Featured in Southern Weddings Magazine // Virginia Wedding Welcome Gifts

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

Truth time. I almost fell over and died when I realized our Virginia-inspired wedding welcome gift box design earned a full-page spread in the most recent issue of Southern Weddings magazine! I’m not only thrilled to share with you the feature but also dish all the details behind this very special Virginia-themed gift.

We wanted a very natural, yet refined, look for this design. I set the tone with a natural pine box and filled it with gourmet trail mix in a drawstring bag, almonds in a clear glass jar, two fresh pears, Pellegrino, and a cookie in the shape of a dogwood by Two Sugars Studio. The dogwood is state flower of Virginia!

We finished the gift off with a soft sage silk ribbon and modern calligraphy gift tag by Poppy & Scooter. A custom welcome booklet featuring the couple’s names and a hand-drawn illustration of their wedding venue was designed and bound with coordinating velvet ribbon. Also by Poppy & Scooter.

We are HUGE fans of Southern Weddings around here and so it’s a huge, amazing, fantastic, unbelievable honor to be featured! (Not to mention, I’m a Virginia girl born and raised so all Virginia gift designs have a special place in my heart.) We’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave us a note in the comments or reach out via our contact page. For more information on custom gift design for Virginia gifts or any other state in the US, visit HERE.

Top 6 Wedding Welcome Gift Etiquette Questions Answered

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

As a gift designer who creates custom wedding welcome gifts for wedding planners and engaged couples, we get a ton of questions about the etiquette for out-of-town hotel gift bags. Today, I’m sharing these FAQs along with our answers.

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography: Paper: Bella Jenna

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography: Paper: Bella Jenna

Q: Who gets a wedding welcome gift?

A: Typically, wedding welcome gifts are reserved for guests coming in from out of town. It’s usually one gift per couple or per hotel room. If a room is being shared by two single people without “plus ones”, then each of those guests would receive their own gift.

Q: What info do we include in the welcome letter?

Perhaps you caught our how-to on welcome letters? The welcome letters you create for your wedding welcome baskets are a GREAT way to leave a sincere message thanking your guests for making the effort to attend your wedding weekend. It’s also a chance to lay out the weekend itinerary and offer suggestions for local things to see, eat and do!

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography; Paper: Bella Jenna

Q: What’s the best way to distribute our wedding welcome gifts to our wedding guests?

A: This is mainly done in two different ways. The first is to leave the gifts at the front desk of each hotel and the gifts are presented to each guest upon arrival. The second option is for the hotel to distribute the gifts to the guests’ rooms. Most all hotels charge for this service and some don’t offer this service at all so it’s something to definitely ask about ahead of time if you prefer to have the gifts delivered to each room.

Q: Do the bridesmaids and groomsmen receive wedding welcome gifts too?

A: The answer to this question is tricky because it depends very much on budget and whether or not the bridesmaids and groomsmen are staying overnight in a hotel. It also depends on whether or not you’re also gifting them “thank you for being my bridesmaid” and “thank you for being my groomsmen” gifts during the wedding weekend. If these wedding party gifts are similar to the wedding welcome gifts, then you can forgo doing both. But if your budget allows to gift them both and your wedding party isn’t huge, then we say go for it!

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography; Paper: Bella Jenna

Q: We have wedding guests with food allergies. How do we handle this?

A: If the number of wedding guests with the allergy is small, then we create a few gifts with the problematic item subbed out and then we notate this on the gift distribution list for the hotel staff. However, if the allergy is SEVERE and you’re really worried about it, you can choose to eliminate that item from the gifts altogether.

Q: Should we plan on providing gifts for guests who book outside of our room blocks? 

A: In theory, yes, because these guests are coming in from out of town. However, it can sometimes be tough to execute this. We recommend for our couples to reach out to all guests to inquire about their accommodations. Chances are, some are staying in the same hotels just not in the room block itself. If this is the case, it should be easy to add them to the gift list. If you have guests staying in AirBNBs or other hotels, you may consider bringing some of the gifts to the rehearsal dinner to distribute if you feel it’s appropriate. Above all though, don’t stress about this if you miss some people. Your guests don’t expect a gift if they “go rogue” and book outside the hotel blocks without letting you know.

