10 Thoughtful Ways to Thank Your Parents

If you’re at all like me, then your parents have played a major part in your life and you owe them the world. They’ve been with you every step of the way from attending every high school sporting event to seeing you off to college and, in my case, helping me move to a different state for my college internship.

Needless to say, it only feels right to thank them for helping me get to this major milestone: my wedding day. I want to take the opportunity to remind them that they no matter what, they will always be just as important to me.

Before the Wedding

1. While registering, your mother might have mentioned what she would register for if she could do it again today. Take her up on that hint and surprise her with whatever it was she was wishing for. She’ll love it!

On The Big Day

2. You’ll be showered with gifts and special gestures all day — pay it forward for those closest to you! A hand-embroidered handkerchief with a special message is a lovely (and useful) gift, as is a special piece of jewelry, such as a necklace or cufflinks.

father of the bride crying
Photo Credit: Sam Hurd Photography

3. Incorporate part of your mother’s gown into your bouquet handle. Bonus points if you attach a meaningful token to it as well, like a miniature-sized version of their wedding photo!

parents bouquet
Photo Credit: La Vie Photography via Junebug Wedding Photo Gallery

4. If you aren’t fond of the idea of cutting up your mother’s wedding gown, then why not put it on display? Create a living museum by displaying your mother’s gown, grandmother’s gown, or any other special ladies’ dresses. This is a great way to dress up the walk to the ceremony site.

heirloom gown
Photo Credit: Ashley + David Photography

5. Any parent loves a great picture of their child and your wedding is no exception! While creating your shot list for your photographer, collaborate with them to pay homage to Mom and Dad in some way. I few ideas that immediately came to mind are: a picture of you and your groom holding your parents’ wedding photos, a “first look” with Dad and a “last hug” with Mom before you become husband and wife.

photo frame for parents of the bride
Photo Credit: Jennifer Wilson Photography

wedding photo with parents
Photo Credit: Belen Isabel Photography

parents on wedding day
Photo Credit: Jeremy Beasley

6. If you and your groom don’t have a tune that’s particularly special to the two of you, pay tribute to your parents by using their wedding song for your first dance. If you prefer to use another song, you could always play theirs later in the evening. Either way, it will be such a special treat for them.

7. Consider including a signature cocktail or treat that has special significance to Mom and/or Dad. It could be an all-time favorite of theirs that didn’t completely fit into the wedding meal choices. For me, I think it would be something along the lines of an ice cream bar, and I’d name it “Bobby’s Ice Cream Shop.” 

8. Having trouble selecting a cake topper? Re-use the one from your parents’ wedding and add a little “something borrowed” to your dessert display. 

vintage cake toppers
Photo Credit: Danielle Poff Photography


9. After so much time together planning the big day, your parents might start to miss you a little more than usual. Thank them for all of their help and support by planning some fun activities that you can all do as a family. I live in beautiful Santa Ynez Valley so I know my mother and father would appreciate what I call a home-a-wine mixing class!

10. It goes without saying that certain things will go left undone in your parents’ lives outside of your wedding in the months leading up to your special day. Take the weeks following your wedding and honeymoon to offer to help them with some home improvement tasks.

While all of these are unique ways to thank your parents that I’m sure they’ll love, don’t forget that a handwritten thank-you note goes a long way and will always hold a special place in their hearts. 

— Davia Lee

Davia Lee is a real bride, entrepreneur, lead designer and wedding planner for Davia Lee Events. She loves all things sparkly, fashionable and girly. In contrast, her fiancé, Jesse, is a “man’s man” — beard and all! They are the poster couple for “opposites attract” and prove that true love knows no boundaries. Their greatest wedding-planning challenge will be finding a middle ground where all of their wants, needs and dreams will meet. We can tell you this, though — when everything aligns, their big day will be fabulous!