When it comes to your wedding, you probably have a laundry list of people to thank. All this planning is no small feat, and we’re sure quite a few people have lent a hand.
At the top of this list, we’re guessing we’d find your and your partner’s parents. Whether their support has been financial, emotional, or a little bit of both, gift-giving is a great way to show them what their it all has meant.
We’ll walk you through the nuances of what to give and when to give the gift, as well as how to choose something meaningful at every budget.
Gift Giving Etiquette
Giving your parents a gift signifies your gratitude not only for their support in the wedding planning process but also in your life leading up to this moment. Whether or not they’ve made a financial contribution to the planning of your wedding or not, proper etiquette dictates you get them a gift. As your life begins a new chapter, this is an opportunity to thank your parents for all that they’ve done.
Another piece of etiquette that’s important to keep in mind is that even if you feel one parent or set of parents contribute more than the other, the gifts they receive should not reflect this. Keep everyone’s gifts on a level playing field to avoid any hurt feelings.
Gifts can range from material items like jewelry, a watch or more experiential gifts like dinner out or a weekend getaway. Joint gifts to your parents as a couple versus as individuals are entirely up to you — either option is seen as appropriate. The most important thing is that it’s meaningful to the person receiving the gift.
Should You Personalize or Engrave Your Gift?
One of the most popular methods for adding some meaning to your gift is by looking for something you can personalize or engrave with initials or a special message. This shows your parent that the gift is just for them and that you went that extra mile in finding something unique to them.
When it comes to personalization, look for a gift where you can customize the color. Whether you choose one of your wedding colors as a reminder of the special day or your parent’s favorite color, that’s a touch that can go a long way.
Engraving is also a great opportunity to say a little more with your gift. Add a personal touch by adding your parent’s initials or engrave a short message expressing your gratitude. One of our favorite gifts is engraving a photo frame with your wedding date and including a photo of the big day. Take it a step further by including a photo of their wedding day with your parents’ anniversary engraved as well.
With the emotional weight behind this event, personalization or engraving perfectly aligns with all you’re trying to convey with this gift. It won’t feel cheesy if you’re adding the extra touch to say a little more with your gift.
Mother of the Bride & Groom Gifts
A piece of jewelry is something she can wear every day. Kendra Scott’s options for creating a custom piece of jewelry will allow you to give your mom something that’s exactly to her taste. This can be a great gift for incorporating your wedding colors and giving her a stunning piece to wear on the big day. Create a whole set or just select one piece. The flexibility there makes this a great option for any budget.
A bouquet subscription
Bring a smile to your mom’s face way past your wedding day with a bouquet subscription. You can choose how often and for how many months flowers are sent to her home, as well as what type of blooms you think will fit her taste best. Though flowers might be fleeting, that feeling of gratitude you’re sharing is sure to stick with her.
If you and your partner are feeling worn out by all those months of planning, your mom is probably feeling similarly. Give her a gift that will help her destress and unwind with this diffuser. Get her started with some relaxing essential oils such as lavender, rose, or chamomile and perhaps pair it with a small guide to get her started.
A day being pampered
Give your mom a daycaytion to show her how much you appreciate all she’s done for you, not only for your wedding but also throughout your life. If you live near a larger city, most resorts offer day passes to spend time by the pool with their amenities without having to be an overnight guest. Add on a spa service and your mom will have a whole day for herself.
Father of the Bride & Groom Gifts
A personalized cork-holder
Whether your dad is a red or white guy, this thoughtful gift is perfect for any wine-lover. This state-shaped cork holder will let him display keepsakes of some of his favorite pours in a stylish manner. Looking to add a touch of thoughtfulness? Include a bottle of the wine you’ll drink on your special day or better yet, the same wine your parents drank at their wedding.
A thoughtful tie
Choose a style unlike anything else in his closet. For the happy-go-lucky father, this whimsical bicycle tie will bring an instant smile to his face. For an additional statement of your gratitude, add a small patch with a special message that tells your dad just how much you appreciate all his support.
This is certainly a spendier gift, but if your father is the designated family photographer, this will let him capture all your family’s memories in a whole new fashion. Meant to pair with a GoPro and more affordable when it comes to drone pricing, the price tag might be worth it if you’re trying to thank the Dad who has everything.
A formal pair of cufflinks
Giving your dad a piece of formal wear is not only appropriate to the occasion, it also will be something he can wear on special occasions to come. A pair of cufflinks have some weight to them and it’s easy to choose a timeless style he’ll wear for years to come.
A heartfelt frame
A gift meant for the father of the bride, bring your dad right back to the dance floor with this heartfelt frame. Add your favorite lyrics and if you’re gifting once you get your photos back, include a photo of you and your father. Such a special occasion calls for a gift with some sentiment behind it.
When To Present The Gifts
The presenting of your gifts can range from a quiet moment between yourself and your parents to a very public display of your gratitude. It’s all about what you feel makes the most sense for you and your family.
Choosing when to give your gift is something you should consider ahead of time. With all that goes along with pulling off a wedding, it’s unlikely the perfect opportunity will just present itself. Give showing your parents your gratitude the time that it deserves.
If you’re opting for a more public gift-giving experience, the rehearsal dinner is the perfect opportunity to present your gift. Bestowing your gift during any welcome or thank you speeches at the rehearsal dinner gives your parents a moment of recognition before all the chaos of the big day starts.
If that kind of public gift-giving, isn’t your style, you can also pull them aside during your rehearsal dinner and give your gift then. However, you run the risk of being interrupted by a family member or failing to find a quiet moment during such a busy event.
While Getting Ready
Presenting your gift while getting ready allows for a quiet moment between you and your parents and gives you time to tell them just how much they mean to you. If you can carve out some time and arrange the logistics to get both sets of parents where they need to be, this can serve as a centering moment during a chaotic day.
One caveat of presenting your gifts while getting ready is the groom and the bride will need to present their gifts separately if they’re adhering to the convention of not seeing each other on the day of the wedding. If it’s important to you that you present your gifts as a couple, this probably isn’t the right timing for you.
After Wedding Thank You
Thanking your parents post-ceremony and celebration is a perfectly acceptable route. After the wedding can mean as soon as the next morning (if you aren’t straight off to your honeymoon) but probably shouldn’t extend past three months. If you do end up gifting to your parents on the later end of that timeline, be sure to give them a heads up that a gift is on its way.
That extended timeline should also be due to budgetary needs or because you’re waiting on a component of the gift, not because you haven’t gotten around to it.
Inviting your parents over or taking them out to a favorite restaurant is great for spending some time together after you return from your honeymoon and will let you present your gift in person as well.
Gifting with Gratitude
While etiquette may dictate that giving a gift is the best way to express your gratitude for your parents, don’t forget to tell them. More than anything, the exchanging of a gift lets you set aside some time for your parents to look them in the eyes and say thank you. In what is sure to be a very chaotic day, giving your parents that quick moment can mean more than any gift you’re giving them.
Don’t spend too much time worrying about conveying everything you’re feeling toward them with a single gift. Instead, focus on choosing something that will make them feel appreciated and bring a smile to their face.
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