Wedding Etiquette: What to Engrave on Groomsmen Gifts
So you’re getting married soon…
Hopefully you’ve put some time into finding the perfect groomsmen gift ideas, but if you haven’t done that yet then we’ve got you covered — you can browse through nearly any section of our site and probably stumble upon something that’s a good fit.
(This page would probably be the best place to start, though).
Engraved gifts seem to be the trend these days, whether we’re talking about weddings or birthdays. It could be because engraved gifts are hard to re-gift because they have a name on them, but more likely it’s a matter of the sentimental value in a gift that obviously hasn’t been bought off the shelf at Walmart at the last minute.
We offer several lines of gifts for groomsmen and most of them will require engraving.
So that means you’ll need to put some thought into what you’re going to have engraved on each gift you hand out.
If you are going to put someone’s name on an engraved item, make sure that you have the right spelling of their name. If you don’t, you can probably ask your bride as she would have collected spellings of everyone’s name for the wedding program or place cards.
The gift may be practical, but spelling someone’s name wrong can be awkward and a turn-off. Make inquiries before you spell their name, and if you want it to be a surprise, you can use their nickname instead to make the gift seem more personal. They will appreciate their name or nickname so long as both are spelled correctly.
No offense to grooms, but no one actually wants the date of your wedding or you and your bride’s name on anything personal that you give to them. That is why there are wedding favors for people to remember the date and wedding by. If you insist on putting your wedding date and your initials on the item, make it very small.
Also, if you choose to leave out your wedding date and initials, you can put the date of the bachelor party. If you have fun groomsmen, it is very likely that the night is going to be an unforgettable one. What happens in the party should be remembered.
A Unique Quote
When engraving, you could put a unique quote that reflects each groomsman’s life or attitude. You don’t have to quote Shakespeare but just make it something really thoughtful. If you are unable to come up with something, then you can express a memory that you shared with your groomsman or print something that he says a lot.
Some of your groomsmen will have their own phrases and words that they use often. This will show that a lot of thought and effort was put into the engraving and the memories will last a lifetime.
If your groomsmen are all friends and you were roommates during college or afterwards, it is highly likely that you will share jokes and some of them will be inside jokes. These can make for really funny memories, and you may have enough inside jokes for every groomsman in your bridal party.
If you lack inside jokes, you can just get some regular jokes. Something full of puns and similes. Getting jokes off the internet is not rocket science, but just make sure that it is corny. If you want to make it about the wedding, then you can get bachelor jokes.
Their Role in The Wedding
Engraving someone’s role in the wedding doesn’t necessarily scream unique or personalized. You can engrave “Groomsman” or “Best Man” so that your friends can remember the roles they played in your wedding.
However, it is highly unlikely that they will forget so it may not even be necessary to get those engraved. If you do insist on doing it, then maybe you can add your initials so that they can know who it was from and you can probably also consider writing their names so that they can know that the gift was customized.
Thank You Notes
A simple thank you can go a long way. If you can’t think of anything to engrave, you can just put a thank you note with the item. Thank your groomsmen for standing at your side and supporting you on your wedding day. You can even thank them for their friendship and just show them that the gift is a token of appreciation. People often assume that thanks are understood, but sometimes, for the best effects, it just needs to be expressed.
There are also many Thank You quotes that you can use. You can probably copy a quote from a postcard and engrave their name as well.
Now, for some additional advice and some real-life samples from orders we’ve filled, read on for ideas that will work whether you’re ordering our .50 Caliber Bottle Openers or any of our other gifts
Having done thousands of custom engraving jobs on our .50 Caliber Bottle Openers during the 5+ years that we’ve had our laser engravers, we thought we could offer up some suggestions on what you can put on your groomsman gifts.
One note up front since this is BY FAR the most common mistake we see on submitted orders…
The singular form of Groomsmen is Groomsman.
That means each guy in your wedding party is a Groomsman, not a Groomsmen.
In other words:
Joe – Groomsman is correct
Joe – Groomsmen would be incorrect (unless that’s what you REALLY want)
If the on-screen preview function doesn’t help and you want to get an idea of how things will look, you can create a text box using the appropriate dimensions within Word or PowerPoint then play around with different layouts to see which looks the best for your font of choice.
One other note — this functionality does not work on Internet Explorer, so you’ll need to use another browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge if you want to see the on-screen mockups.
