What to Include in Groomsmen Gift Boxes

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

Many of our clients who hire us to create custom wedding welcome gifts also ask us to create custom bridesmaids gifts and even bachelorette weekend gifts. But the girls aren’t the only ones having fun with gifting! We’re also seeing a huge increase in the number of requests for custom groomsmen gifts. Whether you choose to outsource the groomsmen gifts or take a trip to DIY-ville, I can’t wait to share some our tips for curating classic groomsmen gifts!

Reusable Packaging

We love using pine boxes for groomsmen gifts. They’re masculine and make a great storage solution for car keys, wallets, credit cards, and even cell phones long after the wedding weekend is over.

Getting Ready

Some of our favorite wedding photos are those of the groom and his groomsmen getting ready on wedding day. A small bottle of bourbon and accompanying flask make great keepsakes as well as something to enjoy and calm the nerves while getting dressed. (Bonus: this is good for the groom too!)

Wedding Attire

Including an item for groomsmen to wear on wedding day is practical and fun. We love patterned socks because who doesn’t love a fun pair, right? You can vary the patterns along the same color palette or keep the socks the same throughout all of the gifts.


Groomsmen need snacks.We love Sugarfina pale ale pints because while they’re in the shape of beer pints, they have the delicious taste of citrus. Some other options to consider are trail mix, gourmet chocolates, granola or peanuts.


While we already mentioned the pine box acting as a keepsake item, we love the thought of adding just one more. We love the idea of the “mandle”…a manly candle. In this post you see tobacco scented candles with matchboxes for an added touch. But other traditionally masculine scents we’ve seen are pine, oak, and even firewood.

Finishing Touches

While we’re often known for our feminine finishes on our curated gift boxes, we believe that the finishing touches should always mirror the purpose of the gift. So, in this case, we’ve used kraft gift tags (Poppy & Scooter) with “you’re the man” text along with kraft basket fill and warm grey ribbon. You also might consider personalizing the gift tags with each guy’s name for that added touch!

The sky is truly the limit when it comes to creating bridesmaids gifts and groomsmen gifts so and what we’ve shown you today is merely a guideline. Have fun with it and we can’t wait to see what you come up with! For more information on our Custom Gift Design Service, please 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!

How to Create The Perfect May Day Curated Gift Basket

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

The way we see it here at studio Marigold & Grey, May Day is essentially the modern day version of “ding dong dash” except with a gorgeous surprise at the door as opposed to something not-so-great. May Day celebrations vary greatly around the world and even within various regions of the U.S. so depending on where you are, you may not celebrate. But regardless, it’s time for a little how-to just in case you want to show a little gratitude to someone you love in the form of a May Day basket. Sure, it’s last minute (May Day is today!) but because it’s SO simple, we’re confident after reading this you’ll be able to throw something beautiful together in no time.


Image: Red October Photography: Styling: Marigold & Grey


The essential item for any May Day basket is a floral bouquet. In fact, most May Day gifts only consist of florals. But since we are a curated gift box business, it’s probably no surprise that we think it’s fun to start with the florals and build from there! To achieve a spring-time feel, we opted for fresh tulips (from the grocery store!) and tied them together with a silk ribbon in nude.


Image: Red October Photography: Ribbon: Torn & Tied


Since it’s not merely a floral bouquet you’ll be leaving on the porch, you’ll need some sort of vessel to store all the goodies. We’ve opted for a white lacquer box from Container Store but you could really use any type of basket like this or even a structured gift bag like this.

Image: Red October Photography

Image: Red October Photography

Gift Tag or Note

There are two ways you can go here. You can use a simple gift tag like the one you see here with “enjoy” in calligraphy (Poppy & Scooter) or a simple note card would also work well. In keeping with tradition. May Day gifts are usually anonymous but we won’t tell if you want to sign your name and add a few words of gratitude.


We love the idea of tea in a May Day basket. Here’s why. Tea is easy to find at virtually any grocery store or gift shop, comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns as well as tons of flavors. We selected Par Avion tea in a peach tin but you could really go with anything you can easily find and that you know your friend will enjoy!


Don’t forget the sweets. We love the idea of a small chocolate bar. Again, easy to find on short notice and it’s something most anyone will love. We selected an artisan chocolate bar with Washington DC packaging from one of our favorite local makers Fleurir Chocolates. Similar to the tea, chocolate bars come in many different varieties and the options for packaging are endless so have fun with this!

