Our 2018 Wedding Welcome Gift Blog Series has flown by! (Catch yourself up here on what to include in your gift bags and here on how to create a welcome letter for your gift boxes). Today is our third and final installment and we’re sharing our best tips on making sure your wedding welcome gifts go off without a hitch. Logistics are often the most overlooked part of creating wedding welcome gifts but are absolutely the part that can make or break your wedding gifting experience. Sure, the gifts still need to be well curated, unique and beautiful no matter what. But these things don’t matter if the gifts don’t arrive when and where they’re supposed to. Without further adieu, let’s talk execution!
Image: Red October Photography
Order in Advance
This might seem like a no-brainer but I can’t tell you how many brides I hear from in a panic because they hoped to create welcome gifts on their own but were shocked to see how long lead times were on some items! Be sure to prepare early and add some buffer time to your ordering to avoid missing items days before your wedding. Also factor in additional time if the gift contents you order are breakable. It’s not uncommon for a few to show up damaged and then the ordering process to replace those starts all over again.
Plan for Perishables
On the other end of the spectrum, perishable items should be picked up as close to the wedding date as possible. No one likes a stale cookie or muffin. If you are making the gifts yourself, be sure to assign a bridesmaid or family member to help out with the pick-up and gift building so you minimize the number of days between when the perishables arrive and when the gifts are assembled and actually delivered.
Image: Lissa Ryan Photography
Review Rooming Lists
Double (and triple) check the rooming lists for your hotel blocks to ensure everyone who deserves a gift actually receives a gift! It’s pretty standard to provide one box per couple but if two friends without “plus ones” are sharing a hotel room, we assign two gifts to that room!
Let the Hotel Know you are Coming
There’s nothing worse for a hotel concierge team than having 100+ welcome gifts show up out of nowhere when they’re in the middle of assisting other guests. Avoid overwhelming the hotel staff by letting them know when you’re planning to drop off welcome gifts and the size and quantity of the gifts. When you arrive, it’s time to review the info again. Go over the rooming lists and any special requests with them (ie rooms with food allergies) so they are clear on the instructions. The hotels will really appreciate the heads up and most importantly, it will help them avoid mistakes.
We’re back today with Part Two of our three-part Wedding Series and if you didn’t catch Part One it’s not too late to catch up here with tips on what to include in your wedding welcome bags. Today, we’re talking about one of our all-time favorite topics…welcome letters! One of the best ways to make your out-of-town guests feel VIP is to include a wedding welcome letter or booklet inside your wedding welcome gifts. But it’s not just for show. These letters and booklets are useful too! They guide your guests around unfamiliar territory (especially if you are having a destination wedding!) and most importantly, provide them with all the details of your wedding weekend itinerary. Wedding welcome letters can also offer a sneak peak into the design and overall feel of your wedding as well as sincere messages of appreciation from you. And who doesn’t want to feel appreciated as they’re welcomed to town?
Write a gracious and heartfelt note to your guests. Convey your thanks for making the trip to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime occasion that surely wouldn’t be the same without them there with you. While most all of your guests know you well and are familiar with your love story, there may be “plus ones” who don’t know you as well. You might reference a special detail or two about how you met or why your wedding location has special significance to you and your relationship.
One of the most common items to include in a welcome wedding letter is the itinerary for the wedding weekend. Make sure to clearly state the event, venue location, address, time, and don’t forget to specify attire. The ceremony and reception locations are most commonly included but don’t forget the smaller events surrounding the wedding such as welcome dinner, wedding after-party, morning-after brunch and/or any other group activities and excursions.
Bus pick-up times and locations! This is SO important. We’ve heard horror stories of guests not knowing where or when to be picked up and getting left behind. Just like with the wedding itinerary, clearly state the pick-up locations and times. If you’re not offering group transportation, that’s okay. You can still offer your guests help but offering phone numbers to local, reputable cab companies and of course, Uber and Lyft if available in the area. Uber even offers options specifically for events, info found here.
