Do Parents Get Wedding Thank-You Gifts? Here's Everything You Need to Know

Make sure your 'rents feel appreciated.
Monica Mercuri - The Knot Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
Monica Mercuri
Monica Mercuri - The Knot Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
Monica Mercuri
Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
  • Monica writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in fashion commerce content
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Monica was an assistant style and market editor at House Beautiful
  • Monica holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication from George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs
Updated May 04, 2022

Giving out wedding thank-you gifts is a thoughtful way to show your appreciation to the closest people in your life—including your parents. Whether they've contributed financially to your nuptials or have offered emotional support and encouragement, gifting them a special present is a meaningful gesture they'll certainly never forget. That said, you may be wondering about the etiquette of wedding gifts for parents. Here, we answer all the most-asked questions, including how much to spend, when to give your gifts and more. Let's jump right into your FAQs!

1. Should you give gifts to your parents for your wedding?

You may be wondering, "Do you have to get your parents wedding gifts?" Yes, it's customary to give parents and parents-in-law gifts before, on or shortly after the wedding day. It's a wonderful way to thank them for all the wedding planning help they've provided—not to mention all the support and love they've given you throughout the years. However, every couple's parent dynamics are different, so ultimately, the decision is yours—do what feels right for you!

2. When should you start thinking about gifts for your parents?

We know that wedding planning can get pretty hectic, especially as the date approaches. As a result, gifts for parents can easily be overlooked or left until the last minute. That's why it's important for couples to think about what kinds of gifts they might want to give with plenty of time before the big day. We recommend thinking about gifts at least a few months before the wedding—especially if you're shopping for personalized presents or gifts they can use on the wedding day. Ultimately, the idea is that you don't want to worry about gifts for your parents in the weeks right before your wedding. Instead, you can shift your focus to more time-sensitive matters—such as sifting through your RSVPs and making final plans with your vendors.

3. Does the couple have to buy gifts for each parent?

Each parent should receive a gift, but how you decide to give your gifts is completely up to you. You may choose to shop for your own parents, while your partner shops for theirs. Alternatively, you can give your parents gifts from both of you. If you're shopping for sets of parents, you might purchase joint gifts for each couple or buy individual gifts for each person. For example, there are gifts that celebrate each parent's specific role in the wedding party (we've compiled detailed gift guides dedicated to mothers of the bride, fathers of the bride, mothers of the groom and fathers of the groom). The same etiquette applies to stepparents or other parental figures in your life who you want to thank.

4. How much should you spend on your parents' wedding gifts?

When it comes to buying wedding gifts for your parents, you don't have to spend a ton of money to give a purposeful gift. Aim for something sentimental that falls within your budget—whether that's $25 per person or $100 per couple. Thankfully, there are so many thoughtful gifts at nearly every price point. And remember, a handmade or handwritten gift—like a heartfelt card or sweet thank-you poem—is also completely acceptable. But don't forget this etiquette tip: Each parent gift should have roughly the same value so everybody feels equal.

5. What are some great wedding gift ideas for parents?

Great gifts include something they can wear on the wedding day itself, like a special piece of jewelry or an embroidered wedding handkerchief. Personalized presents, such as a custom wedding photo gift or illustration, are popular thank-you gifts that can be given shortly after your nuptials. We're also loving experiential presents that your parents or parents-in-law can enjoy together, such as a relaxing daycation spa day, a monthly wine subscription or a romantic cooking class. All in all, almost anything's appropriate, as long as it's personal and means something to you. Want even more creative gift ideas? Check out our comprehensive gift guide full of wedding gift ideas for parents from the couple.

6. When's the best time to give your parents their wedding gifts?

When to give your parents their wedding gifts will most likely depend on the type of presents you choose. If it's something they'll use on the wedding day, take a moment before the wedding to share some private time and present them with your gift. The rehearsal dinner or getting-ready suite are great places to exchange gifts with loved ones. But if you're planning on gifting a commemorative present, like a photo album filled with pictures from your wedding, those can be given shortly after the nuptials. Just try not to wait too long—within a month or so is reasonable.

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