Planning a wedding can be stressful, but finding the perfect bridesmaid or groomsmen gift doesn’t have to be.
Picking out a groomsmen gift set may not be the first thing a groom-to-be mentions that he’s worried about, but it’s definitely one of his top concerns. While brides may stress over gifts for their bridesmaids, a groom might not even look for groomsmen gift ideas until it’s nearly too late. It’s such an open secret that a few years ago, when a leading national publication warned brides-to-be about wedding planning issues that a groom will stress over, the writer listed “groomsmen-related” questions as a groom’s #1 concern, with “living up to your parents’ expectations” trailing at #5. A best man’s wedding gift is one thing, but finding a gift set for your groomsmen can be daunting—and expensive.
But where did this tradition of gift-giving come from? And how does it look today? The best bridesmaids and groomsmen gifts need to set a level of care and gratitude, and reflect how valuable their presence is in the wedding. We’ve got the history of wedding party gifts, and why watches make the wedding gift ritual as sophisticated and stress-free as possible.
THE ORIGINAL GROOMSMEN — AS DIFFERENT AS KNIGHT AND DAY
As hard as it may be to imagine, the stress of weddings used to go well beyond band versus DJ. In fact, getting married during the Dark Ages wasn’t about dating, courting, or relationships as much as it was about conquest. At the time, brides were considered a part of the “spoils of war” and were surrendered along with land and other valuables. Understandably, those brides rarely went willingly, so to make sure there were no problems grooms would employ the services of “Bride’s Knights”, or hired muscle that would make sure the bride showed up to the wedding without issue. In more extreme situations, specially trained “bridenappers” were hired to get the bride to the wedding by any means necessary and stay at her side during the ceremony so she wouldn’t run away.
Most historians believe that the concept of “Best Man” evolved from these bridenappers, although other schools of thought attribute both groomsmen and bridesmaids to the ancient Roman custom of “confarreatio.” This ceremony required 10 witnesses by law to hear couples reciting their sacred wedding vows. While these witnesses were all men, there were also female counterparts whose sole responsibility was escorting the bride to the groom’s home, where the actual ceremony would take place.
WHEN IT COMES TO THE PRESENT, TALK IS CHEAP
While the roles of both groomsmen and bridesmaids have become decidedly more civil, what hasn’t changed is the support that both groups are there to give the bride and groom. With the evolution of the wedding into its own industry, this responsibility became more involved and time-consuming. Considering the rollercoaster of emotions that bridesmaids and groomsmen are usually subjected to, along with the responsibilities on the big day itself, a “thank you” is clearly in order. That’s where the concept of bridal party and groomsmen gifts come in.
According to studies done interviewing groomsmen and bridesmaids, an average of 40 hours is spent making sure the wedding day will be all it can be. Yet despite this dedication, almost 50% said they were “disappointed” with their gift or recognition, while 30% reported never receiving a gift or thank you at all. And while no one accepts a position in the wedding party expecting gratitude or a gift, no one would turn it down either.
Tradition dictates that, when it comes to gifting, the groom is responsible for all male members of the wedding party, while the bride is responsible for all female members. On a basic level this means the best man/maid of honor and the bridesmaids or groomsmen, but it’s not unheard of to include parents, ring bearers, and ushers under the bride and groom’s purview.
WAIT UNTIL YOU WATCH THEIR EXPRESSIONS
When it comes to bridesmaid and groomsmen gift sets, it’s tough to find the balance between universally-beloved and personal. Gifts for a wedding party reflect on the bride and groom, but that doesn’t mean that they need to cost as much as the wedding itself. That’s why we’re proud to offer groomsmen & bridal party gift sets, the perfect match for your best buddies and your budget. More than just a classy and useful gift for every member of your wedding party, the group discount on these packs will save you up to [%%].
But why a watch? As you’re on our blog, we know you assumed we’d recommend a watch over an artisanal mustard sampler or personalized golf balls. But take a moment to think about your reaction to getting a great-looking watch as a gift. There are plenty of reasons that watches make for a timeless gift, but the initial thrill of seeing a new watch ranks high on the list. For the style-conscious wedding party member, it’s easy to imagine your next wardrobe as you stare at the seamless aesthetic created by the hands, face, case, and crown coming together in harmony. Fans of classic craftsmanship will also love the way a timepiece brings together 300 years of watchmaking tradition with state-of-the-art production and design, like the true mechanical masterpieces in our Legacy Collection. And even the least gear-obsessed in the group can appreciate the striking presence created by a confident timepiece.
From the classic models in our award-winning Legacy Collection to stunning selections from our Aquadiver, Symphony, and Women’s Legacy Collections, a watch is the perfect way to say “thank you” to your wedding party without stressing over the cost or their reaction. Regardless of which gifts (or gift set) you choose, you can rest assured that bridesmaid and groomsman alike with think of you and smile every time they check the time.