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography; Paper: Bella Jenna

What other questions do you have? Leave us your questions in the comments or reach out via our contact page! We’d love to hear from you!

Top Wedding Welcome Gift Trends for 2017

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

It’s only February but our custom wedding welcome gift designs for the 2017 wedding season are well underway. And already, there are certain trends that we’re noticing that we can’t wait to share with you! We did see some of these here and there last year, but looks like in 2017 they are here to stay!

Hashtags

In 2016, we saw about 50% of our couples report to us the use of a hashtag on their Gift Design Questionnaire we ask them to fill out upon beginning their custom gift design. Already in 2017, about 90% of our couples are not only using hashtags, but are loving the idea of us incorporating the hashtag into their wedding welcome gifts. And the hashtags are witty! Some of them even become the main topic of conversation around the studio. They’re THAT good!

Welcome Booklets

Virtually every single wedding welcome gift that left our studio last year included a custom welcome letter. Basically, this is a personal note from the couple to their wedding guests. Some of our clients even went as far as asking us to provide transportation information and simple directions to the ceremony location and reception venue. Moving into 2017, we are seeing the desire to have all of this information included in one cohesive booklet. The booklets will hold the welcome message, transportation details, the weekend itinerary, directions, as well as the hashtag and elements of their wedding branding (logos, crests, monograms, etc).

wedding-welcome-gift-trends-marigold-grey

Image: Marigold & Grey

Boxes

I’ve noticed a phenomenon in my job as gift designer. No matter what vessel you use to hold the gift contents, people will refer to them as “welcome bags”. In other words, I can create a gift using a basket or a box but they are still referred to as bags. Not only does it make me laugh but it happens so frequently that I realize that there really is a trend towards the use of boxes and baskets versus welcome bags.

wedding-welcome-gift-trends-marigold-grey

Image: Marigold & Grey

Themes

I hate to use the word “theme” because it sometimes implies cheesy. However, for lack of a better word, themed gifts are becoming a thing. We’ve created breakfast-in-bed gifts, brunch-in-a-box gifts, cocktail-in-a-box gifts…you get the idea. As couples are becoming more and more focused on the guest experience, they want their welcome gifts to be thoughtful and something their guests will actually use.

wedding-welcome-gift-trends-marigold-grey

Image: Marigold & Grey

Telling Story about the Couple

Couples want their welcome gifts to be about more than just the city they’re holding their wedding in. They want the gifts to further connect them with their guests by telling a story about them and their relationship. Perhaps you saw our recent feature in Washingtonian Bride & Groom magazine, a prime example of using the gifts to represent the couple. We are seeing our clients including food from their favorite eateries and bakeries around town. If the couple is military, they might include nods to their military service such as flag pins on the welcome bags or sweets made by a non-profit bakery known for hiring military veterans. If the couple met in college, we’re including logo cookies from alma mater. The possibilities are endless and we just love when our clients want to take their welcome gifts to the next level of thoughtfulness.

What do you think of these trends? Leave us a comment on this post or reach out via our contact page. We’d love to hear from you!

8 Reasons to Outsource Your Wedding Welcome Gifts

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

Where in the world was a welcome gift business when I got married back in 2012? Lord knows I would’ve hired them! I’ll spare you the gory details but executing a large number of welcome gifts in the week or so before my destination wedding…a total disaster. Fast forward to 2017 and I’ve become the very gift designer I wish had existed back then with a mission to make gifting thoughtful, beautiful and completely stress-free for our M&G clients.

Today, I’m sharing the top reasons why our clients opt to fully outsource their wedding welcome gifts. (Along with a few of my own lessons learned sprinkled in!)

Ideas 

Couples are faced with endless decisions for months and months prior to the wedding. By the time any discussion of wedding welcome gifts rolls around, many are completely tapped out, leaving them with no clue what to include in their gifts. Hiring a gift designer is a great way to insure you receive personal, useful and memorable welcome gifts without having to come up with all of the ideas yourself.

