To Do or Not to Do? Wedding Welcome Gifts


Merigold & Gray’s “Glitter & Gold” Pre-Made Gift Box ($109)

If spare time was infinite and budgets didn’t exist, I’m pretty sure that every bride would design sweet welcome gifts for their overnight guests. They’d spend hours flipping through the gorgeousness of the Merigold & Grey Instagram account and then they’d shed just a tear or two imagining the “ooohs” and “ahhhs” of guests gleefully receiving their packages as they enter their hotel rooms. {Wait. Is that just me?}

As destination and semi-destination (northern Michigan, for instance) weddings become more common, it’s not unusual that friends and family are shelling out for not just one, but two, nights at your primary hotel or resort dependent on the weekend’s itinerary.

I loved the idea of a little “welcome gift” that would be given to each guest as they arrived at the hotel, as a thank you from us. So, inside small, black fabric baskets, I organized a couple bottles of water, some snacks (popcorn, pretzels and chocolate-covered fruit) as well as mini vase of flowers. {Tip: In hindsight, lose the flowers … they require way too much work – like buying and arranging them – on the weekend of your wedding.}

Additionally, it’s worth nothing that our crew of out-of-town guests was really only about 15 couples, so the workload was considerably less than if we’d been hosting 50 or more travelers. Had it been more, I definitely would have adjusted the cost and approach to our gifts.


  1. Call your primary hotel (where you’ve booked a block of rooms for your wedding) to find out the total number of rooms booked for your guests. Note the number of gifts that you’ll need to create; one per room.
  2. Ask the hotel if they are able to hand out gifts to guests as they check-in to their rooms, or if room delivery is required. If so, ask what fees apply. 
  3. Determine what your welcome gifts will consist of and get to buying things in advance; you’ll want to pull these babies together at least a week in advance so that they’re not on your to-do list in the last days before your wedding.
    • Vessel: What type of vessel will you use to deliver the gifts in? A soft basket like I used worked nicely {Dollar Store FTW!}, but wooden crates, fabric bags or even inexpensive paper gift bags get the job done.
    • Hydration: Unless your hotel offers free bottles of water for guests, these are a MUST. After a night of festivities – and likely, an open bar – everyone wants to stay hydrated and cross their fingers for a hangover-free morning.
    • Snacks: I like the idea of either late-night or breakfast snacks. If you’re sticking with the late-night theme, consider salty and sweet options like chips or chocolate. If you’re looking for breakfast options, consider pastries {doughnuts!} or granola bars.
    • Other: Aspirin … no explanation needed, tissues for the emotional criers among us, gum for close conversations, simple bud vases, fans {for outdoor summer weddings}, maps of the venue, weekend agendas and itineraries.

Looking for more inspiration? Martha Stewart Weddings has a great roundup of real-wedding welcome bags here. also highlights five companies that will craft lovely gifts for you.

And if you’re a Detroit bride, we couldn’t end this post without linking to some of our favorite local and state-made shelf-stable products that we think are just perfect for gifting …



The simple DIY welcome packages for our wedding guests

Weekly Wedding Deals + Steals

This week’s wedding deals are up and at ’em; happy Monday, everyone!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that when you click through and make a purchase, I may receive compensation. Please note that this NEVER means you pay more as a customer.

  • NORDSTROM: This playful “love” banner is 40 percent off and only $14.40 (originally $24). We love the coral color and fun, gold tassels … perfect to hang above a bar cart at your engagement fete or even in the bedroom post-honeymoon. Also “oooohing” over this world travel canvas that’s perfect for guest’s well wishes at the wedding – and way more fun than an ol’ guest book. It’s 33 percent off for $49.90 (originally $75.
  • BHLDN: This parisian bridal hair comb is the perfect balance of tulle, netting and sparkling crystals and at $60 (originally $220), it’s also an uh-mazing deal.
  • REVOLVE: This simple, sexy white dress screams bachelorette party IMHO. You can scoop it up for $95 (originally $158), by NBD. Fully lined and hand-washable, you might as well pack it for an evening out on the honeymoon, too!
  • DAVID’S BRIDAL: This mid-length veil with a filligree comb is a simple complement to nearly any style bridal gown. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to don a veil, this one – at $70 (originally $200) – seems like an affordable way to try it on and make the final call.
  • RENT THE RUNWAY: When it comes to a summer bridal shower, how could you do better than this soft, flowy number? Philosophy’s Garden Maxi is sweet enough for daytime with a plungy neckline that could easily take it right to a dinner party, too. Best part? Originally $1590, now $239 to BUY at Rent the Runway.
  • OLIVE + PIPER: These coral-colored drop earrings are maybe, just maybe, everything? They’re on sale for only $15 this week only (regularly $28), so snag ’em now! Free shipping with orders of $49 😉
  • TINY PRINTS: Order your wedding or shower thank-you cards {featuring engagement or wedding photos} or custom return address stickers from Tiny Prints, and get 50 percent off when you purchase a gift credit through for the next three days. Buy a $60 credit for $30, $100 for $50 or $150 for $75 – just note that you need to place your order by June 14th!

