You bought the perfect ring, took your lady out for a romantic evening. Though your stomach was in knots and your palms were getting a bit sweaty, you managed to pop the question without any serious hiccups.
And, of course, she said yes.
How wonderful! But there’s no time to get emotional and poetic because now the real work starts.
Planning the wedding, with all of the moving parts, is pretty stressful. Any bride, groom, friend or family member of the bride or groom will tell you that. But actually, it can also be a great exercise in couple project management:
You will need to pool together your skills for budgeting, teamwork, conflict resolution, logistic, organizing, design and even a little psychology.
Thankfully, much of this burden will fall on your fiancée. Not that you don’t want to take part and help, but she probably knows what she wants and will take the lead on this one. You can of course have your say, and make sure that you get a piece of the action too!
One thing that you will need to do yourself is to choose your groomsmen and pick out great gifts for them.
Choosing Your Best Man and Groomsmen
You probably already know exactly who should be your best man. It’s your buddy who’s been with you through some of the strangest times of your life.
Like back when you were in college and got so drunk that you passed out in front of your ex’s dorm, and he had to look for you and get you home to clean you up.
Or when you lost someone really close to you and he showed his softer, understanding side instead of telling you to get over it by going for a jog (like he did with that ex). It’s a side you never even knew existed till then.
It could also be someone relatively new but who has become central in your life – like the guy in the office next to yours who you thought was weird at first but you realized he’s always got your back at meetings and presentations.
Of course, sometimes it’s not so easy to pick your best man. There could be challenges getting in the way. For example:
• He and your fiancée don’t like each other
• Your first choice for best man can’t make it to your wedding
• You have more than one best man in mind and can’t choose
• You have a brother, but he’s not as close to you as your best friend
With the first problem, you will have to do your best to find a middle ground. If your fiancée and candidate for best man don’t like each other for silly reasons, like their sense of humor doesn’t mesh, or they get a little jealous when you spend a lot of time with the other, that’s no big deal.
Talk it out with them and iron things out. Make it a point to show them how much this means to you and if they’re good-hearted people, as they probably are, they will make the effort for you.
But, if they have serious issues, or don’t speak to each other at all, then you might need to reconsider the best man. Hopefully you haven’t already asked him and now you have to either push through the whole thing with a lot of tension, or back out and pick someone else.
If your problem is that your first choice for best man can’t make it because of family issues, there’s nothing to do about this. If it’s for another reason that you might be able to help with, like logistical or financial, you can consider it if it doesn’t add too much stress to your already full plate.
If the problem is that you have more than one candidate, or you have a brother and a best friend, you will have to really consider this based on what you want. This is your wedding after all and you shouldn’t feel pressured by anyone to go against your desires.
Some helpful tips:
• Make sure he is reliable
• Make sure he doesn’t get trashed
• Make sure he is willing and able
• Make sure he knows what his role is all about
Please don’t freak out and think that you need a best man who knows how weddings work or who is exceptional at organization. He’s not responsible for the wedding planning or keeping things organized on the day of, his role is quite specific.
You just need someone who you know is punctual, has the ability to handle some champagne and is not going to be hitting on your bride’s cute married sister all night.
A groomsmen gift for the best man is usually more expensive than the rest of the groomsmen, and for good reason. He is the one who will have the most responsibilities in the wedding out of the rest of the groomsmen, and he is probably someone who means more to you than the rest.
The other men that you can expect to get spend a bit more on for gifts are your dad and the father of the bride.
Now that you have the most important person chosen, you need to choose the rest of your groomsmen. They should also be reliable, good friends that are willing and informed about their roles. They are guys who you know and trust, and who are on relatively good terms with your fiancée and family.
Usually, you will need the same number of groomsmen as the bridesmaids.
Choosing The Gifts and How Much to Spend
Now that you have picked out your groomsmen, it’s time to make a budget and pick out the right gifts.
First, and foremost, this will be part of your wedding budget, so you need to have a solid wedding budget in place before you choose the gifts.
Most people make purchasing decisions with their emotions first, and then justify it with logic. This can lead to a lot of hassle and stress in wedding planning.
So make your decisions based on logic first with regards to the budget, then let emotions come into play in choosing the gifts within the framework of the budget.
Keep that in mind and you’ll be way ahead of the game.
The next thing to keep in mind is to completely disregard what other grooms are doing – they may have different budgets, incomes, or number of groomsmen. They might be getting a lot of financial help from their families, or none at all.
So, don’t feel bad if you can’t get your buddies a Rolex or Samurai sword like you saw Johnny Rich-and-Famous do. That groom might have inherited his dad’s real estate fortune.
Some questions to ask yourself to help you:
• How much are the groomsmen paying for their involvement in the wedding (tux-rentals, travel costs, wedding items, etc.)?
• How involved in the wedding are they going to be? Will they more like guests or will they help you from A to Z?
• How many groomsmen have you picked?
If it helps, you can research the average that grooms spend on groomsmen gifts in your country. Some say $30 is the average and some say $50 is the average.
As mentioned, you might want to spend a bit more on the dads and the best man, but keep it more or less within range. You don’t want to get the best man a gift for $300 and your groomsmen gifts for $20.
Now that you have worked out your budget, answered the above questions and checked out some average prices, go ahead and plan it out!
How much do you feel comfortable spending on each groomsman?
With that price in mind, it’s time to start shopping for the perfect gift. And since it should be something they would enjoy and find useful, spend a little time thinking about the kind of friends you have. What lifestyles do they lead? What do they have in common? What do you do when you spend time together?
We have a post here on the Best Groomsmen Gifts Ever, which explains the different types of gifts, with a few ideas that you probably didn’t think of.