Because we continuously hear from soon-to-be-wed couples stumped about what to get their groomsmen, we decided to write this guide and load it up with fresh ideas for practical groomsmen gifts they’ll use and enjoy for a long time.
If you’re getting married this year, chances are you’re a little stressed (understatement?). Small decisions become hard ones, and that leads to procrastination. As the wedding gets even closer your stress levels, increase further, and suddenly you’re having a difficult time processing the hundreds of unique gift options.
You can relax now because we’re going to show you how to honor your friends on your special day. To make it even easier we’re also going to share a list of suggested gifts that you can be proud to give the groom’s best buddies.
We already covered, broadly, the best groomsmen gifts, but here we’re going to change speeds. Practical, useful, unique, creative - it’s all here. We’ve included gift ideas to suit a variety of tastes, but you can’t go wrong - they’re all classy, and none of them will gather dust.
Practical Gifts for Groomsmen
You can’t go wrong if you choose a practical gift. A practical gift fills a niche in a guy’s daily life or plays a prominent role in his work life or home life.
Practical doesn’t mean boring. What could be more useful and thoughtful than something that comes in handy on a regular basis?
Put some thought into what your groomsmen do for a living, their personalities, lifestyles, and personal preferences. Can you name a few items they use for work, or at home, at least once per week?
The rule of thumb here is to fit the gift into their life, so they use it all the time. The holy grail of practical gifts is anything that’s durable, attractive, thoughtful, and most of all useful.
Would He Buy It On His Own?
While it may sound counterintuitive, some of the best practical gifts are things guys wouldn’t think to buy on their own. For whatever reason, a lot of guys tend to buy cheap, low-quality items for themselves, or use things until they’re completely worn out and need to be thrown out.
An excellent gift is usually a surprise. What’s something your groomsmen might not think to buy for themselves?
Here are some suggestions:
- Phone cases
How many guys have a wallet that looks like they bought it in seventh grade, or is throwing their spine out of alignment? That’s right: a lot of guys. Boom, perfect practical gift opportunity!
How about getting yours boys a personalized wallet that actually looks like an adult would use it? You can get them monogramed with initials, use full last names, nicknames or something else. It adds a little personal touch, which is always a nice touch when thinking about unique groomsmen gifts.
With smartphones costing over a grand today, a protective phone case may be the perfect gift your groomsmen didn’t know they needed. Most guys don’t tend to “accessorize,” so unless he’s already gotten a phone case from his mom or girlfriend, this is low-hanging fruit. Even if he has one, you know where to find a better phone case.
Just like with the wallet, you can get personalized phone cases and choose from a couple different styles, including customizing colors, name design and more.
Watches? Do guys even wear watches any more? Yes, guys with a sense of style do wear watches. And if your groomsmen “just use their phone as a watch,” a classic watch is the perfect flair upgrade.
Even Gen-Yers can learn to appreciate the practicality of a timepiece. If he’s an unconventional type of guy, surprise him with a wooden watch.
Make Sure the Gift is Useful
If you’re unsure whether a gift is useful, ask yourself whether your groomsmen will use it daily, or at least weekly. A gift that gets daily or weekly use is much more unique and valuable than one that sits on the shelf gathering dust.
Wallets, phone cases, and watches are all daily use items. If you want a more exotic gift that he would never think to purchase but will love, a whiskey decanter is an excellent complement to his home bar and will last a lifetime.
Does he enjoy fine cigars? Chances are he doesn’t have a premium cigar box to store and display his stogies. Cigar boxes are a popular and versatile gift - they work well to stash a variety of personal items, not just cigars.
For groomsmen with a wild streak, a glass hip flask is an outstanding gift that they’ll probably use weekly (but hopefully not daily). Unlike traditional metal flasks there’s no tin aftertaste, so you can enjoy all the notes of fine whiskey.
A discreet steel hip flask is also a great solution to calm the groomsmen’s nerves on the big day if you fill it up for them and pass it out beforehand. How’s that for useful?
