In the now-classic Steve Martin 1991 film, a spotlight was cast on an important member of the bridal party that often gets left out when discussing best wedding gits: the father of the bride. In fact, the father of the bride is essential, in any case taking on more roles than you might be aware of–which is why it’s important to be able to brainstorm the best gift ideas.
Depending on preferences, a father of the bride may help on a number of aspects of wedding planning, from transportation to chipping in financially or even just giving emotional support. Of course, most of the time the father of the bride also gives a speech, which is considered one of the most important of the night, sharing memories and wishing the couple well.
While the father of the bride may serve a pivotal role in making for a meaningful celebration, however, it can be especially challenging to decide how to properly thank him. You’re in luck. This guide will answer your frequently asked questions, provide tips, and the best ideas for a father of the bride gift. No matter your budget, you can find a father of the bride gift that’s meaningful and heartfelt.
What are the best father of the bride gifts?
Now let’s take a look at the best ideas for father of the bride gifts. In order to make the process as simple as possible, we’ll organize gift ideas by category and also provide a range in terms of budget and style.
Finally, keep in mind that the best gift ultimately depends on what you feel good giving. While it can be challenging to find a gift for a father of the bride, it’s also true that it can be rewarding and a great way to share your love and appreciation.
1. For the Chef/ Foodie
If the father of the bride happens to like to cook– or even just appreciates food culture, there are plenty of gifs, both large and small that are great ideas that are fuss-free. In fact, the father of the bride needs to be no culinary genius, just someone who is interested. These also make great ideas for a ‘universal’ father of the bride gift for someone you may not be quite as close to.
Who doesn’t like a good condiment? Sauce kits are excellent in a few ways. For one, they are versatile, multi-use. For another, the customization and reusability make it a more lasting and memorable gift than simply buying products would be. In many cases, this would work well combined with another gift.
Consider the Artisanal BBQ Sauce Kit by William Sonoma. For fifty dollars, you’ll get base ingredients and bottles for three classic American BBQ sauce recipes. For the adventurous, consider a hot sauce kit like The Chili Lab, also fifty dollars and also available through William Sonoma. This kit allows you to make small batches of specialty hot sauces, which can be used with everything from steaks to eggs.
Wine and Food Clubs
Wine and food clubs are a great idea, best suited for a father of the bride who loves surprises. They’re a gift you can customize in terms of how much you spend, and monthly deliveries mean you’ll be thanking the father of the bride several times over. Just be careful which one you select: a good rule of thumb is to look at reviews and consult something like the Better Business Bureau to see if the company is reputable.
- For a wine club, consider the California Wine Club or Wine of the Month Club. Both options have an A plus rating from the BBB and generally positive customer reviews, with plenty of options for customization and different price points available.
- For food clubs, consider fruit of the month or snack club. A fruit of the month club like Harry and David’s is especially welcome if the father of the bride lives somewhere where fruit is not as fresh year-round, and you can opt for different month durations. Lines include organic; citrus; melody; classic; and even fruit and cheese. These fall more under the one hundred dollar and up range on average. Man Crates is a highly rated company that offers a variety of snack gift options, from pizza grilling kits to beer and food and more. You can even request personalized engravings.
Make Your Own
Of course, some of the best ideas come directly from you. If you happen to have time on your hands and don’t feel excited about other options, consider making your own basket for the father of the bride, including tools they might need, condiments, and personal notes and gift cards. You might even include a recipe that is meaningful.
- Appliances, such as coffee makers, coffee grinders, food processors, or even a homemade bread maker are also welcome additions.
2. For the Traveler
To be clear, while this category does work well for a seasoned traveler, the father of the bride need not be a globe trotter to enjoy this category. These gift ideas are best for a father of the bride who enjoys travel or travel culture, or may even be planning on going on a trip soon.
While you don’t want to get into all the things a father of the bride may need, you can give a lasting gift by making traveling just a bit easier.
- A set of personalized luggage is a great start. Shop Etsy for unique finds, with everything from a simple leather bag to a monogram carry on. Also consider adding personalized luggage tags or passport holders. Other retailers offering luggage with a personal touch include Mark and Graham and Luggage Pros.
- Consider small travel kits like this leather travel kit, that comes with options for personalization and waterproof, handcrafted leather–and stuff it inside with essentials and knick knacks personal for the father of the bride.
Of course not many are traveling constantly, so decorative ideas commemorating travel are also great gift ideas.
- Consider a personal touch on a globe, such as this Cork Globe by Personal Creations, where one can mark where they’ve been or want to go (retails at fifty dollars). For an upscale, classic option, it’s hard to go wrong with this just under hundred dollar globe by National Geographic.
- Other ideas include a Personalized Travel Map and World Map Wall Art.
4. For the Tech Lover
Electronic and tech focused gifts are good ideas in that the father of the bride is likely to use, and maybe to help them unwind surrounding or after all that goes into being involved in a wedding. If you want these gifts to feel more special or personal, you can always combine it with a personalized smaller gift (see category four below) or a note.
