Thanking Mom

By Sharon Naylor

July 7, 2014 5 min read

After providing so much love and support, and perhaps some money, during the planning of your wedding, you'll surely want to give your mom the perfect thank-you gift.

While most brides and grooms maintain the ritual of giving parents their specially selected thank-you presents at the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, a growing number of wedding couples are choosing to gift their parents sooner, as a surprise often paired with a visit to the parents' homes if they live far away. "Why wait?" says bride-to-be Talia. "Giving Mom a present is a happy moment, and she's not going to expect it a few months before the wedding."

No matter when you decide to give the moms and/or the stepmoms their thank-you gifts, here are some great ideas:

*Personalized Gifts

Julie Kenney, celebrity gift pro at The Gifting Experts, says that personalized gift items are a top trend in mom presents. She mentions personalized pashmina scarves embroidered with the word "Mom," as well as hand-painted, personalized candles and personalized tote bags. A canvas print of colorful florals, vines, leaves or other nature motifs expertly personalized with a name or a quote that you can submit to create a custom art piece for display in your mom's home is another hot trend in gifts.

While you might think of jewelry as a bridesmaids gift, today's moms are just as stylish and fashion-aware as their daughters, and so a trendy initial or name necklace could be an affordable and personalized gift for Mom.

Photos of the Two of You

Anja Winnika and her team of editors at The Knot suggest going classic and timeless with your gift for Mom. Choose a favorite photo of the two of you -- perhaps one from when you were a little girl gazing adorably at your mom, or a recent shot showing you on a family vacation or just laughing together like best friends -- and place it in an elegant frame. A frame from the Vera Wang or Kate Spade collection is an affordable way to add a designer "wow" factor to this gift.

"We secretly looked through my mother's old photo albums and found the perfect picture of us, but it was faded and had a little bit of a scratch," says bride-to-be Maria. "So my fiance scanned it into his computer and used Photoshop to refresh the colors and 'paint' away the scratch so that it looked perfect." You, too, can Photoshop your photos, or have a helper do it for you if you're not familiar with Photoshop or any other photo editing tools. Refreshing a photo is essentially free, meaning your present doesn't have to break the bank to be a phenomenal gift.

*Video of the Two of You

Winnika and The Knot's editors also suggest producing a brief video of your favorite footage with Mom, perhaps even some footage you shot recently. Add a favorite song as the soundtrack, and use simple video editing software on your computer to create the perfect video that Mom will watch again and again.

*A Spa Visit

Moms who love their mani/pedis, facials and massages but don't get the chance to indulge very often appreciate receiving a gift card to a chic spa for pampering sessions. They get to fully relax and enjoy the experience without any thought of expense.

*Tickets to a Performance

Winnika and The Knot's editors say that tickets to a play, a concert, the ballet or other event make for a wonderful experience, particularly if your mom's favorite performer is scheduled to appear at a nearby theater. This is a good reason to gift moms early, as the artist may be scheduled to appear weeks before the wedding. Choose between good seats and excellent seats, and consider buying several tickets so that she can bring her friends. Also, look into VIP ticket plans that could get Mom backstage to meet her favorite artist after the show.

*Hire a Home Expert

One of the most surprising suggestions by Winnika and her team is to hire a lifestyle professional such as an interior designer to help Mom redecorate the living room or some other area of her home. Other possibilities include hiring the home-organizing expert she's been talking about or a garden designer to help her create her dream vegetable, herb or flower garden. You're giving Mom the experience of working with a pro to enhance her home and lifestyle, as well as the finished product when the design comes to life. Mom then thinks of the two of you whenever she enjoys her lovely living room, organized home office or fruitful garden.

And of course, a handwritten note from you thanking Mom for each lesson she's taught you and reminiscing about favorite moments you shared will warm her heart. This could be your primary gift, paired with an extra little something (such as that initial necklace), or it could be added to any lavish gift you give as a touching and sentimental present that Mom will love.

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