Tenured Tips

Surprising Your Parents on your Wedding Day

Yes, your best day ever (so far!) is all about the two of you and your union.

You are the guest of honor after all.

But as a person who values family and your guests’ experience, it’s only natural you want to sprinkle in a few surprises for your parents on your wedding day. And we couldn’t be more pleased. Because if there’s anything the past couple of years has taught us, it’s how important it is to keep our loved ones close. And when you have an opportunity to celebrate them, we think you should seize the day! 

Weddings are the perfect time to honor the people who’ve been by your side and who will soon see you down the aisle. So, here are a few of our favorite ways to surprise your parents on your wedding day.

Put on a Show

Your wedding is a party, a production, a once-in-a-lifetime celebration where you get to bring the wow factor to your guests. But if we had to guess, you also want those “wow moments” to mean something, especially for your parents. 

One way you can do this is through music. As you know, music has the unique ability to transport us to specific places or moments in time. And it can make us feel all the feels! So, when it comes to music, consider the special dances at the reception.

At one recent wedding, we honored the relationship our bride had with her dad. 

When Abby stepped onto the dance floor and took her dad’s hand, not only did a song play that was special to him (It Had to Be You), but a video of Abby singing the song as a kid replayed in the background. It was a genuinely tear-filled moment. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Another way to use music to surprise and delight your parents might be to dance to their own first dance song at the reception or to play it when they enter the ballroom for a sneak peek. We once even had a Father of the Bride, a renowned jazz musician, sit in with the band!

Another form of show-worthy entertainment?: fireworks! 

And we’re not talking sparklers. (However, those can be fun, too.**) We’re talking about full-on fireworks displays that bloom like flowers in the sky. 

Now, before you say, “But fireworks aren’t exactly meaningful”, consider this: Some fireworks spell out words and create images once ignited. So, you can customize them to say something special to your parents or use them to display a meaningful picture.  

**A note on sparklers: They always seem like a fun idea, but we’re generally not big fans of people drinking and handling sticks of fire! There are so many more fun, unique send-off ideas. And our team can personalize something for you!

No matter when or where you choose to add some sparkle, we can help you with the logistics required. Because, while most states allow sparklers, there are usually rules and laws for larger fireworks displays. But with us on your team, you won’t have to worry or stress. We’ll handle all the research and regulations, including securing permits and insurance. 

Create Something Meaningful

The Kate + Co. experience is all about getting to know you and your story. And we pull inspiration from even the smallest of details.

One of our brides told us her mom always sent the family weekly inspiration in the form of little quotes. So, we combined this with her love of butterflies to create “mom’s words of wisdom” on paper butterflies that served as guests’ escort cards and decorated the “seating garden”.

For another wedding, we incorporated the art of hand stitching. (Creating something with your own hands with the loving intention just pulls on the heartstrings, doesn’t it?)

For your wedding, you might leave a custom handkerchief inscribed with a personal message on your parent’s ceremony chair. Or sew a piece of your mom’s wedding gown onto the fabric you’ll wrap around your bouquet handle.

Even if you’re not sewing inclined, you can create something meaningful. Find a photo of your parents and put it in a charm or locket you secure to your bouquet. Write a heartfelt letter.  Or create a “Generations of Love” photo display. 

There are a ton of ideas out there! So if you want to go the creative route, we’re happy to help you pick one that will completely delight your folks.   

Wear Something Meaningful

Saying yes to a new dress is exciting, but what unbelievable treasure is hiding in the back of your mother’s closet? 

If she still owns her wedding dress, try it on and see how it looks. You might be surprised. If the dress doesn’t fit or isn’t your style, you might consider repurposing it or opt for wearing her veil instead. 

Or, if your mom is open to this, you might cut a small piece from her dress and your dad’s shirt or jacket and sew it into the hem of your own wedding-day attire. Or perhaps turn the lace from your mom’s gown into beautiful jewelry. 

We’ve had brides sew tiny, heart-shaped mementos into the hidden spots of their gowns. Of course, it wasn’t on display for the world to see, but they knew it was there. And it was such a nice surprise when their parents discovered that they had a little piece of their heart with them throughout the wedding day.

If you don’t like the idea of cutting up clothing, you could wear a piece of meaningful jewelry or wrap or pin a piece of jewelry around your bouquet. Or even display your mom’s – or grandmother’s – gown as a way to honor her. The possibilities are endless.

Ready to do something meaningful for your parents?

The ideas we just mentioned are only a handful of ways we can help you surprise your parents on your big day. If one of these ideas interests you, let’s talk about it! Or, better yet, let’s come up with a whole new way to wow Mom or Dad. 

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