Nothing says “Thank You” to a guest like an amazing Swag Bag! Whether you are hosting an event, a wedding, or a networking social, having guests take away a swag bag is the icing on top of the proverbial cake. We often design and create swag bags for our DDE clients. We have come up with a few hints in how to create the perfect gift bag. These tips will help both the DIY bride and the seasoned event coordinator alike.
Have fun with the theme! The gifts in a bachelorette swag bag will clearly differ from those in a wedding swag bag…that said you should have fun with linking the event to the swag bag. For example, if you are planning an elegant beach wedding, include monogrammed towels with the couple’s name, seashells, and saltwater taffy. If you are planning a risqué bachelorette party, put in garter belts, edible chocolate, mini bottles of champagne. Whatever the theme of your event, carry it through to the swag bag.
Integrate the actual container into the theme. The bag does not need to be an actual bag! We recently attended a garden tea party bridal shower where each guest left with a beautiful flowerpot filled with tea, flower seeds, macaroons, and other delights. If you aren’t feeling as crafty, then purchase plain paper or cotton bags in the color scheme of your event. You can then use décor elements from the event to literally tie in the theme. For example, if you are planning a country chic wedding, use colored twine and wheat stalks to tie and adorn the tops of the bags.
Select the contents with care. This is especially important when you are doing a networking event or bridal show. When you have other businesses that are adding gifts to the bag, limit the paper ads/business cards/postcards to a minimum. No one wants a beautiful bag filled with 50 pieces of paper! If you offer your collaborators the opportunity to add something to the bag, ensure that if they add marketing material that it adds something of value to the bag. For example, instead of just a business card, the business could include a specialty item specific to that area (a bag of coffee if in Seattle, a Ghirardelli chocolate bar if in San Francisco, etc.) then tie the business card onto the gift. This will not only make the bag sought after, but will also improve the chances that the attendee will take a second look at the business card.
See below for more inspiration!
Image: colincalvert via Flickr.
There is nothing that exudes spring more than a backyard wedding!
With the smell of fresh lilacs, mowed lawns, and BBQ, come the hope of spring and the promise of summer. For those of you who are event and wedding coordinators, we know that half of the hassle is selecting a location for your clients. It can be a struggle to find the perfect location with an open date and ability to meet all of your client’s requirements. For those of you who are brides-to-be or someone planning to host an event or wedding, we know that you also feel this pain!
Which is why we decided to highlight the oft forgotten space that most have readily available to them, (minus the cost and contracts, no less!): Your very own backyard.
The humble backyard may seem boring to some, yet they can be transformed into a beautiful oasis for an event or wedding. Whether you are planning an elegant affair, modern wedding, or intimate floral inspired baby shower, you can utilize your yard to create the perfect setting.
A few hints:
Hire a professional landscaper and handyman. In a matter of days you can overhaul your yard by trimming trees, adding plants, building a gorgeous fire pit area, creating a pond or waterfall, or adding a deck, to name a few things. But if you are not a DIY’er or professional landscaper, we urge you to hire professionals! There is nothing worse than spending hours and money on a yard to have all of the foliage wilt away because it was planted wrong! Spending a little extra on a professional not only makes your yard beautiful for the event, but also is an investment in you or your client’s home’s future.
Think outside the box. You don’t need to focus on rustic flowers and foliage just because you are outside and in a familiar space. You can bring in candelabras, hanging chandeliers, modern furniture.
Pretend it is a rented location! Treat the space as if it were rented for the day; hire cleaners the day before and after, especially if you are a bride-to-be. There is nothing worse than having to clean up after your own wedding!
With the holidays come celebration, family, friends, and of course, home. Just because you are having an intimate family dinner at home doesn't mean you can't create a beautiful tablescape that is worthy of a luxurious wedding! I've come up with a cheat sheet for you, as well as a few inspiring tables we've found. Your family and guests will undoubtedly be impressed with your hostessing skills!
A few easy tips to remember:
Pick a theme...
First off, you must decide what feeling you are trying to evoke: rustic, glamorous, exotic, casual, etc. Make sure that you use this theme throughout your decision making process when selecting your color scheme, centerpieces, florals, etc. For example, if you are aspiring for a rustic feel, make sure to select colors and textures that express that; i.e. think warm color tones and different textures by incorporating burlap and twine. Whereas if you are going for more of a glamorous feel, you would use cool tones, whites, metallics, and clean lines.
Use what you have...
Once you've selected a theme, look around your home and see what you have. Many times, there are great objects in your home that you can incorporate into your tablescape. For example, you may have many unused glass floral vases and/or interesting glass bowls. These can be filled with holiday metallic ornaments, different items in your color palette, branches that you've painted, stones, or floating florals, to name a few ideas. Some of my best ideas have come from using something ordinary that can be found in any home, to create an extraordinary tablescape.
Don't be afraid to step outside of the "Holiday" box...
Even though you may be tempted to use green and red, fake snow, and poinsettias-remember that bold color choices (even a little zebra print!) can still evoke the holiday spirit! I challenge you to stray away from the "norm". You are more likely to wow your guests if you do the unexpected.
There are many ways to put your own personal touch on the table, from the placemat to the napkin rings. For example, even if it is a small event, with just five of your closest friends, you can still make unique place cards with their names. For example, paint five stones a metallic color and then write their names on each stone. The stone can be placed on their respective plates. For more of a rustic feel, gather pine cones (or purchase at a craft store); write each name on a small card and place within the pine cone in front of each plate. Bling out a christmas ball ornament in rhinestones with the monogrammed initials of each guest. There are many simple craft ideas that will add that extra personal touch.
Make sure to HAVE FUN and be creative with decorating your table this holiday season; please share your pictures with us!
Happy Holidays to you and yours,
LaShawn Denise Witt, Founder of DDE
La Shawn is Founder, Head Diva and Coordinator Extraordinaire of events and weddings at DDE. Stay linked to all that fresh and luxe in the bridal industry by following DDE's blog.