A lot of grooms-to-be come to us with a question — when should I give my groomsmen their gifts?
It’s an important wedding etiquette matter to consider, for sure. And we’ll cover the pros and cons of each potential gift-giving time in this post.
But first, let’s backtrack a little bit and talk about groomsmen and groomsmen gifts in general.
Groomsmen are some of the most influential and important individuals in your life — they could be your brothers, best friends, or cousins. They also have plenty of duties that include planning your bachelor party and making sure you are ready for the big day.
Thus, most grooms will give them gifts as a way of thanking them for being present during one of the most vital moments of your life. The proper timing of when to give groomsmen gifts is a big question that requires your attention.
Some grooms may overlook groomsmen gifts, but history tells us that they play a prominent role in the life of the groom and the bride.
Historical Roles of Groomsmen
Did you know that the best man and the groomsmen have a dark past? This is because, during primitive times, the best man and the groomsmen were responsible for kidnapping the bride for the groom in case the family of the woman did not approve of the couple’s marriage.
In addition, they are the guards who protect the groom from the angered family of the bride during the ceremony, and they are also there to make sure that the bride gets to her groom.
Furthermore, choosing the groomsmen and bridesmaids were purely superstitious during the Roman period. The couple would select ten witnesses for the wedding ceremony, and these chosen men and women dressed like the bride and groom to confuse the evil spirits that may curse the marriage.
At present, the groomsmen do not have to kidnap anyone; thankfully. Their role now is to provide physical and emotional support to the groom or couple, for that matter, because planning a wedding can be overwhelming.
When Do You Give Groomsmen Gifts: The Perfect Timing
We’ll lay out the options chronologically, from earliest to latest.
Way, Way Ahead of the Wedding
If you use your gifts for “proposing” to your groomsmen, you can give them out long in advance of your wedding. You’ll have one less thing to worry about on the big day.
(And you’ll have time to atone if you make bad gift choices at first).
However, this could be tricky if when your potential groomsman end up unable to attend the wedding.
For this reason, you may want to wait until your invitations have been accepted before delivering the groomsmen gifts.
A Few Months Before the Wedding
Your bachelor party is a great opportunity to hand out your groomsmen gifts.
Assuming most of your wedding party is attending, you can hand them out en masse. And many of the gift ideas we’ve listed above could come in useful during the bachelor party itself.
Are you hosting a co-ed wedding shower? As opposed to a women-only bridal shower, the bride and the groom would attend together.
This could be a good time to give the gifts of your groomsmen if they are attending your wedding shower.
The Wedding Weekend
The rehearsal dinner is an ideal time to give your gifts and thank the groomsmen for their participation in the most special day of your life. Everyone will be gathered in one place, and you can use the gift presentation as a way to recognize your groomsmen.
The wedding reception should be a last resort. Everyone will be in party mode so it may be difficult to pull everyone together. You will probably have other things to do — and who really wants to stop a party?
The solution is to place their gifts in their assigned seats. You can also ask a relative to give the gifts for you so you don’t have to deliver them personally.
Before or After the Wedding (and Not In-Person)
Shipping the groomsmen gifts could be an option if you don’t want to hand them out at the wedding.
Ideally you would do so prior to the wedding, but you could also send them post-wedding.
This approach may work best if your groomsmen are flying in for the wedding and your gifts are bulky or otherwise ill-suited for air travel. In other words, something like booze or bullet bottle openers that TSA isn’t going to like. Either way, make sure to include a thank you card.
Who Else Should Receive a Gift?
Aside from the groomsmen, there are also other important people who should receive gifts:
- Your parents and in-laws are a given. They deserve gifts as a sign of your appreciation for raising you and your spouse-to-be. A gift also acknowledges that their presence is important during your special day.
- The ring bearer and flower girl are usually children, and what child does not like to get a present? It is a nice gesture to give them gifts for being part of the wedding.
- Since the groomsmen are getting gifts, the bride traditionally should also give gifts to her bridesmaids and maid of honor. They play an integral role in the wedding.
- The groom traditionally gives a gift to your bride-to-be and vice versa. This is sometimes overlooked but a nice gesture to show your love for each other.
- You can actually give small gifts to anyone who you think has helped you make your special day happen. They could be some very close relatives, the wedding planner or the photographer.