a journey toward non-traditional wedded bliss, with style

Out of Town Bags August 14, 2008

The wedding last weekend convinced me that we absolutely should have Out of Town bags for our guests. It was awesome to arrive at the hotel and find a bag full of the essentials for a Pennsylvania wedding: snacks, bottles of water, Advil, a magnetized version of the Steeler’s schedule this year 🙂 The bride even hand-wrote a card for everyone, which was incredibly sweet and much appreciated.

So now that we know we want to use the gift bag idea, all we have to do is figure out a style of bag, and of course what to fill it with. Our goals are simple, 1) give our guests things they’ll use and/or enjoy 2) include items that tie in with our wedding or location in some way and 3) not spend exorbitant amounts of money. As far as bags go, here are a few options I love.

These are adorable, recycled, and fit in with our black and white theme. The only problem is that there is no link for where to find them on the blog where I got the picture, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled…

Apparently these bags are not only cute and customizable with different colors and decals, but very cheap at only $2.61 each.

It’s a much more minimalist look, but I really like the plain brown paper bag and it could be dressed up with ribbon and tissue paper, or even a stamp of your wedding monogram if you wanted to get really fancy.

We’re not getting married in New York, but I think these carton style boxes are totally awesome, and probably at the top of my list right now for cuteness, if not practicality.

For the goodies inside the bag, I was thinking the usual helpful information like directions, a note, fun activities around the area, but also some local treats from both our hometowns. The original plan was to have the wedding in Seattle, but since that didn’t end up being practical since we want all of our friends to be able to come (and let me say for the record, I’m still pissed at Skybus), at least we can give our guests some coffee and smoked salmon right?

What did you include in your Out of Town bags?


Oh, Canada… May 4, 2008

What a whirlwind. Somehow in the insanity of the last few weeks we found time to buy a house! We actually had to negotiate for it from Canada, which was somewhat difficult considering our hotel was a darling bed and breakfast (ie not caught up with modern technology quite yet). But it all worked out, and we’re in contract on our first choice place.

This means that now I can officially add buying furniture and decorating to my list of obsessions. It still doesn’t seem real yet, but that seems to be the trend of grown-updom. Hopefully everything goes smoothly with the inspection etc. because I can’t wait to move in! Pictures to come…

While that was our own personal highlight of the trip, the wedding we went to was lovely too 🙂 My favorite elements were easily the gorgeous centerpieces and the favors. The bride found these pretty patterned tin boxes of “Wedding” tea that she emptied and used for vases. The tea was put into tiny silver pots with our names on them which we took home as favors and doubled as place cards. Not only was this adorable, but something I will keep and use which I always appreciate.


Favorite Favors March 23, 2008

Wedding favors are another one of those traditions that I have issues with. The idea, in itself, is great. Guests spend a good deal of money on attending a wedding between the travel costs and gifts, so it only makes sense that in addition to giving them a party to remember, you would reciprocate with some sort of gift of your own. However with the cost of weddings rapidly rising (in my state it is $26,000 people) favors can turn into a cheap necessity. You feel obligated to get them, but don’t want to spend a lot of money so your guests end up with some rhinestone emblazoned chotchke which they will never use. This seems like a lose-lose situation to me.

I’m not anti-favor. But I do believe strongly that if your wedding budget is already stretched, no one will notice or even really care if they get a shot glass with your wedding date on it, or Jordan almonds in your wedding colors. Instead put the money you save toward better food, another hour of music, or an open bar. I guarantee your guests will appreciate these things.

If you do have money to spend on favors, there are lots of creative options out there that both you and your guests will enjoy. In general, anything edible (or drinkable) is a crowd-pleaser as well as adaptable to whatever type of shindig you are hosting but there are plenty of other choices too. Here are some ideas I love.

Customized *Beverages


I start with this, because bottles of wine are most likely going to be the favor we give our guests. We love wine, most of our friends and family love wine, and it strikes a good balance between something immediately enjoyable and a keepsake if you choose to save the bottle. There is a company here in Columbus (Camelot Cellars) that lets you help make the wine itself, bottle it, and design the label so you get the satisfaction of a do-it-yourself project without all the hassle. If you or your family doesn’t drink, or if you have kids at your reception Jones Soda allows you to make custom labels fairly inexpensively, comes in every color of the rainbow, and tastes pretty excellent too.

Interactive Favors


This could go several different ways, but I do like the idea of anything that allows your guests to create their own favor. Candy buffets and vintage photo booths are two popular options right now but you could personalize this as well by having a sundae bar instead of wedding cake or a dance instructor teach salsa lessons. Whatever you’re into really. This gist of this type of favor is creating memories instead of just giving things.

Favors that Do Good
And while we’re on that thought, some couples are doing donations to their favorite charities in lieu of favors. This is a worthwhile option on a lot of levels, because the donation can be as big or as small as you like, and doing something like this not only benefits a cause that means something to you, but is a reminder of the more important things in life.