Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Parent Gifts

So gifts for parents...

1) Is this an etiquette thing? Like is it mandatory? Or is this a pinterest/etsy thing? Hard to tell sometimes.

2) My mom is paying for 80% of the wedding and told me she thinks it's stupid for me to buy her a gift because she sees it as me using her money to give back to her (which I wouldn't because I make my own money, too, but regardless). Her birthday is coming up 11 days before the wedding and I am getting her a gift for that and I'm not sure how to approach this. I can get her something she already told me she wants for her birthday and give her that? If I get gifts for his parents and my dad, that would be super weird to leave her out since she has literally supported every aspect of my life more than I can even attempt to thank her for. 

3) What gifts for parents did you do? 

Re: Parent Gifts

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    So gifts for parents...

    1) Is this an etiquette thing? Like is it mandatory? Or is this a pinterest/etsy thing? Hard to tell sometimes.

    2) My mom is paying for 80% of the wedding and told me she thinks it's stupid for me to buy her a gift because she sees it as me using her money to give back to her (which I wouldn't because I make my own money, too, but regardless). Her birthday is coming up 11 days before the wedding and I am getting her a gift for that and I'm not sure how to approach this. I can get her something she already told me she wants for her birthday and give her that? If I get gifts for his parents and my dad, that would be super weird to leave her out since she has literally supported every aspect of my life more than I can even attempt to thank her for. 

    3) What gifts for parents did you do? 
    Heartfelt note.  Costs no money but will explain how much you appreciate her and all that she's done for you.  Maybe a photo album of wedding photos after the fact.
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    I think it would be a nice gesture to get your parents something, but I'm not sure if it's absolutely required.

    I'd get them something that they would love and is not wedding related though!!  As for the financial support, maybe a hand written thank you card that you give to your Mom the morning of your wedding?  Sometimes parents appreciate the time you spend with them more than anything, so maybe a spa day with just you and your Mom?

    I bought my parents a charging station for all of their electronic gadgets (they have wires and chords everywhere).  I also bought them a portable charging power bank since they are beginning to travel a lot, and now won't have to find an outlet when they need to recharge their phone at the airport, or are out on a long tour.

    I hope this helps!!

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    adk19 said:
    So gifts for parents...

    1) Is this an etiquette thing? Like is it mandatory? Or is this a pinterest/etsy thing? Hard to tell sometimes.

    2) My mom is paying for 80% of the wedding and told me she thinks it's stupid for me to buy her a gift because she sees it as me using her money to give back to her (which I wouldn't because I make my own money, too, but regardless). Her birthday is coming up 11 days before the wedding and I am getting her a gift for that and I'm not sure how to approach this. I can get her something she already told me she wants for her birthday and give her that? If I get gifts for his parents and my dad, that would be super weird to leave her out since she has literally supported every aspect of my life more than I can even attempt to thank her for. 

    3) What gifts for parents did you do? 
    Heartfelt note.  Costs no money but will explain how much you appreciate her and all that she's done for you.  Maybe a photo album of wedding photos after the fact.
    I love this idea!!

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    Those are both really helpful! She is huge on thank you notes and cards, but not as much gifts. What do you get for someone who has everything she wants? Literally, she asked me to buy her a mirror for her birthday and texted me 2 hours later saying Costco had it and she bought it. 
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    Those are both really helpful! She is huge on thank you notes and cards, but not as much gifts. What do you get for someone who has everything she wants? Literally, she asked me to buy her a mirror for her birthday and texted me 2 hours later saying Costco had it and she bought it. 
    Personalized stationary
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    We're doing cards and photo book after the wedding.
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    I agree with @adk19 - a photo album, or even just a wedding photo in a nice frame, would be a great, heart-felt but not expensive gift. We're making wedding photo books for each of our parents, with photos that we think they will each like; so for example, MIL, who made our GORGEOUS cake, will get a photo book with a few of the professional photographer's cake photos, photos of her grandchildren and children, and photos of us with her, among others. It shows you took the time to do something special, but it doesn't cost much money.
    BabyFruit Ticker
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    I don't think it's required at all, but nice to do if you find something that fits.  

    My mom is helping pay for the wedding, and is doing a lot of work for it too (sewing all my bunting flags and table runners herself).  I got her a necklace that came on a card with a really nice note from Etsy.  It's very her and the card describes our relationship wonderfully.  I also plan on doing a nice framed photo for her after the wedding.  We don't normally do gifts at all so it'll be nice.
    Married 9.12.15
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    Both of our parents are contributing quite a bit to the wedding and we came to the decision as many people above, a photo album of wedding pictures along with a nice frame for family pictures. We are giving them a card and the frame at the rehearsal with note saying they will receive an album once we get the pictures.
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    PupatellaPupatella member
    Combo Breaker First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited August 2015
    Just fyi - I found a card at Target - in the wedding card section, for the parents. "Mom and Dad, It means so much on my wedding day to thank you both for being such great parents. Your love has given me a wonderful example to follow, and your support means more than you know".

