When is the Best Time to Give Wedding Gifts for Parents?

You've thoughtfully chosen wedding gifts for parents, but when do you actually present them?

Updated 05/05/18

Photo by Samm Blake

We love time-honored wedding traditions, including thoughtfully choosing wedding gifts for parents. Whether it's a sweet memento, a frame, or a more substantial gift to thank them for their contribution, they've done so much to get you this far, so it's important to honor them in some way! Presenting the gifts, however, is a little tricky — after all, your wedding day will likely have a very tight timeline. There's also a very real chance that you'll have bride brain and totally forget on the day-of.

For that reason, it's best to plan out when to give wedding gifts to your parents ahead of time, so you're not scrambling to make time for the special moment on the big day. Here are a few times to consider honoring your parents for all they've done to help you arrive at this day.

The Rehearsal Dinner

Many couples choose to give their parents gifts during the rehearsal dinner, and with good reason. You're with a smaller group, so you can focus a little more on one another, and your parents will be heading back to their room shortly thereafter, so they can make sure their gifts make it back safely. If you're also planning to give gifts to your bridesmaids and groomsmen at this time, bring the gifts for your parents along and present them all at once.

The Morning of the Wedding

Did you pick out something special for each of your parents? You could also choose to present these gifts the morning of your wedding. If you're wondering when to give the mother-of-the-bride gift in particular, this is an ideal time — she'll probably be with you as you're getting ready, and it will be a great opportunity for a sweet (and non-chaotic) moment to give her a gift. Just give it to her before she's gotten her makeup done (to avoid runny mascara!).

And what about dad? If you're doing first look photos with him, that's another ideal time. Bring your gift for him along so the two of you can have a little time in private. This can, however, be a little bit of a challenge for the groom, especially if his mom is getting ready with you and your bridesmaids. He may opt to give the gifts the day before, or bring them with him to family photos. Just make sure someone knows that their gifts need to be sent back to his parents' room so they don't get lost!

The Wedding Reception

If you can carve out a time during the wedding reception to sit down privately with your parents, then go for it! Just make sure to plan when you'll have time to do this (at least in your head). You'll likely be pulled in a million directions during your reception, with guests wanting to dance with you, congratulate you, share a toast, etc. Set a time in your time to talk to your parents and then stick to it — there's never going to be a lull in activity where this moment will come naturally.

Morning-After Brunch

If the wedding day itself is too much of a whirlwind, don't worry about it. Similar to the rehearsal dinner plan, you could also choose to wait and distribute presents at the morning-after brunch. A smaller crowd and a more relaxed atmosphere make this a great time to pull your parents aside. Remind them to leave a little extra room in their suitcases!

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