Cara Robbins

Liquor, gambling, and dollar bills — three things you might be seeing a lot less of once married, which is why paraphernalia related to that triumvirate tops many a list of gifts for groomsmen. As both the lucky recipient — and even luckier giver — of such matrimonial memorabilia, I have various booze containers, money clips, and dice cups (which is what I bestowed upon my crew) as hard evidence of their wedding day popularity. And that was further confirmed by my casual social media poll that netted nearly 30 responses, though it also revealed that weapons, tobacco, and cuff links aren’t too far behind.

Make Smith’s Steve Soria crafts both traditional and alternative groomsmen gifts out of leather. See
Cara Robbins

But breaking from tradition might even be more memorable. I still squeeze into the English soccer jersey my cousin gave me as often as possible, and a golden, monogrammed flash drive from another celebration hangs on my everyday key chain. Locally made crafts are also becoming popular, as one friend of mine who got married in Virginia gave out monogrammed mint julep glasses made by a silversmith — other friends confirmed that was the best gift they ever received. That trend isn’t particularly new; another guy I know, who tied the knot in the 1980s, gave out wooden boxes with inlaid stone lids that he picked up at the Cabrillo Arts and Crafts show one Sunday.

Of course, the best gifts will be the ones that resonate with your groomsmen most, whether that’s a range of personally specific items — customized bobbleheads anyone? — or, if you all share basic interests like the great outdoors, a useful item like headlamps. Don’t be afraid to blend in a little humor with the gift either, such as the one guy I know who bought his team first aid kits.

For all the pomp and circumstance associated with modern weddings, it’s really about creating a day to remember forever, so sometimes the real gifts aren’t something you give anyway. “One of the best groom party experiences I’ve had was all of us jamming to Yes’s ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’ in the church music room before the ceremony,” responded occasional videographer Lael Wageneck to my poll.

“Best gift = good memories.”


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