They fly, drive and take the train to get to your wedding, traveling 50 miles or 100 miles or even from other countries!  They pack their bags, change their plans, board their pets and head off to attend your special day – so why not give them a special Welcome Treat?

Even if they’re staying with grandma or at your house or in a hotel, a Welcome Bag or Basket is a lot of fun for both you and your out of town invitees!  Here are some cool suggestions, presented mostly in pictures (I fear you may get tired of listening to me blog!).

First The Basics for all Welcome Baskets or Bags

Liquids, snacks, fruits, pain reliever, gum and/or mints

Bags, Baskets or Boxes?

Doesn’t too much matter.  Haunt your local dollar store.  You’ll be surprised what you’ll find.  And no, everyone does not have to have the same type of basket or box or bag.  Mix it up – that’s part of the fun!

Alternatives?

Plastic beach pails, small tin containers, a large and colorful plastic bowl, keep thinking!  If it holds stuff, it’ll work.  Or make your own!  Purchase the right-sized cardboard gift box from your local craft store, snip off the lid, cover in fabric or copy childhood pics of you and your intended onto paper, cut them up and make a collage on the outside, glue small twigs side by side for a woodsy effect, green moss – anything that relates to your special occasion!

Now that I think about it, a pre-wedding bridesmaids party to craft your welcome containers would be a lot of fun!  Do it on a Sunday afternoon and serve a brunch – or make it a coffee!  The perfect little party favor?  Mugs & Kisses from Mr. & Mrs!  Totally PRECIOUS!

And you know me….  I’ve got to suggest a menu!  Excuse me a moment while I put on my chef’s hat…

Focus your coffee or brunch around a large container of very good coffee.  Of course you can be sensational and offer several flavored varieties – a “coffee-tasting” in the same vein as a “wine-tasting” kinda venue, if you’d like.  Or you can just find one good coffee, serve it up in a big urn or thermal carafe, and provide different sugars (plain white or organic brown), flavor syrups (caramel, hazelnut – all available in your local grocery store), and white stuff – whipped creme, half and half, and milk (whole and that percent stuff). 

Just the warm fragrance alone will cosy everybody up to the task at hand!

Keeping in mind that everyone is not a coffee junkie (although I personally wonder why), offer a punch as an alternate.  No need for a punch bowl, unless you’re just in that frame of mind.  You can buy a simple, colorful and funky ceramic pitcher or three and set them out for self-service.

Here’s the recipe for my favorite – Fob James Punch!

1 big can of pineapple juice

1 large container of frozen pink lemonade

Almond extract

1 large bottle ginger ale

Defrost the lemonade and mix with the pineapple juice.  Add 1 teaspoon of Almond extract.

Just before serving, add the ginger ale.

Serve chilled or over ice.  It’s excruciatingly good!

Why, you might ask, Fob James Punch?  Here’s my best explanation, since it’s a recipe that’s been in my family for a bit – so you know how that goes.

Fob James was the very religious Governor of the Great State of Alabama once upon a time.  His even more devout wife nixed serving any sort of alcoholic beverage at any state function they graced with their presence.  (Yes, I know what you’re thinking and you are correct – the party crowd thinned out considerably at these events).  What they DID serve with this lovely punch which, if you were clever enough to slip in with a tiny flask, mixed extremely well with vodka or a drop or two of good, homemade grain alcohol.  Try it with or without.  It’s really good!

So, coffee, punch and a few tasty goodies strewn about.  I’d suggest:

Sausage pinwheels on a lovely little dish

Egg casserole, cut into small squares and arranged on a platter

A cutting board with rounds of gourmet cheeses (try a good Stilton, a brie, and a nice Cheddar), accompanied by several varieties of water crackers

Luscious Red and Green Grapes, on the stem, laid out whole for pickin’

Lemon Tarts and iced brownies

(I won’t trouble you with the recipes here – but if you’re interested, tell me which ones you like and I’ll email ’em to you.  everydaycelebrations@gmail.com)

 So now we have the container and the basics and the put-together party all planned, let’s tailor this little vessel of love to your special wedding day!

Chapter 1 – Let’s Customize!  Beach wedding or Beach Honeymoon Theme

Beach wedding? Heading off to the Beach for your Honeymoon?  Let’s load up on beach buckets.  Get a paint pen or two and decorate the outside.  Draw a palm tree or just scallop a blue “wave line” around the bottom and add a “Thank You!”  or a “Welcome!” or your names or whatever to the outside.

For a couple, do one pail and add a small sunblock, SPF chapstick, a wedding schedule with directions and phone numbers, and a list of restaurants that are close by and even a map of the area to the basics mentioned before.  When you do your investigative first visits, be sure to stop by the local chamber of commerce and you can load up on free stuff!  And then add something extra-special – a keepsake of the occasion.  How about one of these with a precious picture of you and your intended? 

 

Tie a messy but cute raffia bow to the handle and voila!  Simply precious! 

For a family, pull out the paint pens and go ahead and fix one for each of the children with their names!  This time include a few candy treats, a beach shovel for digging, and a small bag of goldfish or two. 

For teens, include a Teen People magazine, a Pez dispenser with a beach theme, and any information on amusement parks, skate parks, etc. in the area.

Tie everything with a messy but colorful raffia bow and you’ve rolled out the red carpet!

I’m going to stop at the beach today.  I fear my posts are getting too long.  So keep watching for more Bags, Baskets and other Wedding Welcomes posts – I’ve got a million ideas I’ll be sharing!

Celebrating the art of bringing your treasured guests together from all around the globe for your very special day,

Please remember – Celebrate Something Everyday!

 

 

 

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