Sourcing 

So, maybe you DO have the ideas of what you’d like to include in your gifts but now you have to actually FIND them. It can be very time consuming to source all of the items you’re looking for, at the right quantity and right price.

Paper Design

Perhaps your want a welcome letter and gift tag to coordinate with the rest of the paper being used throughout your wedding such as save-the-dates, invitations an day-of paper. A gift designer can create welcome letters and tags to mirror the aesthetic of the rest of your paper or even work with your paper designer to get this done on your behalf.

Multiple Shipments

When you’re including multiple unique items to include in your welcome gifts, typically they come from various different sources, both online and from brick-and-mortar. When it’s a few weeks from your wedding, the last thing you want to do is wait on (and track) all of the various shipments to arrive before you can begin gift assembly. By hiring a gifting company, you can have all of the ordering and tracking done for you.

Assembly Line

Gift assembly is messy. REALLY messy. And it can take up a ton of space. Having an assembly line in your own living room can cause additional stress right before the wedding, especially if you underestimate the amount of time it really takes to fully assemble gifts and tie all of those beautiful bows!

Delivery

In most cases, wedding guests don’t all stay in the same hotel which requires multiple gift drop-offs at various locations in varying quantities. Outsourcing your gifts usually means that delivery is handled for you so you are not burdened with making all of these trips so close to your wedding.

Room Block Coordination

It’s important for hotel staff to have clear instructions about the welcome gifts that will be arriving to increase the likelihood of the gifts going to the correct people. For example, if you have a married couple staying in one room, they’d usually get one gift to share. Or, if you have two single friends sharing a room, they would typically each receive their own gift. Sorting through these room block lists and sharing the instructions with the front desk staff of multiple hotels is time consuming.

Peace of Mind

This entire list essentially boils down to peace of mind. Welcome gifts are one of the last details to fall into place because you can’t exactly create them until your final RSVPs come in. So, it’s always a last-minute endeavor. The last fews weeks and days leading up to your wedding should be stress-free and spent celebrating with those you love most. If you can, leave room in your overall budget from the beginning so you’re comfortably able to outsource later on. You’ll be glad you did!

For more info on our Custom Gift Design Service, visit here.

How to Tell Your Love Story with Wedding Welcome Gifts

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

One of the most rewarding things about being a gift designer who creates custom wedding welcome gifts, client gifts, bridal party gifts, workshop gifts, and corporate gifts is being able to tell a story with the gift designs. This is especially fun with custom wedding welcome gifts because you have an opportunity to tell your love story! Here’s how…

Where You Met

Try to incorporate where you both met somewhere within your gifts. Let’s say you met in college, for example. A custom cookie featuring your university logo is a fantastic option!

Where You Got Engaged

Did your significant other plan a surprise getaway to pop the question? Was it somewhere unique and special? Consider featuring a small set of notecards from the location as a nod to the place where you said YES! Or, even a snack or dessert native to the area. For example. Paris engagement? Hello macarons!

Where You Live

If you both live in a city other than where you’re originally from and this is where you’re hosting the wedding, you get the opportunity to introduce your guests to your NEW hometown! Consider a custom map helping them find their way around the city. You can even have some special landmarks added to the map such as your new neighborhood or some of your favorite places to visit as a couple.

How-to-Tell-Your-Love-Story-with-Wedding-Welcome-Gifts

Image: Marigold & Grey

Witty Hashtag

These days, having a witty hashtag is all the rage! They’re the best when they reference a unique detail about you and your relationship. Think hard and get creative! This is a fabulous opportunity to make your guests feel even more connected to you and your coupledom!

How-to-Tell-Your-Love-Story-with-Wedding-Welcome-Gifts

Image: Marigold & Grey

Pets

We’re HUGE pet lovers here at Marigold & Grey so including your pets in your welcome gifts is our favorite thing ever! Including custom illustrations of your pets in your welcome booklet is always a fun idea, one that your guests will likely be talking about for days and weeks to come following your wedding weekend.

