We know that this day and this celebration is mostly about you and your new spouse, and starting your new lives together. But, we feel it’s important to take a little time to pay respect to the people you literally would be here without! Your Parents! Chances are that they’ve been thinking about the possibility, then reality of this day for a long time!

So, whether you’ve planned every detail for your big day with them by your side, or want them to be just as surprised as your guests when they walk into your reception, it’s a big day for them, too.

Surprise Them With a Gift

A small token of your love along with a heartfelt card or letter is a great way to acknowledge everything they have done for you while planning and executing your wedding day, as well as the role they’ve played in getting you to this moment in your life. You could pick out an accessory to go with their wedding attire (like a necklace for Mom and cufflinks for Dad), or something you know they’ll wear or use every day (like watches or a digital photo frame). Alternatively, you could treat them (and yourself and your fiance) to a spa or massage day or weekend getaway (just the six of you), some time after the honeymoon, so all of you can process this new chapter in all of your lives, and create new traditions after all the wedding day excitement winds down.

Borrow Something From Their Wedding Day

Carrying something of your Mom’s or Dad’s with you down the aisle is a sweet way to show that you’ll always be close to them. You could wear your Mom’s wedding veil, or use the same pin to fasten the ribbons on your bouquet, or you could tuck Dad’s handkerchief in near your heart for drying your tears during your ceremony. But, this something borrowed could also be something duplicated from their wedding (like a champagne tower, or special dance) instead of an object. Just, be sure to get photos of the event, so you can always remember those special little details.

Use Their Favorite Flowers

Do your parents love lisianthus? Is their garden absolutely full of peonies? Whatever their favorite flower may be (if they have one), you could include a few blossoms in your bouquet, or, if the theme or budget allows, you could use the blooms throughout your wedding décor. If you can, be sure to use them in the corsages, too!

Thank Them in a Speech

It’s customary for newlyweds to give a speech or toast at their reception. So, a good idea is to shout out all of your parents upfront, thanking them for all they have done for you throughout your life and, more specifically, for helping bring your dream wedding to fruition. This is absolutely the perfect time to recall touching anecdotes and express gratitude for their abundance of guidance and support over the years. 

Think About Tradition

Even as modern weddings continue to become increasingly non-conventional, the odds are that your parents have at least one (or two) traditions they would love to see you incorporate into your wedding day. If there’s a particular wedding tradition that is customary to either of  your cultures of origin, you might want to consider including it in your ceremony, pre-ceremony festivities or during the reception. Whatever your background, integrating your family’s and culture’s cherished traditions is a great way to show your parents(and lineage) respect on your wedding day.