p.s. Don’t forget to use a cash-back site like Ebates when you’re shopping online!

New + Noteworthy in “The D”


Source: // Rusas Printing Building

SO. MUCH. is going on in Detroit right now. It’s hard to keep up! Let’s cover some of the most recent updates …

  • The QLine is up and running; hooray! If you’re a bride that’s considering Detroit, this transit system will significantly help your guests get around the city. Rehearsal dinner at The Whitney? Easy, hop on the line from the Aloft Hotel and take it up a few stops to Midtown. Grab drinks at Townhouse a short ride later. Then head toward the DIA for the Big Day … it’s the Woodward Wedding of my dreams!
  • The Foundation Hotel  in the old firehouse is open! Book a room today and scope out the new restaurant and roof-top event space … perfect for wedding ceremonies and small receptions, I believe?
  • One of the region’s wildest wedding cake bakers has opened up a brightly-colored brick-and-mortar shop in Cass Cooridor and let me say this: I cannot wait to try these sugar masterpieces. From soft and elegant to sleek and sculptural, these beauties are something else; you can check out the full wedding cake gallery here.
  • The reno of the old Packard Plant is underway and plans are to include a ground-floor event space that could be used for wedding receptions – hooray! The only catch? We’ll be waiting 18-24 months for the renovations to be complete.
  • The Detroit News provides guidance on how to help your wedding guests mingle and ensure that everyone has a good time.
  • Detroit Metro Times published its “Best of” list for retailers and service providers … check out the full list here and consider yourself recommended by the masses.
  • Love, love, love these wedding-inspired photos by Chelsea Brown Photography at the Rusas Printing Building in New Center. (Shown above.)

Marking “Year One”


We did a fantastic job of chronicling our first year of marriage … on Facebook. God forbid that site goes down in a fiery storm some day; all of our photos would be entirely lost! To preserve *some* of them, I turned to (where I ordered our wedding album, which I adore) for a 15-page lay-flat book that I could populate with pics from our travels and festivities over the first 365 days.

As you can see in the photo above, I opted to add a title along the binding that’s just a little bit blunt. My vision is that in a decade, we’ll have a pretty little set of black linen books, marking each of our first 10 years. (Let’s hope that Zno stays in business for a long time so that my Type A personality can achieve matching albums!)

To attempt to make it a little bit easier on myself, as soon as I finished this album, I created another identical “project” on the website that I can pop into when I have time and continuously add photos to throughout “Year Two.” Now that I think about it, maybe I should set a monthly reminder on my iPhone …

Anyway. Photo albums not your thing? A few other ideas that I think would help to track the years nicely:

  • Annual Christmas or holiday ornament to adorn your tree
  • A journal in which each year gets a one-page summary or highlights reel from both of you
  • An add-to-it collection (think of a glass vase or trinket box with a shell added from a beach vacation each year)

What ways do you celebrate and document your passing years?

Weekly Wedding Deals + Steals

Another Monday, another round of wedding deals … this week, we’ve found some amazing value, including a summer-bride clutch that comes in at less than $20 (say, what?!). Take a gander and let us know if you end up throwing anything into your cart!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that when you click through and make a purchase, I may receive compensation. Please note that this NEVER means you pay more as a customer.

