by Eric Montgomery February 20, 2018

How Much Should I Spend on Groomsmen Gifts?

(Don't worry -- just because there are fancy watches in the header photo doesn't mean we're going to tell you that you've gotta spend that kind of money on your gifts)

A wedding is a very important event in anyone's life. There's a whole lot of planning that goes down when it comes to this special event. From selecting the venue, choosing the right caterers, selecting the wedding attire, the list is pretty much endless.

But, there is another important thing that you need to think about and that is giving gifts to your groomsmen.The most appreciated gift you can give your groomsmen is a hassle-free wedding process from start to finish. This means clear communication, drama-free planning, and an epic reception.However, it’s also a tradition that you give an extra thanks to your attendants with athoughtfully chosen gift. This may leave you wondering how much to spend on groomsmen gifts?

Are Groomsmen Gifts Necessary?

While some grooms may think their groomsmen shouldbe honored that theywere asked to take part, they are forgetting the amount of time, money, and effort that attendants must spend to help the wedding day run smoothly.

Consider the basic jobs of the best man and groomsmen.

They need to:

  • Rent or buy tuxedos
  • Throw a bachelor party
  • Pay for travel to the wedding and likely a hotel room
  • Prepare and give a reception toast (or best man speech)
  • Take care of the rings
  • Arrive early to usher guests
  • Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • Attend any joint shower parties
  • Provide the final send-off for the bride and groom

Why Give Groomsmen Gifts?

First of all, it’s tradition.It’s custom to thank your friends for balancing out your side of the wedding photos (imagine six bridesmaids and only three groomsmen standing by the altar) and helping your wedding celebration go off without a hitch.

Secondly, when you think about the investment your groomsmen make for your happiness on your special day, it’s clear that a proper gift is definitely in order.

Recently, a study from GOBankingRates found that groomsmen typically spend more on the wedding than bridesmaids which is a little surprising given that groomsmen don't usually have expenses like hair and makeup.

For instance, the average cost of the wedding attire for each groomsman was $245.50, while bridesmaids spent $214.58.The bachelor party cost over $680 compared to bachelorette parties coming in under $400. 

Before you even think of how much you are going to spend on the groomsmen gifts, it's essential you plan the budget for your wedding -- and gifts for groomsmen should be part of theoverall wedding budget.

When considering whether to spend a bit extra on your best man's gift, you should know that the best man will likely spend $1000 or so to fulfill his role, while the maid of honor spends almost half that amount.

Groom with Groomsmen

This may mean that the groom spends a bit more on his gifts than the bride spends on gifts for her attendants.This is acceptable, but the reasoning shouldbe laid out during the budgeting process so there is no miscommunication.

Another thing you must keep in mind, especially if you have a group of best men, is that you need to treat everyone as equal as possible.

You can't play favoritism here and let one get something more expensive than the other, but this depends on some factors.

You also need to consider what the groomsmen do in their personal life to make it easier for you to think of a perfect gift for them.

Who Pays for Groomsmen Gifts?

Like nearly everything else involved in paying for a wedding, there's plenty of established tradition on who is "supposed" to pay for the groomsmen gifts.

The groom is typically in charge of selecting and purchasing gifts for his best man, groomsmen, the ring-bearer, his father, the father of the bride, and ushers.

He may also include a gift for a grandfather or any honorary groomsmen.Even if the parents of the bride are handling the wedding costs, the groomsmen gifts are the responsibility of the groom.

Yet some couples may determine the budget for their groomsmen and bridesmaid giftsjointly and use theoverall wedding budget to direct their decisions.

Use Your Wedding Budget as a Guide

There is no "ideal" cost when it comes to gifting your groomsmen. This entirely depends on your budget and the number of groomsmen you have. It'sobviously easier to spend for one best man rather than four best men.

Depending on whether you are having an extravagant, large wedding, or a smaller, more intimate wedding, can be a good guide when deciding how much to spend on groomsmen gifts.

Gifts as part of a casual wedding may fall in the $25-$30 range while bigger affairs may have groomsmen gifts in the $100-$150 range, or higher.

There's an informal rule, of spending about 10-30% of what your best man has spent for your wedding. Using this rule and assuming your best man spends the typical $1,000 between travel, accommodations, and tuxedo, his gift would be $100-$300.

Or you could keep things simple and go by what's listed in this article from Forbes (albeit one that's 10+ years old) and budget about $50 per groomsman or $250 total for your groomsmen gifts.  

Yes, some grooms buy quite extravagant gifts for their wedding party like sets of golf clubs, high-end watches, and even fancy trips. If you are on a strict budget, don’t feel the need to spend more than necessary.

The most important thing is to be heartfelt in your thanks so selecting a less expensive (but personalized or otherwise thoughtful) gift isperfectly acceptable.

Some Typical Costs

  • Gifts on the simpler side such as books, business card holders, lighters, or cologne range from $15 to $50
  • Tie bars, shaving kits, or quality personalized flasks range from $50 to $100
  • Bottle openers, barware, and gift sets range from $28 to $149 per person
  • Tickets to a favorite sporting event, a high-end bottle of whiskey, or a name brand wallet costs $100 to $150 or more
  • Brackish bow ties to wear in the wedding range from $100 to $150
  • A cabin fishing trip before or after your lakeside wedding can range from $100 to $250 per night

How Far in Advance do You Purchase Gifts?

You should give yourself a good two months ahead of the wedding topurchase your gifts.This will give you plenty of time to pick something out, have it personalized or shipped, and gift-wrapped in advance of the wedding.However, there are many websites that offer rush shipping and personalization services if you shouldrequire a quicker turnaround.

How and When Should I Gift My Groomsmen?

This is a very common question that we get asked often. Again, there is no right or wrong answer to this. You can gift your groomsmen in any manner and when you think is appropriate.Mostcommonly, you will find guys gifting their groomsmen during the rehearsal dinner since the gathering there istypically small and personal.This gives you an opportunity to take some time during the dinner and acknowledge each of your groomsmenpersonally.
Another option is to give gifts the moment you are planning to ask them to be your best man. This allows a personal one on one acknowledgment.
Whatever time you choose to gift your groomsmen, make sure that it's appropriate.You wouldn't want to be giving out their gifts right in the middle of your reception while everyone has already downed a couple of drinks. The gesture would lose most of the sentiment attached to it.

One Final Touch

Finally, to make the moment more memorable, write a personal note for each groomsman to go with their gift. Thank them for a specific action they took that stands out to you. Think about how they helped to contribute to your big day. While a note like this isn’t required, it’s a special touch that makes any gift that much more meaningful.



Eric Montgomery
Eric Montgomery

Born and raised in Cary, NC, Eric graduated from the US Naval Academy in 2004. He served as a Marine Corps infantry officer for 7 years before joining Bullets2Bandages in 2012 and launching Groomsmen Central in 2017.

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