So everything about your wedding day is planned right down to the last detail. You have the venue, the dress, the first dance song, the table assignments, the rings, the registry, the vows (okay, maybe you're not entirely done with the vows). But, before you head toward the finish line, there's one thing that even I, as a wedding planner, at my own wedding, almost forgot. A thank you gift for the people who've been there since day one - your parents.
A wedding gift is one of the best ways to thank your parents for everything they've done to help get you down the aisle - their wisdom, guidance, support, and perhaps even their wallet. Of course, there's no right or wrong way to say thank you. Honestly, it truly is the thought that counts. But because you know them best, you can choose a personal and meaningful gift, whether it relates to their interests and hobbies or is something more sentimental.
Not sure where to start, how much to spend, or when to give the gift? Here are a few gift ideas that are perfect for any parent and guaranteed to make saying "thank you" a memorable event.
1. PERSONALIZED (DAY OF WEDDING ACCESSORIES)
Whether you want them to have something to wear to your wedding to enhance their wedding day attire or want to give them an accessory they'll wear forever, there is a wide range of options to choose from:
For the Moms - personalized handkerchief, necklace, earrings, bracelet, jewelry dish, robe, ornament, silk pillowcase.
For the Dads - personalized handkerchief, cuff links, tie patch, tie clip, watch, wallet, golf balls, fishing lure.
2. FRAMED FIRST DANCE LYRICS
A sweet way to commemorate your first dance together. Etsy has a variety of options to choose from; whether it's just the lyrics and wedding date, or the lyrics written in a silhouette of you and your partner, it's a memorable gift that, upon admiring, will transport you back to that moment.
3. FAMILY TREE
Now that you and your partner will be a part of each other's families, giving a family tree is not only a token of appreciation but a tangible gift that expresses the history and future of the growing family.
4. FAMILY PHOTO CALENDAR
Weddings bring families together, and now you'll have an assortment of pictures to create your very own photo calendar - perfect for the entire year.
5. FRAMED PICTURES FROM THEIR WEDDING
There's something about watching your kids plan their wedding that brings all the memories of your own wedding day come flooding back. Dig through those memory boxes and gather up a few of your favorite pictures from their wedding, and before they walk you down the aisle, help them take a walk down memory lane.
6. CUSTOMIZED KITCHEN ITEMS
Whether it's wooden spoons, a cutting board, a wine board with wine glasses, or a whiskey decanter with rocks glasses, there's always a wide range of options to choose from, perfect for any parent.
7. WINE SUBSCRIPTION
It's a gift that keeps on giving and one that you won't have to keep up with because the wine subscription service does it for you. Perfect for parents who like to enjoy wine and perfect for those who like to host.
8. PICNIC BACKPACK
Let's face it, your parents probably need a date, so let's take the planning out of it and make it easy on them (okay, easy on dad) by giving them a picnic backpack. It's perfect for an afternoon away to the park or an evening listening to live music. Fill it with a bottle of bubbles and some local meats and cheeses.
9. SMART DISPLAY FOR HOME
If your parents are anything like mine, technology is not their friend, and anything "smart" confuses them beyond belief. Having your parents just a click away makes them feel like they are still a huge part of your life, even though you are married now.
WHEN SHOULD I PRESENT THE GIFTS TO THE PARENTS?
There are a few options when it comes to the timing of giving them your gift - the rehearsal dinner, while getting ready for the wedding, or after the ceremony. The rehearsal dinner can be an ideal opportunity, especially if you are comfortable presenting the gift in front of others. You can choose to make a toast and give the gifts to them. Another option is while getting ready - you can set aside some alone time with your parents, maybe before your makeup is complete (especially if you think you'll shed some tears), or sometime before or after slipping into your dress. If you follow tradition and choose not to see your groom before the ceremony, you'll have to give the gifts separately to the parents. Presenting them your gifts either at the rehearsal dinner or before the ceremony is perfect, especially if you selected a gift you want the parents to wear or have for the wedding. Otherwise, you can choose to give the gifts after the ceremony, or even after the wedding day. You can choose to present them at brunch the following day, or perhaps when you return from your honeymoon (especially if you need some time to collect those amazing photographs).
HOW MUCH SHOULD I SPEND?
The value of the gift should be meaningful - don't focus too much on the dollar amount. Parents will appreciate and treasure the gift, no matter the cost. However, if you are concerned with the price, and have this as an option, think of a joint gift you can give your parents as a couple instead of as individuals. Also, keep in mind that the gift should not reflect your feelings on how much or how little a parent contributed during the wedding planning process.