It is becoming increasingly popular to give the mother of the groom a gift as a gesture of appreciation and a warm welcome into the bride’s family. While not always expected, it can be a thoughtful way to honor the groom’s mom and make her feel special on her son’s big day. There are no hard and fast rules, but some general gift ideas and etiquette to keep in mind.
Is it required to give a gift?
Giving a gift is not required, but it can be a nice gesture. Some key factors to consider:
- If you have a good relationship with your future mother-in-law, it is more customary to give a gift
- A gift may be more expected if she is hosting or paying for some wedding events
- It is becoming increasingly popular to give a gift, but still not an absolute must
- Use your best judgment based on your relationship and circumstances
The bottom line is that a gift is optional but can be a thoughtful touch if you would like to honor your groom’s mom. Don’t feel obligated, but it can be a nice way to make her feel appreciated.
When do I give the gift?
Some popular times to give the gift include:
- At the rehearsal dinner
- Morning of the wedding while getting ready
- At the reception
- While opening other gifts after the wedding
Aim to give the gift sometime over the wedding weekend when you’ll see the mother of the groom. That way she can express her appreciation and delight over the gift.
Gift ideas for the mother of the groom
Consider the groom’s mom’s taste, personality and your relationship as you select a gift. Some popular ideas include:
A personalized gift can be especially thoughtful. Some ideas:
- Monogrammed jewelry or accessories
- Photo frame or album with pictures of her son
- Personalized stationery or notecards
- Robe or spa towel monogrammed with her initials
Give her a memorable experience to enjoy in the location of the wedding:
- Spa or salon package
- Massage or facial
- Afternoon tea
- Tour of local sights
- Wine tasting
Let her hold onto wedding memories with a keepsake like:
- Photo book from wedding photos
- scrapbook or photo album
- Custom ornament featuring wedding photo
- Framed wedding invitation
Treat her to an indulgence like:
- Designer handbag
- Cashmere scarf or wrap
- Luxury robe and slippers
- statement jewelry piece
Play to the heartstrings with a gift like:
- Charm bracelet
- Locket with photo of her son
- “Mother of the Groom” hankie or handkerchief
- Custom bouquet charm or trinket box
Help her relax and rejuvenate:
- Luxury candle and lotion set
- Soaking salts or bath bombs
- Gift basket of face masks and foot scrubs
- Satin pillowcase for beauty rest
Wedding day emergency kit
This is both practical and thoughtful:
- Personalized clutch or bag
- Lipstick, compact, and other touch-up items
- Breath mints
- Bandages and safety pins
- Hand wipes and lotion
- Emergency stain remover stick
- Snacks like nuts and granola bars
How much should I spend?
As a guideline, plan to spend $75-$150 on a gift for the mother of the groom. Consider your budget and relationship. A luxurious gift in the $150-$200 range can be appropriate for an especially close relationship or if she is hosting wedding events. At the same time, even a heartfelt $50 gift is still a nice gesture.
Should I give a gift if I’m not close with my future mother-in-law?
If your relationship is strained or distant, you don’t need to feel obligated to give a gift. A short heartfelt note on the wedding day can be a nice gesture instead. However, if she has been welcoming and you want to build a relationship, a small gift or including her in getting ready robes can send a positive signal. Use your best judgment based on the relationship.
Do I need to give a gift if she is helping to pay for the wedding?
If your groom’s mother is generously contributing financially to the wedding, it is especially thoughtful to give her a gift. Along with a heartfelt thank you note, a gift honours her support and excitement for your marriage. Even if she says a gift is not necessary, it is customary and kind to still give her something meaningful.
Should the gift come from me only or from both me and my fiancé?
Either approach is fine. You may choose to select and give the gift yourself as a gesture from the bride. Or the gift can come from both of you as a couple, which also perfectly acceptable. Another option is to get her a small gift from yourself and a joint gift from you and your groom. Do what feels right for your relationship.
What if she insists she doesn’t want anything?
Even if she asks not to give her anything, it’s still considerate to honor her with a small token of appreciation. Opt for something heartfelt rather than lavish, like a sentimental photo frame or charm bracelet. And include a genuine note expressing your gratitude for raising the wonderful man you’re marrying.
Should I give a gift to the groom’s stepmother?
If your groom’s father has remarried, use your best judgment in deciding whether to give his stepmother a gift. If she has been an important part of your groom’s life and wedding planning, it is thoughtful to give her a gift or include her if you’re getting ready robes. If she is less involved, a nice note on the wedding day can convey that you’re happy she is joining the family.
Do I also need to give gifts to my groom’s siblings?
Giving small gifts to the groom’s siblings is not expected or required. You will likely exchange gifts down the road as in-laws. However, if you have a close relationship and want to honor their support, small tokens or putting together a “groom’s side” gift basket can be thoughtful. Use your own discretion.
What if my fiancé’s mother passed away?
If the groom’s mother has passed, you can honor her memory in special ways. Some ideas are:
- Have a photo charm or locket made for the groom with her picture
- Donate to a charity she supported in her name
- Include her in any family memorial rituals or traditions
- Mention her in your speech and toast if appropriate
Do what feels comfortable for your groom. Talk to him about how he’d like to remember and include her.
Should I write a card to go with the gift?
A handwritten note or heartfelt card is a thoughtful final touch. Express your gratitude for raising the man you love and welcoming you into the family. Share your excitement to bond as mother and daughter-in-law. Add any personal details about how much her support has meant. A genuine note makes the gift extra special.
Creative ways to give the gift
Along with the gift itself, create a memorable moment with a creative presentation:
- Place gift in a large box or bag she has to unwrap item by item
- Tie your note to the gift with ribbon or twine
- Hide clues around her room and lead her on a fun hunt to find the gift
- Coordinate a special mother-son dance at the reception to present the gift
- Have a toast at the rehearsal dinner and give her the gift then
Make the experience fun and personalized. Her reaction and delight will make all your effort worthwhile.
Focus on appreciation, not obligation
Most importantly, don’t feel forced to give a gift out of obligation. While gifts for the mother of the groom are increasingly common, your wedding should ultimately reflect your family relationships and traditions. If a gift doesn’t feel natural or is not in your budget, don’t feel compelled. Your own note of thanks is still meaningful. Focus on appreciation, not obligation.
Giving the mother of the groom a gift is an increasingly popular tradition to honor her on your wedding day. While not strictly required, it can be a thoughtful gesture if you have a warm relationship and want to make her feel special. Select a personalized, sentimental gift within your budget that fits her taste. Present it over the wedding weekend with a heartfelt card for a truly memorable reaction fit for such an important woman on your big day. Most importantly, let your own relationships and sincerity guide your decision, not pressure or obligation. With some mindful effort, your gift can become a cherished memento representing your new bond as her daughter-in-law.