FILED IN: Education, Wedding Welcome Gifts
Posted By: Jamie Kutchman, Founder
We admit. We might be biased on this matter considering we are a full service wedding welcome gifting business and have helped countless engaged couples keep the weeks leading up to their wedding completely stress-free by not having to lift a finger with their gifting. While we are the first to admit that not everyone is a good fit for outsourcing their wedding welcome bags to a professional gifting business, here are the top reasons why we think it's a good idea to at least consider it when planning your wedding.
Wedding welcome gifts are enough to put even the calmest of couples over the edge. And why? It's because the welcome gifts, by nature, are destined to be a last minute task. You can't create them until you know how many guests are coming and, as we all know, getting that final guest count can come down to the wire. This translates to last minute ordering, frantically tracking down product shipments, hustling to put them all together, tying all those perfect bows, and getting them where they need to be. Making matters worse, the weeks leading up the wedding are usually the most stressful weeks of the entire planning process and so having to tackle welcome gifts during this delicate time can be a recipe for not-so-nice times.
Ideas for Contents
We get this question all of the time from clients: "How do you know what to include in our welcome gifts?" And the answer is simple. We have been doing this for five years and have established relationships with countless vendors, both locally and nationwide. We are experienced at curating items that not only match the aesthetic of our clients' weddings but that are useful and on-budget as well. When you outsource your gifting, it means that you won't be at a loss for ideas. You'll give your gift designer details about your wedding, and about you two as a couple, and they will bring everything together for you in a cohesive way.
Once you have some ideas on what you want to include, it's time to go source them. This means searching for the best possible prices from vendors who are reliable and will get you the amount of items that you request on time without backorders or quality issues. Something may say "available" on Amazon Prime but then once you order it, you get an automated message saying it will deliver in two months, which may even be beyond the wedding. Once the orders are placed, you must track and receive the orders, calling the vendors that may not deliver on time. Sometimes the vendors deliver during the day when you may not be home and at times these deliveries will require a signature which can be tricky if you're at work during the day. If they're items that are meltable in any way, they cannot be left outside for any period of time without risking melting and having to then be reordered prior to gift assembly. And at that point, it may be cutting it way too close.
Gift Assembly Takes Longer Than You Realize
Gift assembly, as much as we love it around here, it always takes way longer than expected. Items can't just be thrown into boxes or bags carelessly. If you are investing in welcome gifts for your guests, generally speaking, you care about presentation. So, this means slowing down and making sure that the items are handled with care, that each item has a spot in the box, and that things look great. Let's face it...ribbon tying is also a bear. We always joke that if you estimate how much it takes to tie ribbon for a project, double it. And then plan on even more time. With couples' schedules being busier and busier as the wedding approaches, carving out enough time to handle the gift assembly from start to finish can be a challenge and land them in a panic if they haven't allocated enough time or sought enough help from friends and family.
Gift Assembly is Messier Than You Realize
We work out of a 3000 sq. ft. gifting studio where we handle all of our gift assembly and shipping/receiving. Our finished projects are beautiful but the process to get there isn't always pretty! There is empty cardboard everywhere during a gift build as gift contents are being pulled from the containers to begin being added to the gifts. (If you have 100 gifts times 6 items in each gift, that's a lot of cardboard to contain all of those items!) Now let's talk about basket fill. Whether you're working crinkle cut style paper fill or the wood fill, it literally gets everywhere! There's a ton of cleanup needed following a gift build and many vacuums have, unfortunately, ended up in the vacuum graveyard due to basket fill.
Chances are, you have a few different hotel blocks for your guests to choose from which means that gifts need to be dropped at several places. This means several different people to communicate with about when the gifts are coming, how many gifts are coming, the approximate size of gifts, and most importantly...who exactly gets a gift and who doesn't. Most of the time, it's one gift per room. But in the cases where you have two single friends sharing a room because they're not bringing plus-ones, those rooms would get two per room and it's crucial that the hotels know this info ahead of time. Outsourcing to a full service gifting business can take some of this burden off of you so you're not juggling calls with hotel staff in the few days prior to your wedding.
Now that everything is coordinated with the hotels, the gifts still must get there. So, an SUV or van is needed and someone who can communicate instructions to the front desk and/or events staff upon arrival. Delivery tends to happen on the Thursday prior to the wedding weekend and so outsourcing means that none of your family or friends are tasked with making these drops all over town. (For our tips on avoiding logistical mistakes with wedding welcome gifts, visit here.)
Surprise for Everyone
No matter who designs, builds and delivers your wedding welcome gifts, your guests will be delighted to receive one upon arrival no matter what! But wouldn't it be even that much more exciting if you were to show up to your own wedding and receive a gift that you didn't have to go through the hassle of building? You deserve to show up and be delighted just as much as your guests do!
We don't intend to paint a bleak picture of what it's like to create wedding welcome gifts because after all, this is what we do as a business and we absolutely love it! But because we are sensitive to couples' stress levels leading up to their weddings, and realize they have a million things to worry about other than gifting, we are hoping this list helps you make an educated decision about whether or not outsourcing is right for you!
For more info about our Custom Gift Design Service for weddings, visit here! We'd love to help taking gifting entirely off of your shoulders from start to finish!