This part can be a lot of fun! When guests are coming in from out of town, they may have some downtime during the wedding weekend especially if they decide to extend their stay beyond the weekend. In your ‘Things To Do’ section, spill the beans on your favorite restaurants, bars, activities, and opportunities for sightseeing. If any of these places have special meaning to you, let your guests know why. It will mean more to them when they visit.
Custom maps are not only unique and memorable but can be extremely functional. For example, for weddings in cities where guests have the ability to walk from place to place, we love the idea of a custom-designed walking map. Include the basics such the ceremony and receptions venues but also notable landmarks and useful locations such as pharmacies, Starbucks and other frequently-visited spots your guests may need during their stay.
If you’re the one getting married, please please please resist the urge to offer your contact information in the welcome letter! Even if you have an award-winning wedding planner, you will still be busy. Why add a number at all, you ask? Well, emergencies can happen. Someone gets lost or issues may arise with the hotel. While it’s not up to you to fix it, it’s up to you to provide an emergency contact. The best point of contact is your wedding planner or someone not in your wedding party but reliable and familiar with the wedding weekend schedule. But pretty please, anyone but you!
Wedding guests tend to have a better time when they know other people who are attending! It can be fun to clue your guests in on who’s who ahead of time. This can mean introducing the wedding party in your welcome booklet or taking it a step further and offering a guide of who’s coming to the wedding. Guesterly does an awesome job of this and makes it incredibly easy for you to pull the guest info together and even helps you present it in a fun, creative way.
Make it Blend
Once you have the important content figured out, now you can focus on the aesthetics of the welcome letter. This is the fun part! Make sure the design coordinates well with the style and color palette of your welcome gifts. Ideally, your welcome inserts can be designed along with your other wedding paper…invitations, signage, day-of paper, etc.
We hope these tips have helped you map out your welcome letter and get started! Often times, getting started is half the battle. For more information on our signature Custom Gift Design Service, including welcome letters and booklets, visit us here.
As a professional gift designer, I often get asked for advice on what to include when curating wedding welcome gifts so I figured it was time for a three-part blog series all about these types of gifts and today is Part One! When designing wedding welcome bags, I take into consideration many factors such as location, wedding style, budget, color palette and even the personalities and interests of the couple. But overall, the most important thing is to make sure the gift are as well-balanced and as unique to the couple and their wedding as possible. Read on for some ideas today and then stay tuned because we have two more posts coming in this series later this week and next!
Image: Lissa Ryan Photography
Including a meaningful keepsake is a fantastic way to leave your guests with something to remember your wedding by. I adore city-specific coasters or even a notecard set featuring artwork depicting landmarks of the city where you’re getting married. You can even let your gift packaging double as a keepsake by choosing a tote with a screen-printed map of the area. You can also highlight hobbies or interests that play a role in your relationship. Have fun and get creative!
This is a great opportunity to choose something special to you and your fiance. Do you and your fiancé have a favorite bakery nearby? Maybe an individually-wrapped brownie or cookie from this establishment would be the perfect sweet (and meaningful!) snack. Are you having a seaside wedding? Salt water taffy is a great ocean-inspired option to satisfy your guests’ sugar cravings. If you want to tie in your wedding color palette into the gift, macarons are a fantastic way to show off your wedding colors, these from Olivia Macaron. Or, perhaps you simply want to welcome your guests with a celebratory vibe. Champagne Gummy Bears or Champagne Bubbles by Sugarfina are always a Marigold & Grey favorite!
Image: Lissa Ryan Photography
Balance out the sweet with some good old-fashioned salty! Some ideas we like include salted peanuts, flavorful crackers, bagel crisps, pita chips, trail mix, popcorn, gourmet potato chips or maybe even some high-quality beef jerky.
Let’s face it. It’s pretty annoying to check into a hotel and discover that bottled water isn’t included in the room. Help your guests stay hydrated especially since they’ll be enjoying cocktails and dancing the night away at your reception! For an added touch, consider sparkling water. Mini San Pellegrino bottles always look nice. Also, consider seasonally appropriate drinks such a gourmet hot chocolate for a winter wedding or a spring IPA beer from a local brewery.
