Huffpost Weddings

What You Should Know About Thanking Parents On The Big Day

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The rules of wedding etiquette are constantly changing, making it difficult for modern brides, grooms and guests to find up-to-date and correct information. But here at HuffPost Weddings, we're all about making your life easier. That's why we've launched #MannersMondays, a weekly series in which we ask our followers on Twitter and Facebook to submit their most burning etiquette-related questions. Then, with the help of our team of etiquette experts, we get you the right answers to your biggest Big Day dilemmas. You can send yours via Facebook or tweet it to us @HuffPostWedding with the hashtag #MannersMondays. Check out this week's question below!


Hayley Norton
How do I give my 'rents the public thank you they deserve without making my fiance feel bad? His dad hasn't helped AT ALL.

Anna Post -- great-great-granddaughter of etiquette guru Emily Post and author of Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette -- is here to help us answer this week's question. Find out what she had to say below:

"It’s unlikely that you’d say anything hurtful, though it’s really thoughtful to think about your fiancé’s feelings. First, talk together about rehearsal dinner and wedding reception toasts in general. It’s a good idea to have a plan for who will give speeches. This is more important at the reception, which typically has fewer and shorter toasts than the more intimate, loose, sometimes even open-mic feel of the rehearsal dinner.

As the bridal couple, you don’t have to make any kind of public speech or thank-you at your wedding at all. Some weddings just have a toast from the best man and maid/matron of honor. If you want to make a public thank-you to your parents, talk it over with your fiancé. 'I want to thank my parents for everything they’ve done, but I don’t want to sideline your dad. What should I/we say in my/our public thank-yous?' This lets you bring it up in a positive light. It’s also entirely possible that you’re worrying about this on his behalf while he is thinking about whether or not he can get you to agree to have bratwursts served at the after-party. I have personally found similar scenarios to be true with my own fiancé.

If you do decide to do a public thank-you, show your appreciation the way you would want to. Chances are you’ll be just fine to thank your parents without it being a commentary on his dad. Just avoid anything that could be heard as a comparison. Go with something along the lines of, 'Mom and Dad, thank you so much for helping make today happen. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate it.' Remember that you/your husband can thank his father for love and support in general. It's not just about hours spent on flower arrangements or big-ticket financial help.

If you are referring to a lack of financial help from his father, know that these days, any combination—or absence—of funding is okay. Some couples do opt for tradition: The bride’s parents pay for the wedding and reception and the groom’s family picks up the tab for the rehearsal dinner. But tradition isn’t the only road any more. Many couples pay for the whole wedding, while others split costs between the parents in any number of ways. There is no 'have to' or 'must' anymore in terms of who helps pay the costs of a wedding."

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Around the Web

10 Wedding Thank-You Gifts for Parents - Bridal Guide

Wedding Thank-You Notes: The Fill-in-the-Blank Edition - Real Simple