Wedding Etiquette: Does The Best Man Get The Groom a Gift?
While we’ve talked plenty about finding gifts for your best man (here is a good primer if needed) we get another question quite often:
Does the best man need to get the groom a gift?
A groom’s wedding party, particularly his best man, will have some tasks to complete given his role in the wedding — while those responsibilities aren’t a surprise to most, normally first-timers will have questions about those responsibilities.
Will he be responsible for organizing the bachelor party?
Will he coordinate and work closely with the maid of honor?
And finally — do I owe the groom a gift in addition to my presence at the wedding and my services leading up to the big day?
We’ll cover those questions one by one.
The Role of the Best Man
More often than not, the best man is the closest guy to the groom. He could be the brother, cousin, relative or the best friend of the one who is getting married. It’s this tight relationship that was the basis for choosing the best man.
As a person who knows the groom well, the best man has plenty of duties when it comes to helping the groom with the wedding details.
Regardless of the guidance we give you, it’s best to talk to the groom about what you are supposed to do during the wedding preparations, especially if you are unsure of your role.
There are no strict rules about what the best man should do. It depends on a variety of factors like tradition, culture, and sometimes even economics.
For example, in some cases, the best man is expected to work closely with the maid of honor to help out with the wedding preparations.
There are times when the best man is expected to host the wedding rehearsal along with either one of the bridesmaids, the maid of honor, or sometimes the bride’s family.
Others prefer to have the best man arrange the bachelor party. This means finding the venue, sending out the invites, and planning the program for the party. If you can, it’s also a good and generous idea to offer to arrange and shoulder the expenses for the bachelor party. You can share the costs with the guests or with the groomsmen.
If you have the gift of gab, then you can also offer to be the host of the wedding. This would save the couple time and effort in finding someone for the job.
Traditionally, the best man is asked to make a speech during the wedding program or make the toast for the couple. The wedding couple should decide on the program for the big day well ahead of time so the best man will know in advance if he’s required to speak.
It’s also the job of the best man to dress up for the occasion. Most of the time the groom will select the attire for the best man and the groomsmen. The groom could decide to shoulder this expense or have each individual person of his wedding party be responsible for paying for their attire.
A Frequently Asked Question: Does The Best Man Get The Groom a Gift?
So, does the best man get the groom a gift? Just like the role of the best man, no rule about gifting the groom is cast in stone. This means that giving the groom a gift is really up to the discretion of the best man.
If you have already shouldered some of the expenses as well as organized at least one of the pre-wedding events, then the best man can opt out of giving a gift to the groom.
There are some customs or traditions that would require the best man to give a gift to the groom. For example, some families have inherited the practice of having the best man give a keepsake for the groom while others only require the person to show up during the wedding.
The best man, like other wedding guests, should give the wedding couple a gift to help them in starting their new life together.
What to Give?
A gift for the groom needs to either be practical or something he will undoubtedly like. Take some time and put thought into the gift.
Chances are the groom has put considerable thought into his groomsmen gifts. At the very least, he thought enough of you to be his best man — so you owe him some recognition in return.
As a best man, you know the likes and dislikes of the groom, which would narrow down your choices.
There are a variety of things that can be given as a gift for the one who is getting married, and in many cases our guides to groomsmen gifts will be a good place to start — simply have your selection personalized with the groom’s information rather than the standard best man/groomsman details.
The gift can be an item that will be used for the wedding. Perhaps you can get him a pair of shoes from his favorite shoemaker or brand. Or it can be a bottle of his favorite spirits like whiskey, wine or cognac.
If you are giving the couple a gift instead of handing out an item to the groom, then think of an item that the pair can use as husband and wife. Check to see if the couple has a bridal registry so that you can choose a gift they selected themselves. If there is none, it would be a thoughtful gesture to ask the couple about what household item you can give them just to be sure that it will be of use to them.
Presence Is More Than Enough
Don’t worry if budget is an issue. The groom chose you to be the best man not because of the contents of your wallet but because you have stood by him for many years. Giving a gift is a thoughtful gesture, but in many cases, it’s the intangibles that make a difference.
Aside from physical items, helping out with wedding errands can be one of the most thoughtful and useful gestures you can provide. The best man can be the one to handle and coordinate among the male members of the entourage or can merely ensure that the groom shows up for the wedding.
Of course, being on your best behavior during wedding-related events such as bachelor parties or wedding rehearsals would be the most beautiful gift to the groom and consequently the couple. This means showing up on time and refusing to get drunk so as not to embarrass the bride and groom.
If you are asked to make a speech or a toast, then take time to organize your thoughts. Remember, material things are good to hand out, but in most cases, the most thoughtful gifts are the ones that come from the heart.