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What to Bring When Meeting the Parents

Meeting the ‘rents can be rough.


Meeting the significant other’s parents for the first time is a complete crapshoot. Sure, you got a heads-up on what to expect from the parents, but that’s before you actually meet. In the moment, the dynamic all changes and you can only hope for the best and prepare for the worst. With any luck, the same charm that won over your significant other will earn some points with mom. As for dad, well, you’re probably starting off in the red, so practicing using “Sir”.

And then, magically, you make it past the meet-and-greet. But don’t get complacent just yet. You still need to keep up the effort and impress even on the casual drop-ins. This is their favored child, after all. They need to know you’re still the person you once appeared to be, and confidence in this fact is paramount. From the first time you meet the ‘rents to the visit that shares the news of you two tying the knot, you need to be on your A-game. This is how you come prepared.


First Time in the Lion’s Den

Dominique Ansel Cronuts
If you’re heading over to meet her parents for dinner, let them know you’ll take care of dessert, and then knock it out of the park. Mom or Dad is going to be busy enough with dinner, if they know you’re bringing dessert, it’s one less thing on their mind, and you’ll look like an all-star. But don’t just settle for cannolis from the local Italian bakery — go for world-famous Cronuts from Dominique Ansel. They’re fun, tasty and trendy. You can’t go wrong. $5

Flowers for Her Mom
A few flowers for Mom can go a long way. It’ll show you’re thoughtful and caring; two attributes parents definitely like to see. But be smart about your choice in bouquet. You don’t want to get an arrangement you can’t even hide behind your back, but you don’t want to go single rose either. The object is to get the dad on your side, not make it look like you’re pushing him out of the picture. The Bouqs have arrangements for all occasions, taking at least some of the pressure off making the right floral choice. $50

Luc et Denis Lattard Syrah
Never show up dry. But buying wine is a delicate balance — you don’t want to go too expensive, because then it just looks like you’re showboating. You also don’t want to get a $10 two-liter bottle of red they’ll end up using to cook dinner. Luc aet Dennis Syrah is lofty and classy wine, yet it won’t break the bank. $15

Olympic Provisions Salami
$145 (Membership)

Italian Cheese Collection

Auto Wine Preserver

Vermont Artisan Cheese Crackers

Dominique Ansel Classic Macaron Box

Casual Drop-In

Quiet Reminder You’re Still Around

New Belgium Folly Pack
You can never tell what kind of beer people love, so just throw as many darts at the board as you can and get a variety pack. Between the summer ale, amber ale, session IPA and wheat beer, the New Belgium Variety pack has something for everyone. Because even if you’ve got her dad on your side, you still have to win over her brothers. $18

Burgers for the Grill
You made it past the first date and you two are heading over to the parents’ house for a casual drop-in or family BBQ. Keep up the effort and bring over some quality meats to throw on the grill. Even if it’s just burgers, get some damn tasty ones. Allen Brothers have everything from bison to Wagyu beef patties. And if you can’t win someone over with a Wagyu beef burger, well, then you’ve got bigger problems. $65+

Craft Beer Glasses
A simple gift but a useful gift, especially if you just brought over a case of the aforementioned craft beer. The beer glasses can be used for the immediate, but also prove welcome down the road. Hopefully a long-term keepsake like this proves to be a reflection of your own staying power. $5

Wine Rack

More Meat

EarthArt: Colours of the Earth

Experimental Eating

Wine Decanter

Asking for Permission to Marry

You’re Almost Home Free


Single Malt and Champagne
You may be best friends with Pops at this point, but a little extra credit never hurt anybody. And no one has ever turned down a bottle of single malt. Softening him up with a glass of Balcone Texas Single Malt before you try to tie the knot can only better your chances. Provided you get the go-ahead, have a bottle of some good bubbly in reserve, because now, it’s a celebration. $70 (Single Malt) $55 (Champagne)

Humble Pie
At this point, there’s no real dish you can bring to warm the parents up to you, if they haven’t already. The only plate to bring would be a healthy slice of humble pie, to serve yourself. Even if you won them over on first impressions, now’s not the time to get cocky. (And bring an actual pie. Everyone loves pie.) $8+

Champagne Flutes
You’ll need something to pour the champagne into, and this way her parents will always have something to remember the day by. $78


Cigar Lighter

The Ring

Cigar Cutter

Champagne Sabre

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