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Posts Tagged ‘welcome bags’

Hotel Welcome BagsI’ve always enjoyed a personalized welcome bag when I’ve gone to weddings out of state. When we made ours, we chose items that represent us and the wedding.  

We shared plant-able confetti, limoncello from Italy (where I lived for four years), marionberry jam (from the groom’s home state of Oregon), an art cube with photographs by my mother, water bottles and helpful maps. 

I was excited to have the opportunity to share my mother’s art with our guests. A professional photographer, Melabee Miller has had her photographs on four art cubes. The cubes are built like ancient Chinese puzzles. You open up the cube and discover more images inside. While we chose the white cube for the wedding, you can watch the pink one being opened up on this Youtube video. If you are interested in purchasing cubes, you are welcome to contact her directly at mmiller95(at)aol(dot)com.

Our wedding had a bit of a green theme (some potted herbs at the wedding) and we decided to re-use shopping bags for the welcome bags. Similarly, the confetti, made by Botanical Paperworks, had seeds in it and could be planted. 

We started planning for the welcome bags early by ordering the various pieces and having them shipped to my parents’ house in New Jersey. To drop them off at the hotels, we called a few days ahead to ask how many rooms were booked and then dropped them with the necessary labels. We tried to choose items that would travel easily if they weren’t consumed immediately. 

What was your favorite treat you found inside of a hotel welcome bag?

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cake tastingToday was a sweet, sweet day. It started off with cake tasting at our venue and ended with chocolate making.  

The Mother of the Bride and I were each given a plate with four different generous slices of cake. The venue made four cakes total and we took home the rest of the four cakes. I had no idea that we would not only taste the cake, but be able to eat it for the rest of the week. That’s what I call preparing for the wedding. 

Our meeting took about an hour, since we discussed many of the final details of the big day (seating, order of the day, etc.) How does time fly by so quickly? It seems just yesterday we were taking off our winter coats and meeting with the same people in January. I’m both overwhelmed by everything that has to be done at the end and amazed by how much we’ve already done. 

I spent the afternoon making the chocolates for the wedding favors. I had planned to make 3 per person, but I ended up making 5 (apparently an odd number is good luck for a bride. I think any amount of chocolate is good luck for anyone!) It was fun, but I could use a massage on my lower back after leaning over for three hours. The Mother of the Bride and I still have to package them in little bags.

Chocolate favor making

To prepare to make the favors, I had experimented with various flavors and techniques for chocolate making in Michigan. I thought that I’d try using squeeze bottles this time, but that proved to be a disaster yesterday. I kept melting the chocolate on low in the microwave and the chocolate wouldn’t melt. When it did, it wouldn’t flow nicely through the very small tip (even after I gave the bottom a good slap.) Finally, I microwaved the bottle some more and it imploded. The bottom was sucked inward and the chocolate was mixed with the melted plastic. That is not something you want to serve to your most beloved family and friends. I threw out the dreaded bottles and bought a new double-broiler on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond yesterday. So today, I knew what I was getting myself into and was ready. 

If you plan to be a DIY bride like I am, I recommend practicing making the items ahead of time (especially if it is food!) I was able to practice in Michigan and then order everything that I needed to have it ready for me at my parents’ house when I arrived last week. I did overdo it a little; there were twice as many bags of chocolate than I needed and I even made more chocolates than I thought I would (see how important math is?) Anyone need a bag? Or seven?

Yesterday was a busy day, too. I finished packaging the hotel welcome bags and wrapped the presents for the Wonderful Women. (More on that after the wedding. Can’t ruin any surprises!) After shopping for the double-broiler (called a “bagno Maria” in Italian – literally, Maria’s Bath?), I bought some special wines to share with our guests at a wine pairing station. We’ve made sure that my fiancé’s home state and our current state (Michigan) are represented. A friend told me that there is New Jersey Exit Wine. Perhaps I’ll look for that. Am I allowed to make the joke about what exit I take for the store? I didn’t think so. 

Tomorrow I’m off to pick up the wedding license, meet with the DJ and visit with my great aunt before going to a dance class with my parents. Somewhere in between then, I might have a slice of cake and a chocolate or two that went awry and wasn’t counting. Luckily, there are more than a few.

Chocolate favors

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