The men who stand up with you at your wedding represent the inner circle of your closest friends, some of whom may be your blood brothers. The traditional gifts you give your groomsmen or ushers—and especially your best man—should provide an enduring reflection of the deep relationship that makes them the right witnesses to your transition into married life. Most, but not all, grooms save the quirky gag gifts for birthdays and recurring holidays.
Know Your Recipient
Whatever the humorous moments in the midst of a wedding day, the underlying purpose that brings you together consists of one of the most solemnly important moments in any man's life. Crossing the line between formal, dignified gift giving and funky, wacky items depends on the personality of the man and how you want to immortalize your thanks for his role in your life. To help choose the right present, work up a brief dossier of his likes and dislikes on your computer.
Make It Personal
If you stick with traditional gifts, such as cufflinks, a keepsake box for his best jewelry or a deluxe writing instrument, choose an item that you know your best man doesn't already have in abundance. The ideal gifts reflect the distinctive personality of their recipient. A conventionally appropriate gift—desk set, penknife, golf balls -- works better if you upgrade it. Rather than a stock letter-opener-pen-and-memo-box desk set, order one branded to match his favorite sports car. Instead of just any golf balls, choose the same type his favorite golfer plays. A little online research on your smartphone will help you dig deeper for relevant items and may yield some codes for purchase discounts.
Honor the Date
The guidelines on when to give the men in your wedding party their gifts point to the rehearsal dinner or other prenuptial meal you share with them as the right occasion. Nonetheless, if you choose items you can have engraved, the date you solemnize should be the wedding day itself, along with a message that reflects your relationship or simply your best man's initials. If the gift you select doesn't lend itself well to engraving, choose a carrying case, holder or storage box that you can personalize. On a modest budget, look for peripheral items that support a piece of technology that your best man prizes: memory cards for a digital camera or camcorder, a gift card for smartphone apps, or a tablet device or an media player that communicates wirelessly with his home theater setup.
Look for handcrafted items that serve both as traditional and as personal gifts, usually available through online sites that give artists and artisans a venue through which to sell wearable art. If you find a seller who makes hand-painted cufflinks, find out if you can buy a set made from a digital photo of a scene or event that's significant to you and your best man. A fiber artist could create an embroidered tie that includes an illustration or message. Browse your computerized photo gallery for suitable subject matter or snap a new shot with your digital camera as reference material. Commission these types of handmade items well in advance to give their creator time to work.
Photo Credits: Anne Dale/Demand Media
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