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Originally posted on Polka Dot Bride September 20th 2008

When it comes to buying gifts for the groomsmen to say thank you, the usual suspects appear.-

-Hip Flasks

– Shaving sets

– Cufflinks

– Ties

-Multipurpose tool (Leatherman)’

-Beer mug

-Money clip

-Watch

-Decanter

-Spirits

-Wallet

-Pen

-Business card holders

But if you feel like being a little more creative, here’s some fun ideas to thank the men standing beside you on your big day.

Custom Bobblehead

Bobblehead from Whoopass Enterprises

I love bobble heads! A custom one is even cooler though and so much fun! Using a photo you provide, a company can make a bobble head look just like your best man! You can even have him dressed with accessories like sporting equipment or musical instruments.

Tshirts From Threadless

Threadless Squeeze Me, Threadless I Want To Be Friends

Threadless has a penchant for producing witty, humourous t-shirts and supporting artists at the same time. Each design is unique – some are funny, some are beautiful pieces of art and some relate to hobbies and passions. You can pick the perfect t-shirt for each of your groomsmen!

Ipod

The new generation of ipods are seriously cool with their massive range of colours, widescreen feature and sleek, curved lines. Order online from Apple Australia and you can get it engraved for free.

Experiences

Skywalk Experience from Red Balloon Days

Websites like Wishlist or Red Balloon Days are full of fun experience gifts which anyone would remember forever. From walking on Sydney Tower, skydiving, rally car driving and light aircraft training flights, there are gifts to suit numerous budgets and personality types. Plus it’s a way of giving a one in a life time event to your best mate.

Bespoke Shirts

Shirt

Shirts from Tailor2You

This is slightly traditional but it still has an element of “wow” to it. Having a shirt made especially to your grooms men’s measurements is something luxurious and something he can wear on the day. You can choose the fabric, collar, cuffs, buttons and fit and your groomsmen will come out looking snazzy in a shirt they can have forever. You could even monogram them for an extra special touch.

Great tailors will be able to do this or try Tailor2You for online ordering.

Originally posted on Polka Dot Bride September 19th 2008

Today we have a very special guest blogger. Papa Polka Dot! Papa Polka Dot married in the seventies and is visiting Polka Dot Groom today to tell us about his experiences as a groom.

Ms Polka (my daughter) has asked that I recall my experience ‘of the olden days’ for those of you who are seeking to be ‘grooms’ or ‘groomsmen’.

I was a groom once and a groomsman twice.

A groomsman for a ‘footy mate’ and for a brother. The footy mate was a bit of a ‘fair-weather’ friend. I have not seen him for 30 years. One night at a football club presentation night in Sydney, he dipped my lovely iridescent orange tie into a schooner of beer. It acted like a sponge and I never wore that tie again! On another occasion he performed an act of destruction so low that it ripped me apart. I was in the habit of wearing an old, friendly pair of slippers to footy training before donning my gear. They were easy to drive in and slip on and off.

But one night after my post-training shower the slippers were no-where to be found. I discovered them in the urinal. Just like soggy cigarette butts, soggy slippers are not much fun. I had to work hard on forgiveness that night!

My footy mate got married in Sydney in the late 1970’s. It was a very rich experience. His family was relatively well-heeled and he had a very formal wedding. We wore tails. We all looked a million dollars. And the adulation was barely acceptable. Women of all ages came up to me at the reception and told me how ‘smart’ and handsome I looked. It didn’t take much getting used to! It was a memorable moment of sartorial splendour that has not been experienced since.

Photo by ckaiserca

As one of the groomsmen I had to help organize his ‘bucks’ night. It was all very civil. And it did not take much organization. His father had been a high ranking army officer and we had access to a wonderful top-notch club in Sydney for our dinner and drinks and cigars afterward. It was tame I admit. But most enjoyable!

For my brother’s wedding I can recall dressing in a red velvet jacket, red bow tie and black trousers. I looked rather spiffy – even if I do say so myself! (At that wedding the mother of the bride’s outfit rivaled the bride’s – so we fitted in rather well!) I don’t remember the duties being onerous. They were more ceremonial (such as keeping my brother from not drinking too much). But it was fun!

For my own wedding I had three groomsmen. All brothers who had shared a flat with me in Sydney. One subsequently married my sister.

We were married in the garden at my family home on a farm in New South Wales. My groomsmen wore light brown suits with dark brown velvet lapels. My bride and her bridesmaids wore long dresses with ‘picture’ hats. In those days light brown suits were all the rage – but looking back at photos of my wedding they look rather hideous. But it was the 1970’s! Our sartorial aspirations were quite low!