Welcome Letter

You can even go the more direct route and tell your love story in your welcome letter you include within your gift bag or box. Are some of your guests corporate friends of your parents or somebody’s random “plus-one” and they don’t necessarily know much about your love story? Including details of how you met, highlights of your dating years and even what you have planned for your new life together after the wedding will help make your guests feel more connected. After all, they’re about to witness you take your vows and then dance the night away with you so help them get to know you as best they can!

We hope this has given you some good ideas. Do you have any ideas we haven’t included? If so, please leave us a note in the comments! We always love hearing from you!

For more information on our custom gift design service, please email us via hello@marigoldgrey.com.

Top 10 Custom Wedding Welcome Gift Designs of 2016

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

We love everything that goes out our studio door so it’s really difficult to narrow down favorite. But here goes nothing. Today I’m sharing our top 10 favorite wedding welcome gift designs of 2016!

French-Inspired Wedding Welcome Gifts

These were a dream collaboration with Washington DC planners Grit & Grace for a french-inspired wedding at the Mayflower Hotel. We used custom, fabric-covered hat boxes with satin grey ribbon. Custom gift tags by Paperzest.

Light & Bright Gable Boxes

These simple gable boxes packed quite a punch for a fall wedding in DC with Strawberry Milk Events. We used the simple logo with color coordinating gold ribbon as accent.

Eastern Shore Wedding Welcome Boxes

This was our first project with Baltimore-based wedding planning firm Intrinsic Events and oh my goodness, I sure hope it’s not our last! We loved these Maryland-inspired welcome boxes featuring sketches of the wedding location and family property. Paper by Just Write Studios.

Charlottesville Virginia Welcome Baskets

These Virginia-inspired welcome baskets were a dream to create for our client Easton Events for their Pippin Hill couple. The dogwood cookies by Two Sugars Studio, local caramels, and even a fresh succulent were included. Custom paper by Rock Paper Scissors.

Bright & Lively Boston Wedding Welcome Gifts

These bright and lively welcome boxes were created for a fun-loving Boston-area couple. We’re such fans of neutrals and muted colors around here that this design was a fun way to mix it up!

Middleburg Virginia Welcome Boxes

These were the perfect fall-inspired welcome gifts for a Middleburg, Virginia wedding planned by East Made Event Company. Custom welcome letters by Stephanie B Design along with Virginia-inspired contents such as Virginia peanuts, jam, and even a cookie in the shape of Virginia!

Black & White NYC Welcome Boxes

Think black tie wedding but way more fun! This wedding was planned by Lemon & Lime Event Design and their creative vision for the Brooklyn wedding carried right over to these NYC-inspired welcome boxes. We especially loved the couple’s adorable pup posing as Lady Liberty! Cookies by Two Sugars Studio.

Fall Inspired Wedding Welcome Boxes

October was a busy month for us as wedding season was at its height. These were another one of our favorite fall designs featuring nods to both DC and Virginia. We especially loved the fresh fuji apples added for a pop of color and also a healthy snack option! Overall, a dream collaboration with DC area wedding planner Amanda McCabe of Engaging Affairs.

Rustic Chic Wedding Welcome Boxes

We loved Pollyanna Events modern, rustic concept for this Woodend Sanctuary wedding in Chevy Chase, Maryland. These fall-inspired welcome boxes were packed full of locally-sourced DC items and mirrored the color palette of the woodsy wedding.

Top-10-Custom-Wedding-Welcome-Gift-Designs-of-2016

Image: Marigold & Grey

Top-10-Custom-Wedding-Welcome-Gift-Designs-of-2016

Image: Marigold & Grey

Modern Charlottesville Virginia Welcome Boxes

And last but not least, these chic, modern welcome boxes for a Charlottesville, Virginia wedding at the Clifton Inn. This Indian wedding was planned and styled by Christine Godsey of Engaging Affairs. We included locally-sourced DC items, favorites of the couple! Calligraphy gift tags and welcome letter layout by Just Write Studios.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this roundup! Tell us…which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments. And for more information on custom gift design, head right this way!