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The Story Behind Giving The Groomsmen a Gift: Wedding Wednesday

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Today for Wedding Wednesday we have a guest post by the lovely Kiley Morrow that is focused on groomsmen gifts! If you are interested in the history of groomsmen or maybe you need some groomsmen gift ideas, then keep reading!

You are getting married soon and all the attention is on you and your soon-t0-be spouse. Wedding planning can be stressful. There is so much that you need to remember. From making sure the caterer is booked, you picked the right flowers, to preparing the venue. Of course, we can't forget about the small things like the groomsmen's gifts.

Origin Of Groomsmen

Groomsmen Gifts Indiana Destination Wedding Photographer Photography

So where did the idea of having groomsmen come from, you may ask? In Ancient Rome, it was legally required for marriages to be witnessed by at least 10 people. Those specific individuals had to be men.

Yes, that's right, groomsmen actually predate bridesmaids in the historical tradition of wedding celebrations. Groomsmen would help the groom capture his soon-to-be bride. This was referred to as 'Marriage By Capture'.

The scheme was to prevent any prejudice or displeasure which the bride's family may have regarding the approaching marriage. It was the groomsmen's job to literally fight off any family members to make sure the groom successfully leaves with his bride.

The other reason for the male witnesses and bridesmaids was to confuse spirits who may try to hurt the newlyweds. The ladies and gentlemen would dress the same as the bride and groom. This can still be seen somewhat in the modern era.

Nowadays, the newlyweds dress slightly different while the groomsmen, as well as bridesmaids, are dressed identically. The group of men is usually a group of the groom's best friends who stand up to make their support and approval of the marriage clear.

The only thing which doesn't happen anymore is the kidnapping of the bride. To replace the capturing tradition, the groomsmen now plan bachelor parties to celebrate the end of the groom's single life.

Why Do Groomsmen Receive Gifts?

Many think that the tradition of giving a groomsman a gift goes back to the 'Marriage By Capture' era. Imagine putting your own life in danger for a friend's love. This is definitely deserving of a gift.

Another reason they receive gifts is for the groom to simply show his thanks. It is always nice to show appreciation.

Don't get me wrong, being a groomsman at a wedding isn't free either. There are logistical and financial commitments involved regarding their duties.

They'll most likely have to purchase a new suit, shoes, as well as other accessories to ensure they match the other groomsmen. There may even be travel arrangements for fittings involved, not to mention the time spent on rehearsals.

Budgeting The Gifts

Groomsmen Gifts Indiana Destination Wedding Photographer Photography

You have already sent the wedding venue a check and next month you may be spending even more cash on the caterer. Weddings can be expensive and now you still have to busy your groomsmen each a gift, oh boy!

Luckily, you're allowed to make the presents and they can be one of your cheaper expenses. Another great thing is that there is no set dollar amount on the cost of the gifts. It is completely up to you of how much you spend on the groomsmen.

However, you don't want to come across as cheap either. A great way to determine your budget regarding the presents is to spend between 10-25% of the amount the groomsmen had to pay in contribution to the wedding such as their suit cost.

Choosing The Perfect Gifts

Shopping for the perfect groomsmen gifts should be easy if they are your best friends right? Wrong. Buying gifts no matter who they are for can be a daunting task.

Of course, you want to get the perfect presents to show your appreciation. Perhaps you are unsure of what to get your groomsmen. There are a few things I suggest you keep in mind while shopping:

- What is your relationship with each of the groomsmen?

- Why did you handpick them specifically?

- How are you going to wrap the gifts?

- What message do you want their gifts to send?

- Keep an open mind and don't be afraid to be sentimental.

If you are still unsure of what to purchase here are some gift ideas:

- Personalized gifts: This refers to anything that can be engraved such as personalized cigar boxes.

- Drinking gifts: If your guys enjoy drinking together why not buy them a bottle of whiskey.

- Travel gifts: Perhaps your groomsmen travel a lot. If they do you could buy them a sleek shave kit.

Of course, there are plenty of other groomsmen gift ideas you just need to search for them.

When To Give The Gifts

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A great time to give the gifts to your groomsmen is during the rehearsal dinner. It is very convenient as everyone will be there.

By giving it to them while they are all in the same place can give the impression you have put a lot of thought into the gift giving. This may make the groomsmen feel appreciated.

A thing to do when giving them their gifts is to express your thanks in words before they open the presents. This could be a great last bonding moment for you and your guys before the wedding.

Huge thank you to Kiley Morrow for this blog post!


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