Image: Red October Photography

Image: Red October Photography

While at first glance, it might appear complicated to pull something together but I promise you, it really isn’t! Simple florals, tea, some sweets and a pretty container and notecard and you’re done! We’d love to hear how it goes! Leave us a comment at the end of this post or reach out via our contact page. We always love seeing your creations. Happy May Day!

How to Create Conference Swag Attendees Will Love

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

No matter what type of industry you’re in, there is usually no shortage of educational opportunities by way of workshops, conferences, retreats, seminars, and even mastermind group getaways. And this means some sort of swag bag or welcome gift is usually involved. Today we’re sharing how to create memorable conference gifts. You know, the type of workshop gift that makes your heart skip a beat the moment you realize it’s yours and you can’t WAIT to dig in.

Image: Red October Photography

Image: Red October Photography

The Functional

Instead of traditional notepads and pens at each attendee’s seat, why not mix it up a bit and include these functional items inside the gift. We love branded journals that attendees can use during the conference but can also return home with it and refer back to it and even continue filling it up!


Image: Red October Photography

The Inspirational

I really love finding a way to infuse our event swag designs with an inspirational message that mirrors the feel of the event. These welcome gifts for Justin & Mary Photography’s workshops are a great example. We had one of their favorite quotes hand-lettered on the attendee notebooks and they really set the tone for everything to follow.

Image: Justin & Mary Photography

Image: Justin & Mary Photography

The Edibles

Most events provide meals and snacks so we like to find some really special sweet treats as well as water or other beverages for attendees to enjoy on breaks or even when they go back to their hotel room in the evening. It’s also a good idea to consider some healthy snacks as well as sweets so you don’t have everyone in food coma when they’re supposed to be paying attention!

Image: Red October Photography

Image: Red October Photography

We hope we’ve given you so good ideas to create workshops that really wow your attendees. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a note in the comments or reach out via our contact page.

6 Reasons to Skip Wedding Favors and Splurge on Welcome Gifts Instead

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

When working with engaged couples on wedding welcome gifts, they often ask if they should also be providing wedding favors for their wedding guests. Around here, we are fans of ditching the wedding favors and providing wedding welcome gifts instead. Here’s why…

First Impression

Welcome bags are a great way to make a memorable first impression. Guests are checking into their hotels and, in most cases, have traveled quite a distance to be there on the wedding weekend. Arriving to find a special gift waiting for them immediately shows them that they’re appreciated and that they’re in for a very special experience!


Sure, most wedding welcome gifts include sweet treats and savory snacks. But, they also contain practical items that guest may have forgotten to pack such as Advil for the morning after a night of drinking, bandaids for too much dancing, breath mints to keep things fresh, and even earplugs for a good night sleep. We usually love to create mini amenity kits to include within the overall welcome box, welcome basket or welcome bag.


Wedding welcome gifts are also a fantastic way to introduce your guests to the city in which your holding your wedding. For out of town guests, this is a great chance for them to experience local snacks and sweets along with maps showing off local landmarks and areas of interest.

One Per Couple

It’s no secret that wedding favors are far less expensive than wedding welcome gifts. However, you have to make sure you have enough favors to cover all of your guests and then some extras in case you have that one guest who wants to take several at a time. Generally speaking, couples provide one wedding welcome gift per couple that’s coming in from out of town. So, while you still might spend more on wedding welcome gifts than favors, the overall spend might end up being closer than you realize.

Forgotten Favors

While wedding favors can be a fabulous way to say ‘thank you’ to your wedding guests for attending the wedding, we often hear that they get left behind by guests. At times, guests may not even realize they are there. Whereas with wedding welcome gifts, guests receive them upon arrival so there’s less of a chance of them going to waste!


Wedding welcome gifts tend to be much more memorable than favors. There’s simply more room to personalize them. For example, you can include sweets and snacks from the couple’s favorite eateries.  We create custom welcome booklets with a welcome note from the couple along with custom maps that feature landmarks in addition to some spots that mean a lot to the couple. We also design the gifts according to the color palette and aesthetic of the wedding.


Image: Red October Photography

Do you agree with our philosophy on wedding welcome gifts versus wedding favors? We’d love to hear your thoughts on these two very special wedding details. Comment on this post or feel free to reach out via our contact page. We always love hearing from you! xo

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!


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).


Image: Marigold & Grey


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.


Image: Marigold & Grey


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.


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!