Gifts For Your Junior Groomsmen
First, What Is A Junior Groomsman?
In the simplest terms — a junior groomsman is too old to be a ring bearer, but too young to be a groomsman.
There’s absolutely no requirement to have junior groomsmen in your wedding. The subject of kids in weddings can be a touchy subject, and plenty of couples
You can choose junior groomsmen (or not have them) regardless of whether your fiancée will have junior bridesmaids. They aren’t governed by hard and fast rules like “you must have an equal number of groomsmen and bridesmaids” or anything like that.
But if you do, they’ll most likely be your younger brothers — or those of your bride-to-be. They could also be cousins or nephews or close family friends.
For the purposes of this blog post we can lump ring bearers into the “junior groomsman” category.
What Are The Main Duties Of A Junior Groomsman?
Let’s be real here — you really shouldn’t expect a whole lot out of your junior groomsmen.
Based on weddings I’ve attended, junior groomsmen are typically there to look cute in their tuxedos, get “oohs” and “ahhs” from the guests, and make for some nice family pictures.
(You can usually count on them to bust some quality dance moves at the reception, too).
Consequently, it’s probably not a good idea to task your junior groomsmen with in-depth preparation work. Leave all the multi-step processes and speaking roles to your grown-up groomsmen.
Stay Within Their Capability Levels
With a junior groomsman, tasks need to be age-appropriate. You have to keep your focus on the big picture.
Are you working with a 3-year-old? Just be happy if he can put on his suit and tie without throwing a fit. And be really happy if he manages to walk up and down the aisle without peeing his pants.
Consider anything beyond those things to be a cherry on top for your junior groomsman on the big day. A younger one won’t be too reliable when it comes time to hit specific marks or stand still by the altar for more than five minutes.
But If They’re Older Or More Responsible…
You may be able to task your junior groomsmen with guiding the flower girl and ring bearer through their paces.
If your junior groomsmen are on the teenage end of things, you can trust them to act as ushers or perform any other necessary wedding-day tasks.
On The Wedding Day — Make Him Feel Like One Of The Guys
Just because a junior groomsman isn’t capable of fulfilling any real duties doesn’t means you should push him off to the side.
You’re probably someone who he’s looked up to his whole life, and with whom he’ll continue to interact for decades to come.
You can make his day — and create an indelible memory for him — by letting him feel like one of the guys for the wedding weekend.
(Well, maybe not for the bachelor party though).
Including him extends beyond the gifts. It also means letting him hang out with everyone as much as possible prior to the ceremony.
Just have him sit things out if you’re passing a flask around the circle or sparking up celebratory cigars.
What Are The Best Jr Groomsman Gifts?
Go with the same general approach that you did with the gifts you bought for your groomsmen and best man.
Get something unique and personalized, not a last-minute selection off the shelf at Walmart. And get something useful and practical as opposed to a trinket that’ll sit forgotten in a drawer or on a shelf.
It goes without saying that you should choose your junior groomsmen gifts based on the individual preferences of each kid. A junior groomsman who’s into fishing probably doesn’t want the same thing that a sports fan or a gamer wants.
And you’ll obviously need to account for the fact that they’re not of legal age.
Lucky for you, Bro Baskets don’t just come with whiskey and cigars — there are several gift bundle options that include age-appropriate foods and beverages.
Kids who are filling a junior groomsman role probably look up to their brothers, cousins, uncles, and everyone else who’s in the wedding party.
Make them feel like part of the crew by outfitting them in the same accessories that everyone else will be wearing.
Chances are the bride-to-be has already had her say in the style and color of the suits/tuxedos you’ll be wearing. But you’ll still have your chance to add some color to things.
If you’re doing matching socks, suspenders, cufflinks, pocket squares, bow ties, or tie clips, make sure to get a set in kid’s sizes.
You can bet that a junior groomsman will look for any excuse to wear the accessories again in the future.
For Everyday Use
Depending on your budget for groomsmen gifts, you could also splurge for a watch for the little guys. But don’t spend too much money if it’s not a size or style that he could wear beyond his childhood years.
A young junior groomsman might not have much use for a wallet — or he might not want one that doesn’t have a cartoon character on it.
An older one, though, would probably find it pretty cool to get a big-boy wallet made out of quality leather and embossed with his name or monogram.
If he’s in double digits age-wise (and if his parents approve) you could also spring for a personalized pocketknife or multitool.
There are plenty of Bro Basket options that include food and snack options making them great fits for the under-21 crowd.