Image: Lissa Ryan Photography
Custom Paper Goods
Chances are, you have all the particulars spelled out on your wedding website as well as the invitation suite you mailed out. But, once guests arrive in town, they may not have easy access to all the info. Make it easy for them by creating a weekend timeline along with any necessary maps to help them get to where they need to be. Also, don’t forget a heartfelt message thanking your guests for making the trip. Take it a step further and create a booklet of the “who’s who” of your wedding party or even the background into your love story.
Lastly, pull it all together with memorable finishing touches that take the gifts to the next level and really stay in your guests memory long after the wedding is over. This means ribbon that color coordinates perfectly with your wedding palette, tied in the most perfect bow. It can even mean greenery, either inside or outside of the box or bag.
Image: Lissa Ryan Photography
Remember to have fun with these and create something uniquely yours! Don’t have time to create welcome gifts for your guests? Find out more about our Custom Design Service here.
My team teases me because they claim that I declare each and every gift design my “absolute favorite”. Okay, so maybe I’m guilty of this but let’s face it, there’s something special about getting THAT excited about each project that goes out our studio door. Which is why it was nearly impossible to select just ten gift designs for this year’s “Top 10” list. We took into consideration, not only our own favorites, but also evaluated our blog posts and social media accounts to see what you all were loving as well!
Southern Hat Boxes
Planned and designed by Rhiannon Bosse Celebrations, S & A’s vision for the wedding welcome gifts involved treating their Sea Island, Georgia guests to gifts unlike anything they’d ever seen before. The plan was to present the guests with their gifts upon arriving at the welcome dinner that kicked off the wedding weekend and from what we hear, the guests were blown away. We created a southern aesthetic using french blue on large round hat boxes along with plenty of monogramming by MMInk Studio throughout the gift for a cohesive look. Contents included tote bags featuring an artistic map of Sea Island, cashews, custom monogrammed cookies by Sugar Studio, monogrammed packages of biscotti by Buttercream Bakeshop, monogrammed packages of kettle corn popcorn, Savannah Bee honey, honey dippers, and two large bottles of water! As you can tell, the keyword here was “monogram” and we loved every bit of bringing this vision to life.
When NBA star Harrison Barnes and his then-fianceé Brittany were planning their Newport, Rhode Island wedding with the design and planning expertise of Couture Parties, they knew they wanted very special wedding welcome gifts to wow their guests. We selected several seaside-inspired items such as salt water taffy, local kettle corn popcorn, and last but not least, adorable sailboat cookies by Sugar Studio. However, what really set these gifts apart was the custom illustration work we commissioned Alli K Design to do for the welcome letters designed by Just Write Studios. Not only did the welcome booklets feature the normal itinerary and transportation information, but also a series of illustrations portraying “where they met”, “where she said yes” and “where they’ll say I Do”. We used beautifully-textured baskets with luxe burgundy ribbon to perfectly mirror the organic feel of the event. We finished them off with gift tags featuring an illustration of wedding venue, Rose Cliff Mansion.
These wedding welcome gifts are proof that relatively simple gifts can be dressed up with thoughtful, intentional details and brought to a whole new level. We used kraft tuck-top boxes for the packaging, an economical choice, but then incorporated artwork done by the mother-of-the-bride into the gift tags plus flowy ivory ribbon to take things up a notch. The contents inside these farm-inspired gift boxes were Maryland-inspired (think Bergers cookies and crab chips!) and enjoyed by all out of town guests at this late-fall Carte Blanche Events celebration. Fresh sprigs of rosemary added the perfect seasonal touch!
Classic, neutral, modern, chic. All of these words describe the look we recreated in these monogrammed wedding welcome gift boxes for a lovely Soco Events couple. Perhaps you remember us telling you about them here earlier this year? We used deluxe white gift boxes, custom welcome letters with itinerary information and a DC city map, along with DC-inspired treats. Oh, and we can’t forget the Garrett’s popcorn, a nod to the groom’s Chicago roots!