  • BEAU-COUP: How adorable is this “Hooray” mylar balloon banner? Perfect for bridal shower decor, to jazz up a rehearsal dinner space or even in front of a photo booth wall at your reception! Originally $16.95, now $13.56.
  • TARGET: I hated the idea of spending big money on an ivory clutch that I would use one day and never again, which is why this ruffled champagne clutch is perfect for your wedding day, at only $14.98 (originally $29.99); also love this linen shimmer clutch, ideal for summer brides! It’s an even better steal at $17.48 (originally $34.99).
  • KATE SPADE: This gold-dotted wedding bells pouch leaves a space for your wedding hashtag; what’s cuter than that? Now $69 (originally $98).
  • ANTHROPOLOGIE: Bid au revoir to your friends and family and jet off with this adorable floral passport cover and luggage tag, on sale for $14.95 (originally $24.99). Also makes a sweet bridal party gift for destination weddings!
  • JOANN: These 18″ hanging boxwood monograms are the perfect way to pair your initials or new monogram at your wedding festivities. (Oh, yes, there’s a boxwood ampersand – & – too!). Nab ’em for 50 percent off at $9.99 (originally $19.99).
  • SOMA: This sweet lace cami-and-short pajama set is honeymoon ready and comes in both white or navy, is only $39.99 (regularly $58) online.

Staying Connected Despite Chaos


Sometimes, trudging through ten months of wedding planning can make a person crazy. Crazy in an “it’s-all-about-me because I have one zillion updates on vendor pricing and dress alterations “sort of crazy. As in, I’ve monopolized the conversation for 45 minutes but, oh gosh, how are you doing? sort of way.

You know what I mean, right?

That’s why I feel that it’s important to take a look at your calendar and schedule dates with each of your favorite people leading up to the wedding. “Dates” that are about them {not you, and definitely not the wedding!}. Dates to simply catch up, laugh a bit, and be the friend that you typically are when you’re not planning the biggest event of your life. Maintaining relationships is part of the planning process that reaps significant reward in your post-wedding life.

And good news; you don’t have to break your wedding budget to brainstorm a great lady date. I was meeting with a friend recently and had suggested happy hour at home, but when my home turned out to be an inconvenient option {commuter nightmare, ugh!}, we settled on happy hour at her house – my treat.

A prettily packaged rose bubbly complemented a to-go tray filled with simple snacks … some fresh-cut fruit, olive-oil drizzled and toasted french baguette with a tomato-and-garlic topping as well as kale pesto {thank you, Whole Foods} and a handful of tiny ginger cookies.

Sweet, simple and inexpensive, but oh-so valuable downtime with your fave folks.

What life hacks have you discovered that make wedding planning easier on you and the rest of the people in your life?

Weekly Wedding Deals + Steals

Hey gals: Good news! This week, I’ve rounded up a mix of marvelous, wedding-related deals that I think many of you might find interesting … after all, planning a wedding can be intense – financially and emotionally – so every little “steal” counts!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that when you click through and make a purchase, I may receive compensation. Please note that this NEVER means you pay more as a customer.

  • COSABELLA: Super luxe lingerie (indulge yo’ self!) for your Big Day underthings or honeymoon packing, now 50% off when you purchase an online credit through Gilt through Thursday, May 11th. ($100 through $1,000 credits available.)
  • BHLDN: I LOVE the scent of Capri Blue candles and these “Be My Bridesmaid” or “Be My Maid of Honor” candles have been slashed from $34 to $14. The classiest and most delicious-smelling way to ask your ladies to join the bridal party,
  • DEBORAH LIPPMAN: Nail polishes don’t get any more chic than when they’re poured in Deborah Lippman bottles. Nab your favorite colors (we love the sheer pink Chantilly Lace for brides) at a 50% discount when your purchase an online credit via Gilt City – $60 – $150 credits available through May 21st.
  • RIFLE PAPER CO: These marigold place cards are perfect for a small, summery wedding outdoors and are currently on sale for $5.63 for an eight-pack (regularly $7.50).
  • EBATES: For its birthday week, is offering 15% cash back at a ton of fabulous retailers, including VIX Swimwear, Ulta, Things Remembered, Sunglass Hut, Philosophy, Neiman Marcus (whoa!), Macy’s, Lancome, eBags and many, many more places to nab great deals for the wedding festivities and honeymoon!
  • OLIVE + PIPER: This coral hued “Bridesmaid” trinket box is the sweetest way to gift your bridesmaids jewelry for the wedding day, and at only $10 (originally $28), it’s won’t break the bank!
  • DAVID’S BRIDAL: Top your cake with this silver “Happily Ever After” topper, only $9.99 (originally $32.95), just over 7″ tall and 5″ wide, it will look great on any size cake.
  • JOANN: These gold metal and glass terrariums scream summer! Hang them to create a lush space indoors or use them for centerpieces at your shower or reception; the options are limitless. Scoop ’em up for $14.99 (originally $29.99).
  • RENT THE RUNWAY: This creamy, lace illusion dress is the ideal solution for a sweet and sexy bachelorette party, and the best part? It’s only $50 to rent for four days at Rent the Runway, but retails for $338. Plus, $25 Off First Order From Rent the Runway of $75 Or More

*Please note that all prices and availability above were accurate as of Monday, May 8 when this was posted.*

FREE: Sunset Mr and Mrs Printable


It’s that time again! Oooh, and this one is a good one 😉

For all of you in need of a little shot of color on that gallery wall, or who are getting ready to gift a bride in your life, we’ve got this sweet sunset printable that features “mr and mrs” in a fanciful, white script.

