Brides and grooms may also wish to give their parents a gift – either at the wedding or at a later time – to demonstrate their love and appreciation in a tangible way, especially if the parents are paying for a sizeable portion of the wedding and reception. Many couples, however, struggle to find an appropriate gift.
Toward that end, I’d like to offer here some great gift ideas for parents that, while appropriate and significant, might not stretch a couple’s thin wallet too far:
Give them a trip. Sound too expensive? Consider the possibilities (and savings) if you were to purchase their trips at the same time you plan your own honeymoon. Many couples are able to locate significant savings and fantastic deals on multiple ticket purchases and hotel reservations. (Now, lest you think I’m some kind of prude-don’t think I’m suggesting the parents accompany you on your honeymoon! Make sure their trip is scheduled for another time!)
Give gift certificates. This may seem a bit impersonal, but you might be getting some nice kickbacks from the retail stores that handled your wedding registry. Some will give you gift certificates as a perk, and you might be able to get additional gift certificates in lieu of duplicate items that people purchased on the registry. Giving these certificates as gifts can be significant, and you can make them all the more personal by purchasing a nice card and writing a heartfelt note of appreciation to your parents.
Give a “care” package. This package doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can be filled with some invitations and exciting opportunities. One couple gave their parents a list of invitations that included coupons good for “one dinner with us,” “one movie with us,” and “one quiet evening with us.” These personal coupons can mean a lot to parents who want to stay in touch, and you can pay their way later when you go to the movie or to inner (saving your wedding budget). The care package, of course, could also include coupons for other personal needs such as a massage, a day spa, a park pass, or a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant. Cater the package to your parents and their tastes. With some thought, you should be able to create a significant gift that would mean a lot to them.
Affirm their hobbies. Give your parents some gifts that will help them to find the rest and relaxation they may need to recover from your wedding! If you have a parent who enjoys hiking, how about a compass, backpack, or a nice walking stick? If you have a parent who enjoys gardening, how about giving flowers or some gardening tools, or a coupon good toward a master gardening class?
If your parents like to read, don’t overlook giving them a magazine subscription to a favorite periodical, or a gift card to a favorite bookstore. Better yet, if you know their reading tastes, buy some books you know they will enjoy. You can also write a personal thank you in the flyleaf of the book. And for the real bookworms in the family, consider purchasing a fine leather-bound, gilded-edge volume of a classic novel if your budget allows.
Give an antique. If your parents are the kind of people who enjoy older furnishings and beautiful memorabilia, don’t overlook the idea of finding something wonderful for them in an antique mall. Antiques don’t have to be expensive to be valued, and if you know what your parents enjoy, you should be able to find an appropriate keepsake that will fit your budget.
Make a DVD. Your parents may not know how to use technology, but they might appreciate the gift of technology. If you are the kind of person who loves producing your own DVDs and home movies, why not make a profile of your parents? Collect some old photos, stir some moving songs into the mix, and you should be able to create a beautiful portrait of their lives. Just be sure they know how to press “Play” on the DVD player or computer!
Use your own creative energy. I’ve known couples who have written original songs for their parents and others who have created poems or photo montages. I’ve seen paintings given in love, and beautiful flower arrangements. You’ve got that kind of creative energy, too. Tap into it and see what your creative mind produces. If your creation comes from the heart, you can’t go wrong, and you’ll be giving a gift that your parents will cherish forever.