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There’s nothing like a wedding—and the wedding planning process—to bring two families together. And when your parents (and your partner’s parents), have been an integral part of the time leading up to the big day, it’s only fitting to give them a token of your appreciation.
But wedding gifts for parents don’t have to be crazy elaborate or over-the-top. Thoughtfulness and a sweet sentiment go a long way here, so consider a personalized gift or something that they can use the day of the wedding. Or, pick up a present that taps into their particular interests or hobbies.
“For dads who can’t wait to take their tuxedo shoes off on the dance floor, custom sneakers are great and can be further personalized with embroidery,” says Darcy Jusich and Kate Hayes, gifting experts and co-founders of Happy Cabbage. “Beautiful jewelry or a clutch that moms can wear to the wedding and beyond is a nice way to remember the event every time they wear them,” they add.
Meet the Expert
Darcy Jusich and Kate Hayes are gifting experts and co-founders of Happy Cabbage. A custom gifting boutique in Chicago, Happy Cabbage offers unique, personalized gifts and gift baskets for every occasion.
Read on for the best wedding gifts for parents.
The Polka Dotted Bee Wedding Handkerchief Gift
Both practical and personal, these sweet embroidered handkerchiefs are perfect for wiping away those (happy!) wedding day tears. With options available for mom and/or dad, you can either choose from preset messages or get creative and write your own. Let the waterworks begin.
Label With Love In Law Wine Labels
There’s perhaps no more foolproof thank you gift than a nice bottle of wine, but adding this custom label makes it feel all the more personal and special. Choose your in-law’s favorite bottle of red or white, then customize this label with your wedding date and a personalized message. They come in a set of two, so you and your spouse can each gift your respective in-laws.
Kismet Weddings Co Wedding Card to My Parents
A handwritten note can go quite a long way. This simple yet elegant notecard is blank on the outside, giving you plenty of space to express yourself and your gratitude. The card itself comes in an off-white hue, though you can choose from any one of eight envelope colors.
Sew Happy Girls Father of the Bride Tie Patch
Write a short and sweet love note to your dad and have it embroidered onto this hand-stitched patch. Made of ivory linen fabric, you choose the size, text, and embroidery thread color.
Meant to go on the inside of his wedding day tie, it’s the perfect way to remind him that you’ll always be his little girl as he walks you down the aisle.
Hearth & Table Co. Personalized Wooden Spoon Set
If your future MIL loves to cook, this personalized spoon and spatula set is sure to please. One features your names and wedding date, the other, a sweet thank you message. Both are wood-burned into the high-quality, chef grade utensils that are sure to last her for years to come.
Morning Joy Co Recipe Cutting Board
These handmade, personalized cutting boards are the perfect way to capture that signature recipe anyone is known for. Choose from beech or walnut, two different sizes, and single- or double-sided printing. The recipe is laser-engraved, replicating even particular handwriting.
Minted Custom House Letterpress Portrait Art
Upload a photo of your parent's home—perhaps your childhood house, or the home where your parents lived when they first got married—and Minted’s designers will turn it into a beautiful letterpressed work of art. Add custom text and pick your size and frame option—you'll have yourself a truly memorable, heart-warming present.
Aromaology Spa Gift Basket
Ideal for your mom or mother-in-law, this all-in-one basket comes with everything she needs to help unwind and relax after all the wedding hubbub has died down. Namely, a massage oil, soy candle, salt scrub, and aromatherapy sachet, available in eight different fragrances. It all comes wrapped up in a reusable burlap box, ready for gifting.
Chris Cooks Personalized Family Member Signpost
Family spread out? This adorable outdoor signpost keeps everyone symbolically together, showcasing their distance from your original family home. With an oxidized steel finish that patinas over time, and a weather-resistant finish, it’s the perfect addition to your parent’s garden or backyard.
Lands End Suede Leather Moccasin Slippers for Him & Her
Everyone loves a good pair of cozy slippers and these certainly fit the bill. A faux fur lining makes them nice and soft, foam cushioning brings relief to achy feet, and a rubber outsole means you can even wear them for quick trips outside.
They can be monogrammed for an added personal touch, and come in options for both him and her, so you can give your parents or in-laws a matching set.
Mouth "Best of Mouth" Gift Box
This site offers some of our favorite food gift boxes, featuring an expertly curated collection of yummy goods from small brands across the country. Sure, you could gift just one, but why not surprise your parents monthly with a subscription box? The ‘Best of Mouth’ box will arrive at their door every month, housing an array of delicious delicacies for them to enjoy.
My Family Cookbook Journal
Give your mom or MIL this fill-in recipe journal and start creating what’s sure to be a family heirloom for years to come. There are template pages for writing down over 80 recipes, as well as adding photos and more. Now, good luck getting her to actually share that recipe for her famous mashed potatoes…
Williams Sonoma Gardening Seat & Tool Kit
If your parents or in-laws are the type who are always out in the garden or are renowned for their green thumb, a gardening gift like this one is the way to go. A lightweight stool, convenient storage tote, and five high-quality steeled tools meet all of their planting needs.
Dope Coffee Pleasure Pack
Artisanal, small brand coffee is a surefire gift for any java lover. This four-pack—from a brand that seeks to eliminate the stereotypical pretentiousness around high-end coffee—comes with three of their staple coffees, plus a fourth flavor that rotates seasonally. Choose from whole or ground beans.
Sheets & Giggles Eucalyptus Sheet Sets
You may have just registered for new bedding, but we’re willing to bet it’s been a while since your parents sprung for new sheets. They’ll definitely appreciate these, which are made from renewably and sustainably grown Eucalyptus and feel buttery soft and smooth.
Pick from one of seven colors; each set comes with one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases. And if you really want to go for it, get them the accompanying comforter, too.
Soothe Gift Card
There’s nothing quite like a massage to help unwind after all of the wedding planning is over. And with this gift card, your parents or in-laws won’t even have to leave the house; the on-demand service brings masseuses to your home or even office. (Pick one up for yourself too, while you’re at it.)
What to look for in gifts for parents
Simple, custom touches like a monogram or embroidered name can make a standard gift feel more special and unique. Make sure to allow a little extra time for customization when you place an order for a personalized gift.
A gift they can use on the day of the wedding
A practical gift that they can either wear or use on the day of the wedding will always be appreciated. In addition to thoughtful keepsakes, it can be a nice idea to gift your parents a custom box or gift bag, filled with treats and drinks, to help get them through the big day.
An experiential gift
Think beyond tangible gifts, and give the parents involved an experience, either something they can do on their own, as a couple, or together with you and/or spouse as a family. A gift card to one of their favorite restaurants, a guided outdoors excursion, or a cooking class that they can enjoy together are all great options.
What are some other unique gift ideas for parents?
“A hot shave the morning of or the day before the wedding is a great activity for dad, while a nice facial or massage is the perfect way to thank mom,” say Jusich and Hayes. Also a nice touch: Ask the band or DJ to play your parents and/or in-laws first dance from their weddings to dance to at the wedding, they suggest.
What are good gift ideas for in-laws?
The same ideas apply to both parents and in-laws. You can also pay for your mother-in-law’s hair or makeup, or gift your father-in-law a beautiful bottle of his favorite libation, suggest Jusich and Hayes.
Why Trust Brides
Brides contributor Melanie Rud has nearly 15 years of journalism experience covering the beauty and lifestyle space for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She’s also a bride-to-be, currently planning her own wedding (and debating what to get the parents involved).