Gift Guide for Groom Guys
Creative Attendant Gifting Without the Heavy Lifting
by Carolyn Gerin
You can’t go wrong—every wedding magazine in the free world has a pretty pink gift guide with a coterie of fabulously appropriate offerings for bridesmaids, much of it a mouse click away. With choices as luxurious as a spa day or a custom-beaded bag to the predictable pashmina, you’re prevented from putting even one little silk stockinged foot in the wrong direction.
But when it comes time for the groom to hand out attendants’ loot, he’s flying without radar. The standard fare—pewter flask, 30-year-aged bottle of scotch or a pair of silk boxers—is as old as yesterday’s Dow Jones Industrial Average. Yet the likelihood of him seeking out more original gifts is pathetically slim: we all know how much men love to shop. Especially on a sunny spring day when they could (pick activity): play ultimate Frisbee, surf, watch the football game, or go to the Home Depot power tools museum.
So, knowing the male species’ innate fear of the shopping mall, overall impatience with social obligations, and proclivity for procrastination, quickly forward this article and give it to him before he spends perfectly good time and money on perfectly useless gifts.
Groom’s Gift Guide
Rule of the road: look to lifestyle and the gift will follow. If the attendant surfs, then the gift given should reflect the life aquatic. Camp, trek or hike? It’s off to REI we go. A bon vivant bachelor might warm up to the polycarbonate margarita set from Williams-Sonoma. You get the picture. Your foresight in gifting appropriately, with an eye to customization and a nod to the cultivated gentility of James Bond, will win you the respect and admiration that a man of taste duly deserves. When it comes down to brass tacks, any attendant who must spend his day in a polyester rent-a-tux will look back on your wedding fondly and affectionately every time he fires up his Garmin GPS device or Jetboil camping stove.
A word on spending and gifting: ever since weddings (and pre-events such as bachelor parties) started morphing into pricey destination affairs, it upped the ante on gifts. If you plan on a Vegas bachelor party replete with a luxe hotel-dinner-drinks combo, and you’re not going to foot the bill for your attendants, consider gifts that reflect their financial commitment. It’s safe to say that another flask or pair of $50 boxers will get kicked into the bottom dresser drawer if presented as a token of appreciation. Economizing on gifts if you expect to be treated like a pasha is an etiquette don’t. If you think this is petty, think again. Having done more wedding research than most sane women would readily admit, I can say with certainty that giving inappropriate or cheap gifts (just like not serving enough booze or food at a wedding) is an egregious error in judgment. People don’t forget—especially those who have dropped sometimes close to $2,000 for the pleasure of participating in your big day.
When giving thanks, show that you mean it with gifts you yourself would love to get and use. Better yet, purchase an item you know the attendant would buy for himself as a special treat. Here’s a gift collection that any guy would be happy to add to his repertoire of toys and experiences. The best part? Most of them are available online, so you don’t have to miss the game, the surf, or the Saturday power tools summit at Home Depot.