Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Warm Welcome

This weekend, I was blessed to watch as my husband’s best friend vowed to forever love a wonderful woman. The wedding was held on a beautiful beach in Cape May, NJ. The reception afterwards was a casual and intimate affair- that perfectly reflected the personalities of the bride and groom. Congratulations Jeff & Christine! I wish you the very best in your lives together.

When we arrived at the hotel to check in, we were given an adorable little gift. It was a blue metal pail with a white toy shovel. It included a few snacks, maps and information on the town, an adorable seashell candle and information on the couple’s favorite places in Cape May. I love the concept of the couple providing their guests a nice surprise that will welcome them to the experience they are about to share.

Although this idea is perfect for a destination wedding, it can be done no matter where you plan on getting married. Here are a few ideas for kind of items you could include in your guest’s welcome package.

-A map of the town. Include directions on how to get from the hotel to the ceremony and from the ceremony to the reception.

-A postcard depicting the town. Include a warm, personal note on the back welcoming your guests

-Some favorite local treats that the town is famous for (e.g. Hershey chocolate in Hershey PA, saltwater taffy in a beach town)

-A listing of your favorite restaurants in town. Be sure to include ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

-A listing of your entertainment hot spots. List the movie theater you like to frequent, a favorite bar, and other interesting activities in the area.

-Information on local attractions. You can contact the local Visitor’s Center and they can provide you with some pamphlets on area sights and attractions.

-A few trial size samples of products they may need. If you are in a beach town, provide a small bottle of sunscreen. If you are getting married in winter, provide some hand warmers.

-A mini bottle of champagne and a few candles so your guests can enjoy a romantic evening, celebrating your wedding day by reliving their own!

And keep in mind that the vessel you set these items in can also set the tone for your wedding. Take, for example, the bride I mentioned who used a pail in honor of her beach wedding. For a rustic New England wedding, you can use a beautiful woven basket. Use your imagination to ensure that the packaging is just as intriguing and personal as the surprises inside!

Did you create a welcome basket for your wedding guests? What did you include?

(Boston, Miami and Nantucket welcome baskets shown are by Kate Parker Weddings)


love said...

I love this idea, I'm going to recommend it to all my destination brides coming here to South Florida!

Forever in Love Weddings

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for stopping by Linda. I think it's a really great way to set the tone for your wedding and make your guests feel welcomed!

Alissa said...

Such a great idea, and so personal. Sure beats another votive candle favor!

Elizabeth said...

Welcome to Following Bliss, Alissa! I definitely agree... there's more of a chance that it will actually be used and enjoyed by the guests