette in many circles of Western society. That is, gifts are given by the groom to members of the wedding entourage. Even a very young ring-bearer is remembered with an appropriate gift, such as a silver-plated football that is a piggy bank. This can be a source of solace for the young one's heart after being forced into what to him must resemble a Little Lord Fauntleroy outfit.

In other circumstances, such gifts are unaffordable luxuries. Therefore, recipients of grooms' gifts can consider themselves fortunate indeed, while perhaps keeping in mind their own possible obligations at some future date. Usually, a lot of thought and anxiety goes into these gifts and they may be presented in private, since each male friend or relative may receive something quite different from another, some having known the groom longer, perhaps.

Gifts in connection with a marriage go back centuries, to even before the times when a bride was sold by her father in exchange for land or a political alliance. Sometimes, the new husband was a child, who returned home to live with his parents, while his bride waited at her father's mansion for her groom to grow up. At other times, it was the groom who was horrified, not having known what his bride looked like, until he lifted the veil from her face. Surprises and misrepresentations were not just confined to the Rachels and Leahs of biblical times.

Groomsmen Gifts May Be a More Recent Development, or Not

The custom of giving gifts is not easy to pin down. Yet, as surely as the knights of old rewarded faithful squires for their help in rescuing damsels in distress, guys today show their appreciation to friends who have stood by them during high stress moments. This includes propping them up emotionally, if not physically, at their wedding.

In typical Western culture, we look down our noses at arranged marriages that are still taking place today. It is possible to learn to love someone you do not know, resulting in a long and happy marriage. But the vast majority of people in a free and forward-looking society prefer to choose their own life partner. Even so, wedding nerves and second thoughts affect the groom as well as the bride.

Bachelor parties seem to stem from the days of Sparta. The soon-to-be husband spent the night before his wedding carousing with his buddies and stuffing himself with food and drink. No doubt he was not a pretty sight the next morning. And hopefully, today's husbands-to-be participate in their parties a few days earlier. Some traditions are better replaced by new ideas.

Groomsmen Gifts Include Many Different Items

Groomsmen gifts may take a larger part of a budget than the fiancé had expected. It's wise to look at a wide selection of gifts to avoid being foolishly generous. And it's better to give a small gift that shows quality rather than something big, cheap and tacky. Yet even socks and underwear appear in various catalogs for such gifts.

Gifts that have been personalized by engraving the recipient's name or the names of the bride and groom will be more meaningful in the future. Possibilities for teenagers and adults range from cuff links to baseball bats, tools to golf accessories. In some families, the groom also buys gifts for the bridesmaids: heart-shaped lockets, unity candle sets, picnic baskets or picture frames are common items.

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