    I bought the card and am quoting it exactly.  My Mom is remarried, but the wording still fits with her and my step-dad.

    Just wanted to let you wonderful women know about this!!  I thought the wording was perfect, and there is a ton of space to write a personal note as well.

    I absolutely love the idea of giving them a wedding photos as well - thanks for the wonderful idea!!  We gave them a book of our engagement photos, and my Mom brought it to work to show everyone.  Haha.

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    Along with a heartfelt card, we gave sentimental/personal gifts to our parents. My mom got a photo frame with a cheesy saying about being her daughter forever (her style, and she loves it), and his parents got an engraved vase. 

    If your parents are the type of people who hate objects for gifts, just stick with the card and the promise of photos or a photobook later. 

    We gave them both a photobook after the wedding, but I didn't really consider that part of their gifts. 
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    SP29SP29 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    Parent gifts are not mandatory- gifts are never mandatory. But the purpose is to thank your parents for their love and support, regardless if they are footing the bill or not.

    We gave each of our parents a photo album of wedding photos that I made on Shutterfly. The front page had a small note for each. Also gave an album to my grandparents.
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    I made a photo book for my parents and grandparents at mypublisher.com.  I like the layouts at shutterfly, but they weren't having a very good sale at the time, plus my book ended up being 100 pages!

    I don't think DH intends to give his parents anything.


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    Sounds like photobooks are huge hit. Is it weird that you're giving them a gift so far after the wedding? I know my photographer gets pictures back to us within a month, but then an album takes a few more weeks right?
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    Sounds like photobooks are huge hit. Is it weird that you're giving them a gift so far after the wedding? I know my photographer gets pictures back to us within a month, but then an album takes a few more weeks right?
    Ditto this.  For everyone who gave a heartfelt note at the RD or elsewhere close to the wedding and a photo album after, did you tell them in the card that their gift was going to be a wedding album and they would be getting it in a few months?  The wording I am coming up with in my head sounds awkward.  

    I also feel weird that they wouldn't really have anything to "open" so I was thinking a small something at the time with the promise of the later photo album, but I have a tendency to overdo it so maybe its not necessary.  Our parents are the same as yours in that they don't want us to spend a ton of money on gifts for them when they are helping to pay for most of the wedding.


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    @frenchiekin we really are having the same wedding aren't we... 
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    @frenchiekin we really are having the same wedding aren't we... 
    YES! haha


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    I have not said anything to them about it.

    I don't think my sister gave them anything, and I'm not sure it's expected.

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    SP29SP29 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    I didn't say anything about it to them until they got it (and unfortunately they waited a loooong time as we had issues getting our photos from our photographer).

    We gave our thank you gifts to our WP individually, in private. So no one was opening gifts in front of anyone else who may not have gotten a gift.

    If you are going to give a card or a note before or the day of the wedding, I would leave it at that, no mention of the photo album. Then give the photo album when it is ready. A gift is never required, so you don't have to explain why there isn't something "there" and ready yet.

    (I'm on the Shutterfly mailing list, and I was able to get a good deal! Kept the books to around 20 pages though).
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    Shutterfly also has groupons on a fairly regular basis.
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    I am a huge fan of heartfelt letters.  They show that you put a lot of money and thought into it, but they aren't awkward if you have received money from your parents (which, let's be honest, can feel a little like you are saying, "hey, look at this gift you basically bought yourselves!").  I also like the photo album idea.  Or both.  Do both.  


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    Sounds like photobooks are huge hit. Is it weird that you're giving them a gift so far after the wedding? I know my photographer gets pictures back to us within a month, but then an album takes a few more weeks right?

    I received my photos last Thursday and started on the book immediately and ordered it last Friday morning and it arrived today. My wedding was June 27, so not that long ago.

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    We gave both sets a Shutterfly wedding album.  Much cheaper than the photographers albums.  

    We also did a lei ceremony at the beginning of our wedding ceremony where I 'lei'd' DH's parents, and he 'lei'd' mine, kind of as a merging of 2 families.  This was instead of corsages/boutonnieres too. 

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    My daughter gave me the perfect gift.  She threw her arms around me and said "Thanks, Mom!  It was perfect!"   Oh, yes, and then she gave me a box of See's chocolate truffles!  What more could a mother ask?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
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