More Unique Gift Ideas for Groomsmen
Unique gifts are thoughtful or personalized gifts. The old phrase “it’s the thought that counts” is actually true. Keep in mind you don’t have to give every groomsman the same gift, particularly if you have a blended wedding party with different ages (like cousins, fathers, and friends, for example).
On a Budget?
If you’re on a budget, you’ll be relieved to know that there are plenty of high-value options for groomsmen gifts that don’t break the bank.
Here are our top suggestions for budget gifts:
- Personalized phone cases - $29.99
- Inscribed whiskey glasses - $24.99
- Inscribed glass hip flasks - $22.99
As a rule of thumb, you should allocate at least 10-15% of what a groomsman spends on the wedding (travel, lodging, and gifts for you) per groomsman. A rough estimate is fine. If you’re going to give a budget gift, make sure it’s unique.
Get Creative With Groomsmen Gifts & Personalize
Weddings are personal, intimate experiences. You want to make the guys feel special and recognized for their contribution to your wedding day and your lives.
Personalization is the perfect way to make a gift memorable for life. People don’t usually buy personalized inscribed items for themselves, but guys love them.
When you think of inscriptions, you probably think of initials, but there are plenty of other great options to personalize a gift with an inscription. Last names are gaining popularity over initials these days.
An unexpected personalized inscription makes a gift that much more special.
Here are some additional ideas:
- The date of the wedding or another memorable shared experience
- A nickname for the groomsman
- The name of your squad or crew
- A reference to an activity you all enjoy (sports, tailgating, cookouts, adventure races)
- An inside joke
Creative Gift Ideas for Groomsmen
If your groomsmen are difficult to buy gifts for, it’s time to get creative. A creative gift needs to be a complete surprise, and match the personality of the recipient.
Groomsmen Gifts As Conversation Starters
Some of the best gifts aren’t about the material value or even practicality; they’re about moments, memories, or feelings.
Here are some creative gift ideas that will help your groomsmen remember your remarkable friendship and what a great time they had at your wedding:
- A gift that highlights personal qualities he’s proud of
- A present that relates to a funny or memorable story
- An item that refers to a hilarious incident that you won’t let him live down
- Something that gives him permission to do something he enjoys
A framed photo is an easy and classy way to call attention to a guy’s talents or accomplishments. If he’s a hiker, blow up and frame that photo of him at Mt. Katahdin. If he’s a skier or snowboarder get a photo of him at the slopes. If he’s a veteran, find a picture of him on duty or in his dress uniform. Photographs aren’t expensive and provide a truly personal touch.
A present that conjures up a memorable story or funny incident can be a photograph, inscription, or an unusual object that relates to the situation. Be careful giving gag gifts, though - they don’t suit all personalities. Make sure the item you gift is something the guy or guys will appreciate and want to use around the house or display.
A gift like a whiskey decanter or cigar box gives your friends permission to kick back and treat themselves. If you give a beautiful item that relates to one of their favorite ways to relax, they’ll appreciate you every time they indulge.
For the Guy Who Has Everything
What if a groomsman is a minimalist who doesn’t want material goods or a maximalist who already has everything?
Three words: gift an experience. All you need to do is think about his personality, interests, and what engages his passion.
Here are some of our favorite suggestions:
- Whiskey tours
- Test driving an exotic sports car
- Firearms training classes conducted by special forces veterans
If All Else Fails, Keep Your Gifts Practical
If you’re stressed and indecisive, an experience is a perfect gift as long as it fits within your budget. You may not know for sure if your buddy needs a set of inscribed cufflinks (actually, he probably doesn't), but how can he not enjoy a whiskey tour at his favorite distillery, or a day cruising in a Lambo or Ferrari?
That being said, you still may want to go for the practical route or with something unique that will help him remember how much the day meant to you. For that, check out some personalized, creative groomsmen gifts from Swanky Badger. You won’t be disappointed.