{Perfect for destination wedding decor, might I add!}

Simply download and print this Sunset Mr and Mrs PDF – sized for trimming to 8″ x 10″ after printing on a standard letter-size sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper.

Want to customize your print with your wedding date or “Established” year? Easy! Just hop on over to our Etsy page, where we sell the customizable version for $1.99.

Ideas on how to use this print …

  • Framed on your hallway gallery wall in a simple thin, white frame
  • On your home office desk in this chic, acrylic frame
  • Printed and framed in honor of your bestie’s destination wedding
  • Framed and displayed at a tropical themed bridal shower
  • As a take-home gift for your {married} bachelorette attendees
  • Within your wedding album

Have your own creative idea? Leave us a note in the comments and let us know how you’re using this free printable!

Year One

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It’s crazy to believe that it’s been one full year since we made it official.

And just when I thought things would become boringly slow, we’ve somehow managed to maintain the same chaotic pace throughout our first 365 days as wedded folks. A few weeks back, as I was plotting a way to mark our first anniversary, I began to tick off the travel that we’ve put under in our belt in “Year One.”

  • Bora Bora – New Zealand – Australia (Honeymoon!)
  • Toronto (Memorial Day Getaway)
  • Grand Bend, Ontario – a quirky little beach town (Fourth of July)
  • Vancouver – Whistler – Seattle (Summer Vacation)
  • Chicago (A Hamilton musical birthday surprise – MAJOR bonus points)
  • Palm Springs, California (Winter Vacation)
  • Maui (Self-declared Adult Spring Break)
  • New York City (Anniversary Trip)

Like, what the? Who and when did we manage time for all of this craziness? {And, just in case you’re wondering, I can assure you that we maintained a more-than-healthy savings rate through all of it; I promise that I don’t condone spending outrageously on travel!}

Anyhow, it’s been one helluva year. We’ve squeezed a ton of fun into it. Many a tiki bar. Loads of time with family and friends. Interesting career developments. The hunt for a new home… which is still ongoing.

I have grandiose plans to document many of these trips here on the blog, for fellow Detroiters that are hoping to escape every now and then. Until then, however, I figured that I’d share a few photos.

Instant Download Wedding Planner


When you’re looking a sweet but helpful gift to calm the nerves of the newly engaged in your life … we’ve got something for you.

Head on over to Etsy and check out our Ultimate Wedding Planner … 31 pages of useful tools and tips to guide today’s modern bride through the excitement leading up to and surrounding her Big Day.

For $12.99, your purchase includes an instant download PDF, which you can edit on your computer or print out for use in a binder or folder for extra chic gifting. {The PDF is sized for printing on U.S. letter-sized paper – 8.5″ x 11″.} We suggest using a three-ring binder where you can store photos, magazine clippings, inspiration + more!

Inside, you’ll find all the organizational goodies a bride’s craving:

– Wedding Budget Spreadsheet
– Wedding Date Considerations + Calendar
– Six+ months out to-dos
– Five months out to-dos
– Four months out to-dos
– Three months out to-dos
– Two months out to-dos
– One month out to-dos
– Month of wedding (!) to-dos
– Vendor Research + Notes
– Wedding Registry Checklist
– Wedding Registry Tips
– Bridal Shower Gift List // Thank-You Tracker
– Wedding Reception Seating Chart
– Wedding Day Checklist
– Wedding Gift List // Thank-You Tracker
– Honeymoon Packing Guide
– Master Contact List
– Bonus Faux Gold Foil Place Card Printable (a $5 value!)
– Bonus Faux Gold Foil Menu Template Printable (a $5 value!)

Check out the full Etsy shop for a slew of other printables, too, including our new – and favorite! – pink geometric diamond place cards, perfect for Bachelorette Parties and Bridal Showers.