A welcome bag is such a fun way to welcome out-of-town guests to your wedding. And as a wedding guest, there’s nothing quite like finding some thoughtful goodies waiting for you when you arrive at your hotel – especially if you’ve traveled a long way to get there! We’ve partnered with Zazzle to share some of our favorite ideas for building an awesome wedding welcome bag.

How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle

 

The Bag 

There are lots of container options for a welcome bag – anything from simple kraft paper bags to fancy gift boxes. My personal favorite is a customized canvas tote bag, because it doesn’t take up a lot of room in a suitcase, and it’s something your guests will be able to use again. I have a couple of these from weddings I’ve attended, and I use them at the grocery store on a regular basis – a fun reminder of a fun time!

Tip #1: Ask an artistic friend to create a fun wedding “logo” for you - or use some cool fonts to create your own – and use it to customize your welcome bag or other wedding swag (t-shirts, beer koozies, etc.). 

Tip #2: If you go with a reusable tote bag, don’t feel like you have to fill the whole thing - your guests don’t want to lug a bunch of extra stuff home with them anyway. Or, think bulky-but-cheap: full-size bags of popcorn or boxes of crackers take up space without breaking the bank, and people will likely polish them off while they’re hanging out between wedding weekend events.

 

How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle

 

The Snacks

Confession: I remember the welcome bag snacks from the past three weddings I attended. Homemade pretzel Hugs (seriously addictive), Garrett Popcorn’s Chicago mix (even more addictive), and chocolate dipped coconut patties. So my snack bias is probably showing, but I think if you’re only going to include one thing in your welcome bag, it should be something edible. Preferably something sweet and something salty. Bonus points for something made locally. For this San Francisco-inspired welcome bag we went with a couple locally made treats (479° Popcorn and Poco Dolce toffee squares) and yogurt-covered pretzels. For the popcorn and pretzels, we bought large bags and repackaged them in smaller glassine and kraft paper bags, then sealed them with a big round customized sticker.

Tip #3If you plan on packaging things yourself, glassine or cello bags are best for anything remotely greasy (chips, popcorn, cookies); kraft paper will show grease spots, so use it for things like chocolate covered pretzels or hard candies.

Tip #4: Don’t forget something to drink. Bottled water, soda, or sparkling juice are good options. Make sure you’re considering who your guests are before including booze in welcome bags – your college buddies might be excited to find something from a local microbrewery in their bag, but your fiancée’s grandparents might not. Or they might. Use your best judgment.

 

How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle

 

Welcome Letter & Itinerary

Send your greetings and gratitude in a little welcome note, and make sure to include an itinerary and transportation information – there’s nothing worse than traveling across the country for a wedding, only to realize you’ve left the invitation at home and have no idea what time the ceremony starts or how to get there! Depending on the location of your wedding, as well as how much of the weekend is scheduled, guests might have a little free time to explore the area. Give them a highlights tour with a list of your favorite things to see and do, and places to eat and shop.

Tip #5: Ask your guests to share their photos from the weekend on Instagram, and to make sure and tag them with a custom hashtag – we used #lizzieandjames for our imagined San Francisco couple. You might even set up Eventstagram at your reception to display all the pics!

Tip #6: Consider including the phone number of your wedding planner or a friend or family member who can answer any wedding-related questions. You probably won’t want guests calling you or your fiancé for directions while you’re getting ready to walk down the aisle.

 

How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle

 

Oops! Kit

Without fail, I forget to pack something important whenever I travel – usually toothpaste. If you want to go above and beyond snacks and a welcome letter, a little “Oops! Kit” is a thoughtful touch for your welcome bags. We used a fabric pen to draw a little red cross on small muslin bags for our kits (a rubber stamp would work well too), then filled them with trial size toiletries we think would be most useful: Kleenex, blister healing Band-Aids, Shout Wipes, Advil, TUMS, and mints.

(Note: Make sure to place a piece of cardboard or other liner inside the muslin bag before painting or stamping, otherwise the ink will bleed through to the other side.)

