"Just get your ass to the church on time!" she tells you. By now, an educated groom knows that there's much more to weddings than that. Sure, you've got your tuxedo and you might have even made an appointment for your first professional shave to look your absolute best on the big day. But perhaps the most important thing of all is a gift for your true partner in crime (and in life)--your bride.
"Hold on just a second," you might be thinking. The groom is on the hook for yet another wedding-related purchase? This might even be the first you're hearing about a gift from you to your bride-to-be, and hopefully it's not too late. Many men from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences are oblivious to this custom. Even after all the clams you've shelled out for that tux, gifts for the groomsmen, the dance lessons (that's right - dance lessons), the honeymoon and the forty-seven other things on the checklist, your bride and possibly even her more traditional mother might also be expecting you to present her with something else to help commemorate that special day. (ed. -- This wedding thing can be a total circus, we know.)
If you're lucky, your bride will think this tradition is ridiculous and would prefer you spent the money on a personal trainer for yourself (no hint there, groom.) That said, regardless of the tradition, here's what to consider.
First, your bride might not even know that you are "supposed" to give her a gift. Then again, if you choose to forego a gift for her, you might be getting your marriage off on the wrong foot, especially if you're about to gain a hard to please, or very traditional mother-in-law. In an interview with GroomGroove.com, recent bride, Helen M.,of New York City, was told by her mother that, traditionally, the bride should be given a pearl necklace. (Hint, Hint). Helen's groom, Stephen, said "I basically refused to succumb to the tradition because it should be my choice."
Gift-giving should be optional and a personal choice.
Grooms! Know your bride...
It seems like such a simple point: you're getting married. You know your bride, right? But if she's not a traditionally-minded bride, she might react the way recent bride, Julia D., of Ann Arbor, Michigan did. Julia readily admitted that although it might have flown in the face of tradition and it might not even seem romantic to some, her bride's gift was "way better than a silly pair of earrings". Julia and her groom were headed to Italy for their honeymoon, and her future husband gave her a leather jacket as a wedding gift. A practical gift for some, but Julia says "whenever I wear the jacket, I think about our time in Florence." In her mind, it was a perfect gift and an even better memento of their wedding and honeymoon than earrings or a necklace at the bottom of her jewelry box.
This just might be a chance to really shine, like this husband-to-be did. One groom "tracked down a valuable and nostalgic book - the same exact copy - that I sold in my leaner years to make rent" said bride Jen K., who was married in July 2007. That groom really took the time to listen to his bride-to-be. That kind of gift is the sort that can keep right on giving all the way past the wedding day and towards a very happy marriage.