A few considerations…
- Obviously, entering fewer characters means that we’ll be able to use a larger font. While we can put up to 25 characters per line on up to 3 lines, going near that limit will require a much smaller font than if you were to keep things to ~10-15 characters per line.
- Same deal with the number of lines. Depending on the specifics of your text, going with two lines could result in smaller text than sticking with a single line. With our bottle openers we can use three lines if you really want to, but keep in mind that adding the third line means that we may start running out of vertical space and have to shrink the font…particularly in the case of what you’ll see in #3. Once again, you can get a feel for the difference by playing around with a text box and comparing different layouts.
- Font and capitalization matter. As you can see in the top example on the below photo, the tail of the “y” hangs below the first line and runs into the second line of text which means we would have to increase the line spacing to keep the two lines separate. Increasing the line spacing means that we would exceed our 0.5″ vertical limitation, so we would have to reduce the font size a bit to bring it back within our height limit. The single line version may be a better option, but then again if some of the first names are very long we’d have to use a small font. There are a few ways around this issue — you can use ALL CAPS with your engraving, though capital letters tend to require more horizontal space than their lowercase counterparts so keep that fact in mind if you’re looking to use 20+ characters. Some fonts like Antique may be good options because their lowercase letters are just smaller versions of their uppercase letters which means they don’t hang below the line of text.
- Our gift boxes (if you choose to add them) have about 6″ of width and 1.7″ of height to work with. That means we can easily fit 3-4 lines with lots of letters on each one. So it’s worth thinking about keeping the bottle openers simple then using the boxes to add more text…i.e. adding their full name along with the wedding date/location or “Thank you for being part of our special day” or something similar.
Now, as for a few photos of these engraving options…
Simple and classy — you can’t go wrong with initials for each member of your wedding party, and your groomsmen and best man will always treasure this gift since it’s not specific to a wedding date.
Since it’s only a few letters, we’ll be able to go very large with the text and can accommodate fancier-looking fonts if you prefer.
You can always keep things simple on the bottle openers then add more text in the form of names, dates, or titles on the gift boxes.
Title with Bride/Groom Names & Wedding Date
See the below screenshot for an example:
Nice and simple, clean-looking, and you could also substitute the first name or a nickname in place of “GROOMSMAN” or “BEST MAN” and it would still look great.
Title and Wedding Date
Also keeps things simple and allows for a large font, though we will have to shrink things a bit on some of the openers if you include a “Father of the Groom” and “Father of the Bride” since they have many more letters than “Groomsman.” If you go with this option you can always add names, bride/groom names, or wedding location on the gift boxes where there’s much more space to work with.
They typically look just like these, which also show a slightly different option on the gift boxes — remember, you can do different engraving on the boxes and on the openers.
These have the first name (or first and last names, if you prefer) on line one and their title on line two and will result in a fairly large font unless any wedding party members have extremely long names.
Name, Title, and Wedding Date
First name followed by title on lines 1 and 2, then the wedding date on the third line. Not a bad option, but as you can see it will require a smaller font to fit everything if you go with 3 lines rather than 2.
To reduce things to two lines, you can always substitute initials in place of names and bump Groomsman and Best Man to the first line — but you may find yourself bumping up against the limits on horizontal space depending on number of characters in each line.
There you have it — that’s our rundown of some of the best options for your custom engraved bottle openers.
If you have any other questions or suggestions please ask away in the comments and we’ll post updates if there’s enough demand.
What to Engrave on Groomsmen Gift: Conclusion
Remember you have a limit of how many characters you can engrave so choose your engraving carefully. You don’t want to put too many words on the item because too many words may have the engraved item looking cluttered and cumbersome.
It is impractical to put an entire paragraph on a pen, so you should consider limiting your engravings to one line. It may seem like a little when you have a lot to say, but you should be concise when you want to express your thoughts on an engraved item. Your bride or mother may be good at helping you with this exercise.
There are so many options for you to choose when engraving your groomsmen’s gift. What you choose to engrave on the items will depend on the item and the person. You don’t necessarily have to choose the same engraving for everyone.
You can customize. So, for one groomsman you can put his name and an inside joke, and for another groomsman, you can put his name and an expression of thanks. The most important thing for you to remember when engraving your groomsmen’s gifts is to keep it simple. Complexity can be expensive if not managed.