Tip #7: Drugstores should have travel size items, but they don’t always carry trial sizes. If you’re looking for a mini version of a specific toiletry, Minimus.biz is a great resource.

Tip #8: Depending on your wedding destination, you might want to include location-appropriate items that guests will be glad to have, like sunscreen or bug spray.

 

How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle How To Build a Wedding Welcome Bag | Zazzle

 

Fun Extras

If your budget allows, it can be fun to include little tokens of the trip for guests to take home with them. Some ideas:

- souvenirs like a magnet, shot glass, landmark miniature
postcards for your guests to scrapbook or send (Zazzle has a huge selection to choose from)
- local treat to take home like a jar of honey, jam, or mustard
- playful, customized things like a deck of cards, beer koozie, temporary tattoo
- mix CD or thumb drive playlist of your favorite songs

Tip #9: If you include anything like local jam or honey, make sure it’s small enough for your guests to pack in a carry-on bag. It would be terrible to have your thoughtful gift get confiscated at airport security!

Tip #10: Avoid scented candles or soaps; the fragrance can transfer to edibles, making your carefully planned snacks taste like perfume.

 

So there you have it! Our tips for building an awesome welcome bag for your out-of-town wedding guests. Did we miss anything? If you’re doing welcome bags for your wedding, what are you including in them?!

 


This post is sponsored by Zazzle, who makes it easy to create custom items for yourself or to sell, simply by uploading your artwork or personalizing one of their existing designs. From invitations to bridesmaid tank tops, from custom postage stamps to table number cards, Zazzle is a great resource for your custom wedding needs.

Custom designs by Kirsten Eva for Snippet & Ink.

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Julianne Smith, owner of The Garter Girl, is here sharing her embroidery skills with us for a super sweet tutorial: how to add a little custom embroidery to your wedding day. Whether it’s a memento on the groom’s shirt, or something blue on the wedding dress, we love how simply charming this DIY project is!

If you want to add something sweet and personal to your wedding dress, then consider hand embroidering something on the inside. You could put your new monogram or wedding date, even a heart! Once you master embroidering on the inside of your dress, you can also try embroidering your fiance’s dress shirt cuffs or a ring pillow. Embroidering by hand is simple, I promise, even if you can’t sew or don’t think of yourself as a “crafty” person!

Embroidery also a very affordable wedding DIY project. Most packages of embroidery floss cost less than one dollar and you will only need a very small amount of a package. This is such a simple and small project that anyone can try it! The best part is that if it doesn’t work or you don’t like how it turns out, you can take it out with some scissors and try again!

Tools
Sewing needle
Embroidery floss in any color
Scissors
Pencil

Step 1.  Because I embroider so much and have been doing it for years, I do most of it by “eye balling” the design. But, if you are beginner or just doing this once and want to get it just right, I recommend typing out what you want to embroider and printing it out. This print out will be act as a stencil for your embroidery design. You can pick a gorgeous font or something sweet like a clip art heart. Take your print out and place it underneath your fabric. Use the pencil to very lightly trace your design.

Step 2.  Cut a length of embroidery floss about 30 inches long. You will notice that one piece of floss is made up of several smaller strands of floss that are twisted together. You’ll want to separate the floss strands and only use two strands of the floss at one time. You can separate it by pulling the strands apart. It helps to place the long piece of floss between your knees as you pull it apart.

Step 3.  Hold your two strands of floss together and thread them through the eye of your sewing needle. The “eye” is the loop on the opposite end of the pointy end. It helps to moisten your strands and slightly trim them at an angle to make a point so they are easier to thread through the needle. Pull the strand about half way through the eye and let it hang down. On the long end of the floss hanging from the eye, tie a knot. It helps to moisten your fingers and hold the floss between your pointer finger and thumb. Wrap the end of the floss around your pointer finger and roll the strands through your fingers to make a knot.

