In past centuries, when thieves and vagabonds abounded, men of any standing would have a whole clutch of men protecting him. Wherever he went, he would always have his protectors, or kinsmen, to take care of him and his entourage. This is how the idea of having several groomsmen attendees at a wedding.
These days, of course, there is usually no need for these men to be armed, but in days of old, they would normally be carrying swords and the like. Indeed, this is how the bride found herself on the left of her groom so that he could leave his sword arm free in case of attack! This also applies for men walking on the outside of women on sidewalks and the like and still harks back to those days.
Groomsmen’s duties these days are not so dangerous. They will normally escort people to the bride’s side or the groom’s side of the venue and make sure that everyone has what they need to be comfortable. Even single ladies will be catered for since these guys should make sure that they always have a dance partner and that they are not left alone to be a wallflower.
Primarily, of course, the first duty of groomsmen is to make sure that the groom is prepared and arrives on time for his wedding. This has turned a little grisly sometimes when, as a joke, they have put him on a non-stop train bound for distant destinations, the night before the wedding! This is usually the result of too much alcohol and too many high spirits and should be avoided at all costs! If the best man is in control, as he should be, then he will go out of his way to make sure nothing untoward happens to his ‘precious cargo’ the night or morning before the event.
On the day of the wedding, all the groomsmen and best man usually congregate to keep the nerves of the groom in check. Some will have relaxing massages, one last game of golf or basketball, or anything to keep him occupied and get him into a relaxed mode. Of course, it is traditional for the groom to always arrive at the venue before the bride and this is usually taken care of by the best man and his entourage. The best man also normally takes care of the wedding rings until they can be given to ring bearer if appropriate.
As a ‘thank you’ for these services it has become customary for the bride and groom to give a gift to each of these men. The best man usually gets something a little extra special to denote his importance in the whole set up but it is still very much accepted if he gets the same as everyone else.
So what do you give these young men? Sometimes, the groom will know them so well that he can choose individual gifts for each and every one of them. If time is tight then he will pick out a gift and just buy in bulk for the number of men who are helping. Either way is acceptable.
If this is a particularly young wedding then these men may appreciate something for the ‘dot com’ generation. That is, computer cases, weekend travel bags, or a combination of both. These come in all kinds of materials but the more special ones come in soft leather and can have their initials engraved on them. They are a little expensive, naturally, but if these men are close to the groom, then they will be overwhelmed by this choice.
Some like to give jewelry as a bridal gift. Identity bracelets, in silver or gold, never go out of fashion, and the bride and groom’s initials can be added to make it extra special. Or, of course, the name of the recipient can be placed on the bracelet.
For something a little different, weekend passes for a great getaway for the groomsmen and their partners is a perfect gift. Or, if cost is an issue, a basket full of goodies which will include bathrobes; massage oils; scented candles; and everything that will give the recipient a chance to relax with his significant other and have a sensuous time getting away from the mad, mad world.
Many men will enjoy a perfect glass of wine or fine whisky. This, too, will make an excellent gift. Pristine crystal glasses come in all shapes and sizes from goblets for red wine, to whisky shot glasses and all can be personalized with the initials of the bride and groom or the initials or family crest of the recipient. This is a wonderful way to say thank you and these glasses may well become family heirlooms down the ling. Be careful to check whether the recipient has any problems with alcohol though. It would be politically incorrect to give alcohol related glasses to an alcoholic. This applies to giving a humidor to someone who has sworn off smoking tobacco products so just do a little research before choosing the gift.
If the men are young and sporty then there is an anathema of gifts depicting said sports on offer. Desk paraphernalia for executive offices also include sporty motifs and many will be happy with this kind of gift. Or perhaps a set of cufflinks will suffice especially if it has an emblem representing that man’s favorite team, no matter what sport. This is a superb way to personalize the gift since many will not follow the same team.
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Classic cufflinks come in many different precious or semi precious metals. Indeed, there are so many different varieties then anyone would be hard pressed to find the right one. Perhaps a safer route would be to go for the more classical style which fits any occasion. But for something just a little different, the cufflinks can be surfboard shaped! Even the sign for ‘infinity’ is available and is a good way for the bride and groom to denote their feelings for each other!
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