These next gift boxes were created for two ultra-fun grooms with tons of style. They let us have full creative freedom with these modern masculine gifts so we first started with Washington, DC sourced snacks to welcome the guests to their Meridien House wedding. (Think Teds Bulletin pop tarts and D.C. monument chocolates!) Then we also tied in snacks local to each of the grooms’ home states, Iowa and Mississippi. But here’s where it becomes fun. Because they’re both mega Beyoncé fans (we’re talking FRONT ROW at several shows!!) we of course couldn’t resist including Bey in the form of a cookie by Sugar Studio. The cookies definitely got all of the guests talking immediately upon arriving to this flawlessly designed event by A. Dominick Events and from what we hear from the guys, guests are STILL talking about these welcome boxes months later. Grey and white accordion-style welcome booklets were designed by Cheree Berry Paper along with the couple’s monogram. With the monogram being a circle, we turned into gold foil medallions and affixed them to white gift tags for a three dimensional effect.
These blue, white and peachy blush gifts were another example of using basic white flip top boxes and filling them to the absolute brim with goodies for the guests. Cashews, dried apricots, pretzel crisps, locally-baked confetti cookies and even a custom amenity kit. But can we talk about the gift tags and welcome letters? The couple’s watercolor monogram by Lemontree Calligraphy was carried all the way through to the welcome gifts and definitely set the stage for this beautifully-designed Ohio wedding, planned by MMJ Events.
These dusty blue and white gable boxes for an Easton Events Pippin Hill couple were the epitome of tasteful, southern hospitality. We included elements of both Maryland and Virginia but also a bag of pistachio nuts from the company owned by the bride’s grandfather. He even had special custom packaging designed just for the pistachios so they treat bags would reflect the color palette of the wedding. What a guy, right?! For an additional meaningful touch, we added Bequet caramels from Jackson Hole, a favorite spot of the couple’s. We finished the gift boxes off with flowy dusty blue ribbon by Torn & Tied which tied in perfectly with the accordian-style welcome booklets designed by Jess McSweeney.
Image: Red October Photography
Image: Red October Photography
Image: Red October Photography
Modern Metallic Welcome Boxes
These particular curated gift boxes were a challenge in the best way! We knew we wanted a breakfast-in-bed concept but also had to keep everything in blacks, whites and metallics to mirror the modern design created by Grit & Grace for the couple’s Mellon Auditorium wedding. For personal touches, we included tupelo honey as a nod to the bride’s Tupelo Mississippi roots. With the groom’s family hailing from Ireland, Irish breakfast tea was a must! Black and white modern welcome letters and matching gift tags were created by DC-based Paperzest and were the perfect finishing touch.
While it’s obvious our year involved mostly gift boxes and gift baskets, we can’t forget this particular Fairmont Hotel Grit & Grace wedding where we used tote bags with a custom printed illustration of Washington, DC by Dandelion Patch! Packed to the gills with all of the couple’s favorite snacks, these wedding guests were definitely not going hungry! Fun snacks like Swedish Fish, M&Ms, Pirate’s Booty, local trail mix and Route 11 chips were included along with custom welcome letters and tags, also by Dandelion Patch. While all of these snacks were fun, let’s face it, the custom cookies resembling the couple’s Old English Sheepdog (named Larry!!) absolutely stole the show. (Cookies by Sugar Studio again)
We are rounding out our lineup with these simple, neutral, and classically beautiful DC-inspired wedding welcome gifts for a sweet Engaging Affairs couple. The goal for these gifts was to incorporate elements of DC, Maryland AND Virginia into the gifts and we did so with Virginia peanuts, Kinderhook Snacks from Baltimore and DC monument chocolates from Chouquette. The other goal was to keep the gifts neutral and without a lot bright colors to act as an extension of the muted color palette of the event. We selected deluxe white gift boxes, taupe ribbon, and white gift tags with gold ink. Even the gift contents themselves were neutral in color. It’s no secret that we love working with neutrals and so this project was an absolute joy.
