8 meaningful ways to say thank you to your parents on your wedding day

Published by Claire Gould on

A lovely ideas article from our friends at Truly Experiences.
Header image Lasting Impressions by Lucy – see Janna & Seb’s wedding here


A wedding is a celebration of love and commitment and it involves a huge amount of preparation. As a couple, you spend the months leading up to your big day picking venues, choosing décor, and planning the ceremony itself.

But in the background are your parents, who often spend a huge amount of time and energy in ensuring the event comes together.
It can be hard to find the right way to thank your parents, especially when you want to do something meaningful and personal.
We’ve put together a short list of ideas to guide you when expressing your gratitude for your nearest and dearest.

1. Acknowledgment In The Ceremony And Reception

Although some people hate being made the centre of attention, most parents attending their child’s wedding appreciate being acknowledged in the ceremony. There are usually a few speeches at a wedding reception, but the focus is almost always exclusively the newlyweds.
Taking a minute or two to express your gratitude through words can help your parents feel truly appreciated. Another way to say thank you is to give them something personal at your wedding reception, such as special place settings just for them.

2. Write Thank You Notes

Getting a written thank you note or letter is always a lovely surprise. The fact that it’s a traditional method of showing gratitude doesn’t mean that it has to be generic or devoid of personal meaning. Sending a note or letter that has been composed in a thoughtful way is an excellent way of showing that you appreciate what you’ve been given – enough to take the time to write it out.

When it comes to written thank yous, typing out your letter can diminish its personal significance. Rather stick to hand-written notes and try to communicate authentically why you appreciate all the help you’ve received. Telling your parents in writing how much you appreciate them and all they’ve done for you is something they’ll treasure.

3. Help Them To Return The Favour

Actions speak louder than words, especially when it comes to reciprocating kindness from your nearest and dearest. The parents of the couple are usually very involved in the planning of your big day, and often share a lot of the anxiety felt by the couple themselves. Help from them can mean any number of things. Going shopping together, helping financially with the wedding or honeymoon, or just being there as a shoulder to cry on when things get overwhelming.

If your parents have given you some money towards your big day, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they want to be paid back in the same way. Instead of remunerating in cash, pitch in where they need assistance with other things. Meaningful expressions of gratitude could include taking on chores your parents find especially difficult, or taking them out to do something relaxing together.

4. Give them A Lasting Gift For The Garden

Receiving flowers as a thank you gift is always special, but getting a plant for your garden is even better. Maybe you share a love of gardening with your father, or associate a particular flower with your mother. Either way, choosing a plant as a thank you to your parents is a great way to give them something meaningful and lasting.

5. Set Up A Dinner

After the dust has settled and you’ve returned from your honeymoon, holding a special dinner for your parents is the perfect way to say thank you for their help. Parents of the bride(s) and groom(s) are often involved in planning the wedding and ensuring the day runs smoothly – being able to sit back and relax afterwards will be a welcome surprise. To make it even more meaningful, include something from your actual wedding reception, such as a dish or décor.

6. Gifts They Never Got At Their Own Wedding

If you really want to show your appreciation to your parents, find out what was on their wish list as a newly married couple and buy it for them. Take a look at your own gift registry for inspiration. What items do you consider the most meaningful?

Have a conversation with your parents to find out what gifts they’ve cherished through the years. Or if there’s anything they wanted but never received when they tied the knot. A truly special thank you gift will have a great deal of thought behind it, and this is a wonderful way to fulfill that.

7. Incorporate Something Of Your Parents Into Your Big Day

The saying, “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” has been associated with marriage for centuries as a “recipe” for good luck. Brides (and sometimes grooms) now often incorporate small things from their parents’ ceremony into their own wedding.

The mother of the bride often passes on some item that was used in her own wedding, such as a piece of jewellery or a piece of material from her wedding dress.

8. Make Sure You Get A Photo Or Two

If you have an official photographer at your ceremony, make sure to get at least a few photographs with your parents. Your day will most likely be extremely busy and overwhelming, but try to take a breath and make time for those who care about you.

If you want to take it up a notch, take inspiration from your mother’s and father’s wedding photos. Recreating old family photographs has become a bit of a trend recently. There’s no reason why you can’t use that idea to say a personal thank you to the ones you love. Things have probably changed dramatically since your parents tied the knot. But recreating one or more of their wedding photos can bring you closer together and include them in your big day.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

When it comes to thanking people for their help, actions always speak louder than words. A quick “thank you” doesn’t really suffice when the person in question has dedicated hours or days to help with the biggest day in a loved one’s life. That, of course, does not mean that a straightforward expression of gratitude isn’t needed; such an acknowledgment will always be appreciated.

Starting your life as a married couple is a time of excitement and joy, so try as best you can to spread that sentiment to your loved ones.

Categories: Advice

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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