When you’re getting married, figuring out gifts doesn’t just end at the wedding registry. Gifting your wedding party itself can be a tall order. Do you get them something they can use on the big day or something they can use forever? And how do you make the usually traditional gifts feel thoughtful? So we decided to ask ten experts, some of whom have seen hundreds of weddings — including wedding planners, wedding bloggers, and stylists — for their input and even added a few favorites of our own. (Don’t worry, there are no flasks to be found below.)
For the Every(grooms)man
“As nice as slippers are to have, a lot of people just never think to buy their own pairs — which makes them perfect for gifting,” says Allison Davis, owner of events-planning company Davis Row. The shearling lining is moisture wicking and insulating. And the sole has enough traction that you can run outside to take out the trash or get the paper without worrying. “Up the ante a bit with a super plush pair, and know that because they’re LL Bean they’ll last basically forever.”
Bathrobes are a good bet because they can be used the morning of the big day while getting ready — and then every morning after that. This Snowe bathrobe (a favorite of Chillhouse founder Cyndi Ramriez) is fast-drying, plush, and hypoallergenic. “If you have a little extra money to spend, consider personalizing the front … or across the back for a little more edge,” advises Davis.
“My husband gave gifts from Paul Stuart to his groomsmen. We had robes made with the date and their initials monogrammed on the cuff. A nice memento and something that they will wear forever,” says publicist Lisa Wells. These robes are definitely a splurge, but the solid linen construction is sure to be soft, comfortable, and breathable.
For the boozy groomsman
“Think of this like the Blue Apron of beer that you can gift to your best drinking buds,” says Annie Lee, principal planner at Daughter of Design. If you’ve got a groomsman in your crew who thinks he’s the next big brewmaster, this foolproof kit has everything he needs to get started.
And for the budding mixologist, Lee recommends this nifty cocktail smoking cloche, which can infuse drinks with a smoky flavor. Best for the home bartender who’s already kitted out with basic gear and is looking for something a little bit extra.
“I got my husband a pair of these whiskey glasses and they are favorites. We love to spin them around with bourbon in them (sort of a party trick) — no spillage!” says Melissa McNeeley, founder of Events by Melissa McNeeley. These spillproof glasses are well made, affordable, and look like they cost double what they actually go for. Plus, it’s rare to find novelty items that look this sophisticated.
“Bonus round: Get them these ice-cube molds — the round cube fits right in the groove of the glass,” says McNeeley.
Leah Pence of Another Wild Hare, a boutique wedding-planning and design firm, suggests this craft-cocktail kit filled with homemade syrups and bitters. There’s a box designed to complement gin and vodka, and another for whiskey and bourbon. Pence specifically loves the whiskey set that comes with “lemon cardamom, nettle orange, rosehip hibiscus syrups and seasonal aromatic bitters.”
For the foodie groomsman
A sous-vide machine is a serious culinary tool and a great pick for a groomsman who knows his way around the kitchen. Grub Street editor Alan Systma recommends the sleek Joule because the accompanying app “is filled with very solid recipes and videos that show you how to do everything.”
“For the cook who cares about the Earth,” McNeeley recommends this well-designed and discreet compost bin. It’s pretty enough to display on the counter, making it an easy-to-remember receptacle for banana peels and eggshells. “If I had one of these on my counter, I’d compost more.” In other words, cuff links it ain’t.
For the techie groomsman
“Recently I showed up to photograph the getting-ready portion and found the groom and his groomsmen all playing Xbox,” says Jocelyn Voo, an NYC-based wedding photographer. If you’ve got a few childhood friends in your wedding party, why not indulge in some nostalgia with a PlayStation Classic instead. It comes preloaded with 20 games and includes two controllers.
“I just don’t know a guy who doesn’t want to play with one,” says Lee. This quadcopter is a solid entry-level drone that is good for practicing flying basics. It also comes with an HD camera, is VR-headset compatible, and can be controlled through your cell phone.