- Brown Leather Tech Organizer: Though this could also fall under the travel category, an organizer will be welcome for a father of the bride juggling different cords or small devices, with a well-made shell and the possibility for customization. A similar idea is a charging station.
- Sound Systems for music lover are also great ideas. Best selling smart speakers such as Sonos and Alexa Echo fall from seventy to a few hundred dollars. For a more retro touch, vinyl is now coming back in fashion: consider a turntable record player like Audio-Technica AT-LP60BK-BT, which retails for one hundred and thirty dollars and is Blue Tooth compatible. You might even pair with high-end noise canceling headphones like these from Bose Noise.
- Other Popular Options include e-readers like Kindle Paperwhite or a tablet-like Samsung Galaxy Tab A; smart watches from Apple or Samsung; and cameras with stunning features, like the four hundred dollar, waterproof GoPro Hero8. A more affordable but still impressive camera can be found with Digital Cameras with flip screens, like this one from Sunleo.
4. Make it Personal
Maybe you have a very close relationship with the father of the bride, are giving as a couple, or just are looking for a classic approach. Some of the best gift ideas fall under this category, because the personal touch makes them enduring, heartfelt gifts. In many cases, these tend to fall below that hundred or even seventy dollar mark–which works well for those on a tighter budget but could also be combined with another gift.
Custom Frames/ Ties & More
There are ample gifts you can select from, and it goes without saying that the level of personalization makes this a classic gift. From understated wooden frames (good for a gift from the bride), handkerchiefs; ties; and frames with song lyrics, these small gifts can provide a meaningful impact far beyond the smaller price tag.
Personal Photo Album
While simple on the surface, a photo album–whether digital or physical–is simply one of the best gifts a couple can give to a father of the bride (or even the parents of the bride). The price tag may by low, but this is a meaningful gift that can be as personal and heartfelt as you want to make it. Instead of focusing on who you are as a couple, ideally, this will focus on the father of the bride, and his relationship with the bride.
- Add photos, from childhood to now. You might organize either chronologically or by theme
- Add personal notes, lyrics, poems, and cards, ideally collected over the years
- Open and close with personalized notes or letters
- While a physical copy is always welcome, you can also consider digital albums, or even piecing together a video
Frequently Asked Questions about Best Father Gifts
General wedding etiquette recommends you do give the father of the bride a gift–but only if you’re within the bridal party. Tradition dictates that the groom is tasked with giving gifts to male members (which includes the best man, groomsmen, father of the bride and anyone giving toasts or who will rehearse with the rest of the party).
You may feel free, of course, to mix this tradition up as you see fit. For instance, for a more modern twist, the bride and groom could potentially work together to buy a gift both for the father of the bride and the mother of the bride. Exactly how or what you gift is up to personal preferences, but in general, the bridal party should give a gift to the father of the bride, and it’s not expected of wedding guests.
This is along the same theme, in that tradition holds that the bride gifts female members of the party. However, you are free to mix this tradition up as you see fit.
If you are a bride and want to gift your father, make sure it’s something personal. The gift ideally should reflect your personalities, and be lasting, or something your dad will remember.
If you go the traditional route, a father of the bride may fund, partially or even fully, the cost of reception or ceremony. In this case, this counts as the wedding gift. As more couples are shedding tradition, however, and funding their own weddings, or splitting costs in more modern ways, in that case, a father of the bride might give a gift.
How much you should spend on any gift depends on the budget. When thinking of the best gift ideas for anyone–from 14-year-old boys to anniversary gifts to gifts for moms-it’s important to keep in mind there are great ideas at every price point.
This also applies to a bridal party; however, you should spend what you feel reflects your appreciation and makes sense for you. Seventy to one hundred and fifty dollar gifts is a nice average to shoot for. For the father of the bride, you may spend a little more than groomsmen or bridesmaids, possibly, but you need not go above this range.
Where to Buy:
As you’ve seen, the best gift ideas for the father of the bride can come at all price points, from nearly everywhere. If you’re looking for food or travel specific gifts, consider individual vendors. Amazon has options for tech gifts, while a site like Etsy is a goldmine for unique and personalized gifts.
Looking for other gift ideas for the important people in your life? Check out these recommended reads:
- Best Anniversary Presents for Your Parents for Every Milestone You love them! So find the best anniversary presents for your parents, get great ideas for every anniversary milestone to say you love them.
- 10 Super Retirement Gifts for a Super Mom Got a super mom who’s retiring? Here are my best retirement gifts for mom that she’ll really love. Get the full list here & get shopping.
- 10 Responsible But Still Totally Cool 21st Birthday Gifts Someone turning 21? Need the perfect gift? Here are 10 best 21st birthday gifts that are totally cool, that they’ll really love. Get the full list here.