The wedding feast was organized and catered by the local CWA (Country Women’s Association) as were most country weddings in the area – and boy could they cook! All the food was laid out on large tables on the verandah, where the guests helped themselves and then sat around the garden and ate. The wedding cake and flowers were all supplied by local ladies who were talented cooks, cake decorators and florists. The guests traveled from far and wide and stayed at the local motels and pubs. The next day we had a ‘recovery party’ before guests went home. A typical simple country wedding of the time!

My groomsmen all fussed over me and simply looked after me. One groomsman, (my present brother-in-law) had, and still has, a penchant for tight organization. He exercised this on my wedding day by looking me in the eye and asking direct questions about how I was and whether I had attended to certain matters. I came across this technique later in life when learning how to reprimand and discipline my children.

On reflection he was a good groomsman and I had probably been a bit slack when I performed that role for my footy mate. But he deserved me. I still think of the iridescent tie that could have been.

Papa Polka

Papa Polka is a truly amazing man and father with a wicked sense of humour (insert beetroot red face from laughing several times during this post!) Thank you Papa Polka Dot for sharing your experiences today!

Originally posted on Polka Dot Bride September 18th 2008

A bucks celebration, or as it is known elsewhere a bachelor party, celebrates the groom’s last night out as a “single” man and celebrates the friendships of his friends. While there are typical events a groom, his groomsmen and friends might participate in, today we’re having a look at some fresh and fun ideas.

Cooking Class

Photo from Boys Can Cook

A cooking class is something that can be a lot of fun! Drinking fine wine while preparing a delicious feast which you can cook again at home. Classes provide the opportunity for a lot of laughs and some great new tips to use to wow your guests at your next dinner party. “This souffle? Oh it took no time at all!”

Try Boys Can Cook in Sydney and Ed Dixon Food Design in Melbourne.

Fishing Tour

A sunny day on the water, competing to snag that day’s biggest catch! Most fishing tour providers give you everything you need for a bit of Rex Hunt style fun. Lunch is provided and the peace and quiet of the open water is sure to get the groom to de-stress and enjoy himself. If you’d like, you can even end the day by feasting on the day’s efforts!

Try Blue Juice Charters in Perth and in Melbourne try Melbourne Fishing Charters

Winery Tour

Explore your region’s best vino without the worry of driving home! Most capital cities in Australia (and some rural areas) have a gorgeous array of wineries perfect for a day out. Plus you get to stock up your own home cellar

In Adelaide try Rich and Lingering

4WD Adventure

Pack the blokes into a 4wd and climb mountains on four wheels. Discover some hidden beauties and wildlife as the previously insurmountable rocks become an easy challenge. Some tour companies will be able to take you on an action packed day which can include other adventures such as white water rafting and abseiling.

In Sydney try River Deep Mountain High

Golf

Slightly traditional and potentially a lot of fun. Have some fun with your style (checked pants and matching hats are always groovy). Most clubs can offer group packages with a catered lunch and equipment hire.

In Melbourne try Eagle Ridge Golf Course

Parasailing

Feel like an adrenalin rush? Parasailing takes you flying behind a boat at full speed. When not being dunked in the water of flying you can ride in the boat enjoying the sunshine and a boat ride.

In NSW Try Port Stephens Parasailing

Poker

Always a classic, a good game of poker is sure to not only have you relaxed and having fun but also get your brain working! A lot of companies offer all the casino fun for hire roulette tables, blackjack tables and more. A casino at home!

In Melbourne try Blackjack Knights

Go Karting

I think almost every guy likes to race his mates on a track! Hiring a go kart track for the day can be a great way to celebrate. Some venues have packages of heats and finals and some offer a BBQ lunch and beer to round the day off.

In Sydney try Kartatrak Racing and in Melbourne Auscarts Racing

Paintball or Laser Skirmish

Try the ultimate in a combat style day out laden with paint balls. Navigate courses while trying to escape the painful ping of the paintball. (Note don’t do this the week before the wedding as it can cause some nasty bruises!)

If you’d prefer something a little less painful, laser skirmish offers the same experience but a little more high tech using infrared lasers and sensory headgear.

In Perth try Paintball Petes and in Sydney, Red Baron Laser

The Races

Look dapper at your bucks! A day at the races is the perfect day out for the highly styled groom. Have some fun by placing bets, have a drink or two and work your fashion sense with an entry in the men’s race wear finals.

The best time for a day at the races is during the spring racing carnivals, though race meets are held regularly throughout the country.