Treating The Parents

By Sharon Naylor

July 12, 2016 4 min read

In addition to giving your bridal party members their own thank-you gifts, you'll wish to thank your parents for all of their help with the wedding plans (whether or not they're paying for the wedding) as well as for a lifetime of their love and support. In years past, wedding couples often decided that a professionally framed portrait from the wedding day was a fine way to show appreciation. Today, though you may certainly give them a framed portrait for their home, an additional special gift is presented, often at the rehearsal dinner.

According to Shane McMurray, president of the wedding industry survey and trends site The Wedding Report, the average amount spent nationally on gifts for parents was $120 in 2015. And that average is projected to increase to $121 in 2017, $138 in 2018 and $145 in 2019. Clearly, it's a trend among wedding couples to thank their parents well, with a gift that impresses or touches the heartstrings. Here are some stellar ideas:

--A fine bottle of wine. If your parents know their wines, are connoisseurs of, say, Champagne, have traveled to vineyards and have dreamed of enjoying a bottle of Cristal, for example, or revisiting a favorite vintage, now is the time to make that dream come true. Add a note saying they should enjoy their bottle and toast each other, making this gift about them and their fine tastes.

--A gift card to a fine restaurant. Your parents may have a wish to dine at the most fabulous restaurant around, but if they've just spent buckets of money on your wedding, they may not have the expendable cash for a fine dining experience. Your gift makes that wish come true and treats them to an unforgettable date night. It's moments, not just things, that can make the best presents.

--Entertaining items. If parents love to entertain in their home, your gift of a beautiful wine bucket or a set of outdoor dining plates and platters can enhance their lifestyle, impress their guests and inspire them to host more parties for friends and family.

--Framed art. Art is a major influence in wedding design, and framed art has become a top trend in gifts. Some couples take their parents to art galleries or art show openings to find a piece that elicits a "wow" from their parents. If the price is realistic, that stunning piece of artwork will be a treasured thank-you gift.

--A handwritten letter or poem. Your words of gratitude will mean the world to your parents, so a handwritten letter or poem straight from your heart will be a treasure. Take your time and compose a heartfelt message, perhaps list the most important things your parents have taught you that prepare you well for the life ahead of you, and then re-write your final draft on quality paper that your parent will keep forever.

--Home improvements. Thank your parents for making your world so beautiful by helping to make their world more beautiful. If your mother has always wanted to have a flourishing rose garden or a bountiful herb and vegetable garden, hire a garden planner and team to make her design come to life. If your dad has wanted to put in a new mailbox or fix the pergola above the backyard terrace, hire a professional to take care of the task.

--Show tickets. Treat your parents to a pair of tickets to a show they've been dying to see. Add in dinner prior to the show, and their night will be unforgettable, thanks to you.

--Remaster their wedding video or wedding photos. If your parents are married, you can surprise them with a digitally remastered version of their wedding video or wedding photos, or do the same video edit with footage of your family vacations through the years to pay tribute to your family foundations.

Whatever the thank-you gift, remember that presentation is key. Find a wonderful way to present those show tickets or gift cards, and always add a handwritten note from the two of you.

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