“Groomsmen will nerd out so hard they might be late getting ready for the wedding,” promises Lee. The compact Micro+ 3D Printer is suited to beginners and comes in blue, black, white, green, orange, clear, and silver.
For the outdoors-y groomsman
Davis notes that gender-neutral gifts are ideal “because sometimes your best people aren’t (all) dudes.” To that end, she recommends gifting S’Well Water Bottles, which “make especially thoughtful gifts for people who travel often” and for those who love to bike, hike, or generally commune with nature.
Over the Moon co-founder Alexandra Macon and AaB Creates event producer Kait Rovny both recommend this “tried-and-true cooler brand.” Rovny says that this backpack version is a gift that groomsmen “would actually want!” The Yeti is definitely a little pricey, but the interior insulation and outer shell are waterproof, leakproof, and mildew resistant. Plus, the backpack straps are super-convenient for beach (and game) days.
We included this GoPro in our roundup of gifts for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s recommended by Kevin Mooney, owner and operator of the Mohicans, a treehouse resort specializing in weddings, who says, “Everybody should have a GoPro; it’s fantastic for shooting outdoor videos whether you’re mountain biking or working on a building project. The footage that we have shot with ours is phenomenal.” It’s also an inexpensive way to get candid video of your ceremony or reception if you’ve got a groomsman who’s looking for a little more responsibility.
For the stylish groomsman
“This Acne Scarf is a dream. They look really handsome and polished and would be another one of those gifts that get used over and over for years,” says McNeeley. They also come in a variety of colors so you can gift each groomsman a different one for a more personalized touch, she adds.
“I tend to think most grooms have a slight sense of dread ahead of their groomsman’s speeches,” says Simon Spiteri, senior buyer at Mr Porter. “Truth be told, there’s no telling what skeletons they can (and will) expose. Encourage appropriate speeches with this Smythson notebook set, which has hard-wearing binding to withstand all the folding, rolling, and bending it may endure at the hands of a nervous speechmaker,” This handsome black-and-army-green set is a great price point for Smythson, and the notebooks are filled with Smythson’s signature “featherweight” pages that are substantial enough to stop most inks from bleeding through.
“The best thing is to give a great-quality watch that you know your groomsmen would be proud to wear (on the wedding day and beyond),” advises professional stylist Donnell Baldwin. He specifically recommends Timex for a budget-friendly but still high-quality option. Spiteri also loves Timex: “Make sure your groomsmen stick to schedule with this signature Timex watch, reissued from the 1960s with an embossed calf-leather strap,” he says, adding, “for any traditionalists out there, this version’s movement is hand-wound by rotating the crown, just like the original Marlin.”
“If your wedding is black tie, it’s hard to go wrong with a nice pair of cuff links,” says Spiteri. These delicate Mulberry cuff links are “gold-plated in a knotted shape for a sentimental touch, but subtle enough to wear to the other five weddings they’ll likely be in this year.”
“Pocket squares are very a simple and quick gifting item that any groom could give to his groomsmen,” says Baldwin. “One great idea I have seen is having them all embroidered beautifully with his groomsman’s initials.” These are made from cotton percale and are a great price point, especially considering they’re customized. “Personalizing a gift with the wedding date, location, or groomsman’s names takes it up a notch,” agrees Katie Elder, owner of Overlook Barn, a destination-wedding venue.
Two of our experts recommended these bow ties from a small company called Brackish. For a twist on the traditional tie, these are made from feathers, each of which “is selected by one of Brackish Bowtie’s artisans, and no two ties are exactly alike,” says Macon. This one is surprisingly modern and versatile with its geometric design. And they arrive in a hand-branded pine gift box for a nice extra touch.
For the well-groomed groomsman
Spiteri also recommends this grooming kit because “although you don’t want your groomsmen upstaging you on your big day,” you still want to “make sure they look refreshed and feel up to the celebration.” This kit is chock-full of toiletries from status brands like Le Labo, Marvis, Buly 1803, Dr. Barbara Sturm, and Oribe, so your groomsmen are sure to feel primped, primed, and well taken care of.
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