FILED IN: Education, M&G Happenings, Wedding Welcome Gifts
Posted By: Jamie Kutchman Wynne
Weddings are back! We are not only thrilled for our couples who have had to postpone their big days (some couples even multiple times...ugh!) but also for our fellow wedding industry professionals who have truly been struggling over the past year. They were not only dealing with the stress of rescheduling entire events but also dealing with a loss of significant income at the same time. The energy, excitement, creativity, and love surrounding weddings have returned and we are honored to play a small role with the design and delivery of wedding welcome gifts.
We are already noticing several post-Covid trends related to wedding welcome gifts and I'm excited to share these with you. Of course, we aren't sure how long these will last but for now, here they are...
LOWER GIFT QUANTITIES
With some areas not allowing weddings at full capacity, many couples have slashed their guest lists resulting in a far lower quantity of gifts per project. Even if areas were allowing 100% capacity, some of our clients have intentionally opted for a smaller guest list. Additionally, our clients were seeing a lower guest count due to a lingering reluctance to travel long distances.
HIGHER SPEND PER GIFT
As a result of lower guest counts, our couples have opted to allocate more spend to each gift box, resulting in much more elaborate gift design than is the average spend. They are not only opting for snack items and beverages but also higher end contents such as candles and other items guests can take home with them and enjoy. We're also seeing couples splurging on high end gift packaging such a wood boxes and woven baskets. They really seem to want to treat their guests as VIPs for making the effort to be there. And due to the guest count being lower than originally expected, this is doable for most of couples from a budget perspective without spending more than they originally planned to prior to the pandemic.
Not only are we designing for rescheduled 2020 weddings, we're also designing for "new" 2021 weddings. With weddings having been gone for SO long, this very sudden flurry of wedding activity is definitely a welcome surprise and reminds us why we love doing wedding welcome gifts in the first place: wider range of color palettes than when designing for corporate events, the general excitement that surrounds the weeks leading up to our couples' wedding weekends, and the ability to truly take stress of off our couples' and wedding planners' shoulders, etc.
COMBINATION OF VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON
Couples still seem to be including a virtual option for their guests and this information is often being included in the notecards included in the welcome bags. For our couples who are sending gifts to both in-person and virtual guests, we do recommend doing a separate notecard for each group so they're only getting the information that pertains to them. The welcome message will also be slightly different as well.
For most all of our weddings prior to 2020, we were delivering or shipping to hotel locations where the weddings were being held (and the occasional AirBNB). These days, we're seeing a major shift away from hotel weddings over to weddings at private residences instead. We can only guess that this is due to a lack of restrictions, the increased ability to hold the festivities outdoors, and an overall emphasis on creating a more intimate atmosphere for the smaller-than-usual guest counts.
GIFTS PERSONALIZED TO THE RECIPIENTS
As I mentioned above, our couples are focused on creating an extremely welcoming environment for their guests, more so than ever before! My guess is that they're so overjoyed to finally be getting married after having to wait so long, that they're extra grateful for family and friends to be there to share in the weekend with them. We're seeing couples request gift tags featuring each guest's first name as opposed to the a simple "welcome" gift tag or a gift tag with just their monogram or crest. This is logistically a little more complicated for hotels when they are tasked with handing out the gifts to guests on arrival. However, it does add a very personal touch that we are huge fans of.
GIFTS DONE PER PERSON VS. PER COUPLE
Prior to the pandemic, it was the rarity that wedding welcome boxes were given out to each person and instead were created per room or per couple. These days, we're seeing a significant increase in the number of couples doing gifts per person. Gifts are handed out upon check-in
HEALTH & WELLNESS FOCUSED
While Covid appears to be on the way out, or at least no longer at pandemic level status, hand sanitizers and other health and wellness items such as face masks seem to still be top of mind for our couples when listing out their "must haves" prior to us getting started on their custom gift designs.
And lastly, "it's finally here" has been extremely popular verbiage when designing our clients' custom welcome notes and welcome booklets that accompany their welcome bags. This one is self-explanatory!
We're so happy for all of our M&G couples who are finally getting to enjoy their wedding weekends that they've been dreaming of for SO long as well as the couples who got engaged during the pandemic in 2020 and looking ahead to their 2021 celebrations! If we can help take the tedious task of gifting completely off of your shoulders from design to delivery for weddings or corporate events, please reach out here and fill out our quick inquiry form. We'd love to learn more about your gifting goals and tell you all about how our Custom Gift Design Service works to see if we're a good match.