Present and Accounted For
Appropriate gifts for groomsmen
Buying gifts for the groomsmen often falls to the last minute, particularly if your fiancé didn't have groomsmen gifts on his "to do" list. There are a ton of groomsmen gifts available on the Internet, but being a guy and the founder of GroomGroove.com, I've got a pretty good sense of what's cool, and what's not, when it comes to a gift that is supposed to be memorable, yet inexpensive. It’s often a tough balance.
Let's rule out what's fallen out of fashion: Engraved flasks and beer steins. Aside from the fact that nobody actually uses flasks, an engraved flasks or beer steins are a clichéd groomsman gift. Neither of these gifts adequately express "thanks" for being a great friend of the groom for the past 20 years. I also do not believe that engraving such a gift makes it more personalized. You and your fiancé can be more creative.
We have always suggested that giving stock – as in stock in a company - as a groomsman gift is a fun and personalized gift. With a company like OneShare.com, you pick a public company that interests a groomsman - say Apple or Harley-Davidson - and you'll receive an actual framed stock certificate of that company. Unfortunately, some company stock is more expensive than others, but this is certainly a classy gift that you ought to consider.
A less expensive gift, but one that is equally classy, is a fountain pen or a ball point pen. We suggest leaving these un-engraved, as the groomsmen will be more inclined to actually use it. Besides, a groomsman will remember exactly who gave it to him, if it’s done right. Best of all, a good quality pen that will last a lifetime can be purchased for less than $40-$50, which is in the right range for a groomsman’s gift.
You might consider coaxing your fiancé to present a groomsman gift that's out of the ordinary - such as organizing tickets to professional sporting event or going whitewater rafting - assuming the costs are reasonable and fit within your budget.
Finally, like your marriage, wine is meant to last. You and your fiancé could buy a case of wine (or a half case) and present a bottle of fine Cabernet Sauvignon to both groomsmen and bridesmaids, not to be enjoyed until 25 years after the wedding.
While a groomsman's gift is traditionally something permanent (and heavy), there's no harm in letting your fiancé do it his way. It is on his to do list, after all! Visit GroomGroove.com for more groomsmen gift ideas. —Michael Arnot, Founder, Groom Groove