Step 4.  Hold your fabric in your lap with the right side facing you. (The “right side” is the side that you want to see when it is finished. The “wrong side” is the backside of the side of the fabric that no one will see.) Put your needle underneath your fabric and point the tip of the needle at the spot where the pencil mark starts. Pull the needle through the fabric at this point. The needle should go from the wrong side through to the right side of the fabric. Gently pull your needle with the floss on it through the fabric until the knot catches and you can’t pull it anymore.

Step 5.  You will use the pencil marks as a guide and sew right over the pencil marks. If you made the pencil marks light enough, you won’t see the marks when you are done. Place your needle 1/8th an inch past the point where the floss came through from the wrong side. This is your starting point. Push the needle through the fabric slightly and pop it back through the fabric just before the starting point. It helps to use your opposite hand’s thumb as a guide. Gently pull the floss until it catches and you can’t pull anymore. Be soft and don’t pull it too tight. Put your needle 1/8th of an inch father up the pencil mark and pop it through the fabric right at the point where the first stitch started. Repeat these tiny stitches all across the pencil marks until the end. This is called the running stitch. If you need more instructions for how to do the running stitch or are a visual learner, you can search the Internet for tutorials on the running stitch.

Step 6.  When you get to a sharp corner, push your needle down through the fabric to the wrong side. (You will be starting again.) Then bring the needle back up through to the right side of the fabric at the point that you want to start a new angle. Continue the running stitch down your new pencile marks.

Step 7.  When you are finished, push your needle down through the fabric to the wrong side. Turn the fabric over so that you are looking at the wrong side. Pull your needle off of the floss and set it aside, you are finished with the needle. Gently tie the floss strands into a knot and trim the ends, leaving about a 1-inch tail.

Concept, Tutorial: The Garter Girl / Photography: Abby Jiu

 

The Garter Girl is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink. If you’re looking for the perfect, custom garter for your wedding day, look no further! Every piece is made by hand, and we especially love the set of 5 ombre garters for you and your bridesmaids. 

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I love the look of red lipstick, but I’ve always been a little afraid to try it myself, so I’m thrilled to have Lora Kelley here to tell us how to do it without looking like a circus clown. And really, what better time to give it a go than Valentine’s Day?! Share your red lipstick look with us on Instagram and make sure to tag @snippetandink - we’ll re-gram some of your pics next week!

 

Lora’s Tips for Perfect Red Lips

Tip #1: Choosing the right color. The best advice I’ve heard is from makeup artist Rae Morris. Ask yourself if you prefer Tango Tangerine or Ballet Pink Rose. If you opt for Tango Tangerine, then you’ll probably love a warmer red. If you j’adore Ballet Pink Rose, you’ll probably want a cooler red. The great thing is that if you have a warmer red and want to add some coolness, you can pop a cool-toned pink gloss on top and voila! You have a new color. The same works for a cool red: sweep some golden gloss over the top for a warmer red.

Tip #2: Avoiding the “vixen” look. I’m dreadfully prudish and I love a good red lipstick. The way I avoid looking to crazy is by keeping my eye makeup in check. Our model is wearing little more than some sleek black liner, Laura Mercier Eye Basics in Wheat,  very light Sable Eye Colour in the crease, and of course mascara. You can add a retro swing by going cat-eye with the liner. I also recommend letting your red lip be the statement of your outfit, keeping colors minimal. If you’re making it an evening look, keep the dress Kate Middleton approved. 

Perfect Application

Tip #3: Be precise. I recommend Laura Mercier’s smoky eyeliner brush. Even though it’s not technically for lips, I have redefined its use to be my go-to lip brush. It’s a fine point synthetic brush with excellent precision for lining the lip. 

Tip #4: Stop feathering. Correct and prevent any bleeding colors or feathering by applying concealer around your lips. I love La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer with SPF 15. It’s a foundation and concealer in one. 

Tip #5: Start on the outside and work your way in. Line around your lip first, then fill in with color.

Inspired to give your kisser a red lipstick makeover for Valentine’s Day? Don’t forget to tag @snippetandink on your Instagram pic and we’ll re-gram some of them next week!