After revealing our top wedding welcome gift designs from 2016 and now again this year in 2017, we definitely hope to make this an annual tradition! We hope you’ve enjoyed the round-up and are dying to know…which one is your favorite? We’d love to know! (And if your favorite didn’t make the list, we’d love to know that too!) Drop us a note in the comments. We always love hearing from you! (For information on Custom Gift Design Service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Neutral weddings are a favorite of ours here at studio Marigold & Grey and so are modern wedding welcome gifts. The more neutrals the better, if you ask us! This project combines elements of both and so naturally, we are over the moon excited to share with you a recent custom gift design project we created for a classic Washington DC wedding at the iconic Mellon Auditorium, planned by Soco Events!
To achieve this classic modern aesthetic, we selected white gift boxes that tie with white grosgrain ribbon. The boxes even featured the couple’s gold foil monogram on the top. For this particular curated gift box design, we ditched our usual calligraphy gift tag all together in order to achieve this clean, sophisticated, chic look.
As for gift box contents, our goal was to incorporate local items native to the DC, Maryland and Virginia area. Therefore, we included Virginia peanuts, a custom cookie in the shape of the US Capitol dome by Sugar Studio, and local artisan chocolates. The groom happens to be obsessed with Garrett’s popcorn and so, of course, we included a bag of their “Garrett’s Mix” which combines both sweet and savory together! It was also perfect the Garrett’s bags were all in neutrals. It was meant to be!
In addition to sweet and savory snacks, the gift boxes also included useful items such as Voss water and custom hangover kits with Advil, Pepto, and the cutest little Altoid tins. We packaged them in our signature drawstring pouches with a soft grey first aid symbol for added effect.
It’s not a secret that we are huge fans of custom welcome letters and these were certainly no exception. One side has a sentimental welcome message with an illustration of the DC skyline and the back side had important details such as the transportation schedule and weekend itinerary. By the way, in case you’re looking for tips on how to write a fabulous welcome letter for your own wedding welcome gifts, visit HERE.
At the end of each year, we do a recap of our very favorite welcome gifts (perhaps you caught our recap from 2016?) and I have a feeling that these are definitely going to make the list! They have modern gift packaging, a cohesive color palette, locally sourced gift contents, a coordinating custom welcome letter, gold foil monogramming…need I say more?
We’d love to know what you think of these gifts! Please leave us a note in the comments or reach out via our contact page. For more information on our Custom Gift Design Service, you can access our inquiry for here. We appreciate you reading and as always, we’d love to hear from you!
When Cate Thorin, owner of Ivy & Honor, approached me about creating a fall-into-winter wedding welcome box for her upcoming editorial shoot with Lissa Ryan Photography at the Black Horse Inn, I was immediately on board. While there are countless wedding planners and wedding photographers who get together to create beautiful fall wedding inspiration, I immediately knew that this opportunity was be unique because of the special focus on family heirlooms.
We selected an antiqued wood crate with a slight grey wash to give it an older more weathered look. We filled it with a black bottle of bubbly, some citrus to mirror the citrus elements used throughout the rest of the editorial, and gourmet cookies packaged in a drawstring pouch.
For finishing touches, ivory tulle lined the crate for a softened look along with pine cones, dusty blue silk ribbon and a hand-lettered calligraphy tag by Poppy & Scooter. Now let’s check out some of the other gorgeous details that the design team pulled together, starting with this lush tablescape complete with dreamy autumn florals (La Fleur du Jour).
As I said before, the heirlooms that played a role in this editorial gave it a meaningful and everlasting feel. First, a bible that had been in the family for generations along with vintage family photos and even an heirloom engagement ring (Trumpet & Horn)!
And can we talk about this cake (Catherine George Cakes) for a second?! The classic white with the pops of deep navy and plum really make a statement together! And then the stationery suite complete with custom illustrations and endless hand lettering, all by Lady G Paperie.
And now for the most important part of all, the bride and groom. With the bride’s dramatic makeup (Makeup by Kevan) and dreamy, feminine gown (Wren Bridal) plus the groom’s dapper attire and sincere expression, this is one is one for the ages.
It was such an honor to collaborate with such a talented team and we cannot wait to do it again. Even though we are super busy with creating custom wedding welcome gifts and corporate event gifts for “real” events, it’s always a great to exercise your creativity with editorial shoots. Thank you Ruffled for the feature and thank you Ivy & Honor for including us…again soon please!