Just check with the kiddo’s mom or dad to see if he has any particular favorite foods (or dislikes) so you can tailor the basket accordingly.
Also keep in mind that a lot of the foods you might like (hard candy, for instance) could be choking hazards for a kid who’s on the younger side.
And 3-year-old teeth are probably not as effective at tearing into beef jerky as permanent teeth.
A Special Experience
Your time with your junior groomsmen will probably be limited the weekend of your wedding. And all the people and events will make the whole event a blur for him
As a workaround option, why don’t you spend some one on one time with him (or them) in advance of the wedding?
This approach will also make it easy for you to find something age-appropriate for him that’s a bit different than what you’re doing for your bachelor party. Or on the wedding weekend, for that matter.
Trip To A Theme Park Or Water Park
Does he like roller coasters or waterslides? Take him to your nearest Six Flags, Busch Gardens, or other similar destination and let him run wild for the day.
As an added bonus: his mom and dad will owe you big-time for acting as an unpaid babysitter for 8+ hours.
Get a pair of tickets to your hometown team, show up early to tailgate or watch BP, eat hot dogs and popcorn, and all that sort of stuff. Can’t go wrong there.
Added bonus: an 8-12 year old kid is unlikely to complain if the tickets are for a AA baseball or Arena Football game rather than MLB or NFL.
If your junior groomsman likes fishing (and has a strong stomach) see if he’s up for a trip to the lake or a half-day deep sea fishing charter.
Maybe you don’t want to encourage an elementary school kid to pick up a gambling habit. But you can always get him a personalized deck of cards he can use when playing with his friends.
Zazzle offers dozens of options for customized Bicycle playing cards with a minimum order size of only one deck. Or you can pick up a gift set that has cards, dice, and other accessories inside a personalized gift box.
When teens and pre-teens think “games” they no doubt default to thinking about ones they can play on their computer or tablet.
Mix things up a bit by choosing an old-school game with a more social aspect. And if possible, make it one that you and your junior groomsman can play together along with some of his friends.
Or pick out a puzzle with a nice photo or painting of his favorite vacation spot or sports stadium. Once he’s put it together he can lacquer over it and frame it for hanging in his room.
Yeah, yeah, some of these suggestions don’t adhere to the “useful and practical” guidelines we gave earlier on.
But as long as you’re thoughtful about buying something that fits his favorite sports, teams, and/or athletes, he’ll display these gifts with pride for years to come.
Just about every kid dreams of playing for his favorite team when he grows up. Give your junior groomsman the next best thing by getting him a custom jersey with his name above his lucky number — or the number of his idol — on an authentic jersey.
Engraved Baseball Or Bat
These options won’t get used on the field or in the backyard (hopefully, anyway). But they’ll definitely be set up in a prominent place in his bedroom.
Plenty of vendors offer laser engraved, embossed, or UV printed baseballs as well, so that’s an easy gift option for personalization. Or you could pick up a ball signed by one of his favorite players.
Again, this is probably not something he’ll be able to throw around in the front yard, but it’s definitely a nice keepsake for his bedroom shelf.
You’ve got a few options when it comes to a gift like this one. Leather Head Sports offers a handful of really cool hand-made old school footballs, available with monogramming or laser engraving. They can also do custom jobs to fit whatever colors or patterns you want for the leather and stitching.
Big Game USA also has tons of choices when it comes to customizing footballs, including officially licensed ones for college and pro teams.
If you’re a little more cost-conscious, go with something like a white-panel football — the kind designed for autographs — and write a personal message on there with a Sharpie or paint marker.
A video game console may be a bit steep price-wise for you to buy on top of the rest of your groomsmen gifts.
But you can probably swing the cash for a game, controller, or accessory that your junior groomsman would be able to use for a long time.
You might think of Yetis and other similar products as falling into the territory of coffee or beer drinkers.
Is your junior groomsman into sports or outdoor activities? If so he’ll always be able to get use out of an insulated tumbler or bottle that can hold water or Gatorade for his practices and games.
Have it engraved with his name and he’ll (a) be less likely to lose it and (b) be more likely to keep using it for a long time.
Hopefully these dozen or so options will get you on the right track for your junior groomsmen gifts.
Just follow some basic steps and you’ll be all set. Put some time into choosing the right gifts, make the gifts personalized for each junior groomsman’s name, and pick gifts that match their hobbies and interests.
Did we forget any? Post your suggestions to the comments and we may add them to future updates.
By Eric Montgomery
Founder, Groomsmen Central
Offering the best in custom groomsmen gifts and wedding favors