Friday, March 16, 2007

Basket O’ Fun or Basket O’ Stress?

It seems that today there is a personalized service for everything. This is especially the case in the wedding industry. What wasn’t even considered a service or field ten or fifteen years ago is now a full time job for some enterprising individual. Take gift baskets for example. The type of baskets that are just chocked full of fun items and waiting in the hotel for your happy wedding guests. They can monogram, filled with expensive trinkets like mini-binoculars or even scuba gear. The list is endless and perhaps you are finding it all to be a bit too much.

I think this is a wonderful gesture. I did it myself. However, I also feel it can turn into a budget buster and just another thing to stress yourself out over. If you are having a location/destination wedding, a lot of out of town guests, or have the budget and time to do this yourself I think it’s a fabulous idea. It tells your guests you are thinking of them and thanking them for coming to your special event. I really hate to see brides thinking they need such things though. Needing the starting at $25 dollar apiece basket from a vendor at a 25-basket order minimum too bothers me for some reason. On one hand I know that if I loved making gift baskets and this was my business, then I would definitely want brides thinking they HAVE TO HAVE these trinket filled goodie bags. On the other hand, it just seems like one more thing to add to the stress-inducing list of tasks in your wedding planning or a budget sucker.

Me, the non-DIY-er thinks you should do this stuff yourself. Find some nice gift bags in a craft or dollar store and have at it. Small baskets can be found there too. Buy some pretty ribbon that matches the colors of your wedding and keep it simple. Most people won’t actually take home the bag or basket. Buy bottled water by the case and put some in each basket. Mints, tissues, and hand lotions, or sunscreen can all be found in many stores in small sizes and work well. Travelers always need these staples. Adding in little chocolates or cracker snacks keeps you in budget too. If the area is new to people perhaps a small pocket map or area guide would be helpful. A list of information regarding the wedding activities and how to reach people is a nice addition only if you are ok with that. The main rule is, think realistically, and keep it simple. The possibilities are endless as with anything involving a wedding these days. Just remember, this is a great “nice to have”, but not a need to have. Most importantly don’t forget the note from you, the happy couple, thanking them for coming to your wedding.

*Photo from 'The Gift Worth Giving'.


Stephanie said...

I'm stealing free maps from all over town to include in our guests' gift packs. I'm also getting menus from some of our favorite restaurants and coffee shops, and business cards from some of our other favorite local stores. Ideas for stuff to do around town for very little effort and expense.

Vicky said...

That is a great idea! Love it! I'm glad you posted it.