So my wedding is in 3 weeks and I am still stumped as to what to get my groomsmen and ushers. At first I thought of gift cards, but was told by some people that something like that is frowned upon. The problem I am having is this is a pretty diverse group of people who probably would not like the same things. I am shying away from traditional gifts like pocket watches and pen sets because I don't think those things would be used. I also want to avoid alcohol related things like beer mugs or flasks because one of the groomsmen has a father who recently is battling health issues due to alcoholism and my best man sometimes shows signs of borderline alcholism (not the same guy). Finally, none of them smoke so that rules out lighters or cigar boxes. Any help would be appreciated, I gave some info on each of them below. Everyone is in there 30s except the 2nd usher who just turned 21.
Best Man: An accountant who doesn't seem to have any hobbies whatsoever other than arguing politics (he is ultra conservative) Groomsman 1: Enjoys football and outdoor stuff like camping and hiking (not hunting or fishing). He will enjoy movies and gaming but he's not super into them. Groomsman 2: Enjoys D&D and steampunk type stuff as well as comics, particularly the x-men. Groomsman 3: Loves star wars and tabletop board gaming (not so much D&D). Also loves comedy movies, video games, and comics. Groomsman 4: Obsessed with Mizzou football and board games (again not D&D but very in depth strategy games. Also loves baseball especially the cardinals Usher 1: My brother in law likes to golf and loves baseball. Not sure what other hobbies he has. Usher 2: My future brother in law, I know he is in to cooking and recently started getting into playing guitar.
Lisa: Poor predicatble Bart, always picks rock Bart: Good ole rock, nothing beats that
A folding knife may not be regularly used by everybody, but they are acceptable, manly gifts. The handle or blade can be customized with text or images, so think initials, dates, quotes or inside jokes, or symbols of favorite sports teams or other interests.
One of the things I gave my groomsmen were copies of the Alphabet of Manliness by Maddox. It's a humor book with broad appeal, at least within my group of friends. My second choice was the Code of the Samurai, but I thought it'd be better to go with humor over inspirational. (The other things I gave out were flasks engraved with their last name inital and small bottles of bourbon to fill them up with.)
My brother just got married and our gifts were engraved mugs (which you said were out), but also a fancy folding knife like samoflange mentioned, and engraved cufflinks. The engraved cufflinks went over very well as everyone (except our Dad for some reason) made sure to wear them to the wedding.
Best groomsman gift I ever got was an engraved flask. Of course it's so nice that I've never used it for fear of getting it confiscated at the Kentucky Derby.
I gave engraved NFL team mugs.
Best groomsmen gift I ever heard of was basketballs autographed by Larry Bird (groom's father was a friend of the Bird family).
Truthfully, you'd probably be better off by offering to pay for everyone's tuxedo rather than giving them something they'll likely never use.
"You are going to get a certain amount of snarkiness on the Internet no matter what, and my rule is that you don't post anything that you wouldn't say to someone's face." Marc Andreyko (Writer of DC Comic's "Manhunter")
I bought funny t-shirts (sites like noisebot, snorgtees, etc) for each of my groomsmen, to decent reviews. It's fairly easy to find a t-shirt for nearly any personality, and then it's on them if they wear it or not. If nothing else, it was fun picking them out.
I got my wedding party personalized pocket watches, which everyone seemed to love - although I don't know how many of them still use the watch on a regular basis. Since you said watches were out, I'd like to second the recommendation of neckties, which is a gift I'd really love to get if I were in someone's wedding party.
Anyone here have any opinions on Skype and the newly minted SkypeOut internet phone services? I've been using Skype for P2P free calls for about a week now and always get a great line within North America and usually get a pretty decent line overseas.