Thank You Gifts for Family Members

thanking your parents at your wedding

Yesterday I addressed Part A of one bride’s question (i.e., bridal party gifts): How much should you spend on gifts for your bridal party or family/folks who are giving you the money for the wedding? Today I’m dealing with Part B: gifts for family, and in particular, those who help pay for the wedding.

This is tricky because it’s natural to show your gratitude by giving someone a gift. At the same time, you don’t want to get your family something so lavish they wonder whether you wisely spent the money they contributed. So the key here is to be thoughtful, not extravagant.

I checked Peggy Post’s Wedding Etiquette for the official word on such matters, and she says gifts for family are not expected. However, she does provide some gift ideas that I think are excellent options: “A family gift can be as simple as a rose and a loving note placed on their seats at the ceremony or a small book of verse or meditations with a personal inscription.”

If you want to add something that feels more substantial, you could send a framed photo from the wedding — perhaps of you and that family member or maybe even a thank you photo, like the one above. This might be especially appreciated because many of us are guilty of being slow (or completely remiss) in printing photos these days.

Or you could take things in a completely different direction and get the family members a little grab bag of all their favorite inexpensive things. I’ll admit it: This idea comes from Bridesmaids, when Kristen Wiig’s character gives a bridal shower gift to her best friend. It’s so sweet, it’s worth copying. I’ll use myself as an example. If you got me some caramel, a tiny bottle of bourbon, a Vanity Fair, a mixed CD of old R&B dance songs and an unusual tea, I’d think you were the the sweetest, most observant person in the world. And that gift could potentially come in under $15.

Other ideas from readers are welcome!

Photo by Jaime Windon

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2 Comments

  1. These are some awesome ideas! I received a personalized family ornament once as a thank you gift, and it was really unique and special. It’s a twist on regular gift giving as it offers more sentimental value and thoughtfulness! You can find a lot of them online on sites like ornaments and more.. which has a family section (http://www.ornamentsandmore.com/familymembers.aspx). I have yet to see them made personalized in stores yet… but hey, if it’s online, it means you don’t have to get up!

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