Hair, Makeup: Lora Kelley / Photography: Eric Kelley / Attire: EG / Earrings: Anthropologie / Red Lipstick: Poppy by Laura Mercier / Photo Scans: Film Box Lab

Lora Kelley and Eric Kelley are Snippet & Ink Select vendors.
This post contains affiliate links.

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Last month we featured Stephanie Fishwick‘s beautifully quirky custom crests. Today she’s here with a fun How To for creating your own eccentric envelopes, even if you don’t think of yourself as particularly artistic.

I’m sure you’ve heard the cry of “perfectly imperfect!” It’s a way of thinking that values character, personality and sincere hard work over surface gloss or flawlessness. True to that ethic, this little tutorial sits firmly in the natural, the irregular, or maybe even the haywire! But I happen to think imperfect things are beautiful. As my body of calligraphy work can attest: I love the eccentric factor in pretty much all things.

Not everyone can be (or wants to be) a calligrapher. Nor can everyone hire a professional calligrapher when the time calls for it. But for those of you who would like to make your envelopes a bit more deluxe and delightful, I’ve got some great ideas that won’t break the bank, take little skill (just character!), and are sure to make the recipient beam. “Look what I just got in the mail!”

These are sooo easy to make. If you have any inkling of artistic motivation you can create an eccentric envelope.

I won’t go into too much detail about technique, except to say: just do whatever comes naturally to your hand. Your own handwriting has a voice and a style. Go with it! See what happens. It might be a little ugly. So what? It’s handmade and that’s what counts.

Try to keep the color palette limited, and decorative details simple and small. Repetition and symmetry are key. Add little flourishes that relate to the theme of your event, letter or things the person you’re sending it to would like.

Note: Tools and materials really make or break this look. If you tried to do this with a ballpoint pen and envelopes you picked up at the pharmacy or big box art store, your finished product would not shine quite as much. I’m sure there are some of you who can make a masterpiece out of those materials, but for the rest of us, well, we need the good stuff! Here’s where to start:

Get yourself some nice black ink, a straight pen-holder, a nib, a Japanese brush pen, and a few watercolor brushes. A full list of materials and links is at the bottom of the post for help in purchasing.

I can’t stress enough how crucial high-quality envelopes are for this look. The envelope above is a letter envelope I bought at a local stationery shop. It is Original Crown Mill 100% Cotton. You can’t go wrong with any 100% cotton envelopes or water-color envelopes. Crane also makes some very affordable every-day envelopes that are widely available in stores. Tell the person at the shop that you’re looking for envelopes that will work with pen and ink.

Pictured above are some REALLY cheap watercolors I purchased at an art store. Bottom-shelf stuff! But still completely great if you ask me. Invest in the quality watercolors if you like (recommended would be the brand Windsor & Newton), and some mixing pans. Experiment. Watercolor is your friend for these because of its naturally occurring anomalies.

 

ECCENTRIC ENVELOPE SUPPLY LIST
- Simple black ink. I highly recommend Higgins Eternal for both lettering and calligraphy.
- Black acrylic ink. If you want inks that won’t bleed much when watercolors come near it, opt for acrylic inks.
- Straight pen holder and nib
- Windsor & Newton Cotman Water Color Brushes: Series 222 and 668. Synthetic brushes are best for lettering because they bounce back and are stiff. These are more affordable than nice, sable brushes too.
- Any larger nylon or synthetic brush for daubs and dots
- Angora Water Colors (these are my favorite inexpensive watercolors that I use in my studio)
- Windsor & Newton watercolors for a higher quality product and better mixing abilities
- India inks in an array of colors for use with brushes
- Japanese brush pens
- 100% cotton envelopes

MY FAVORITE CALLIGRAPHY SUPPLIES
Find more beginner calligraphy essentials in my shop!

 

This post originally appeared on Stephanie Fishwick’s blog. Reposted on Snippet & Ink with permission.

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Lora Kelley, one of our lovely Snippet & Ink Select vendors, is back with another lovely updo tutorial, this one a simple twisted bun. I’m totally hairdo-challenged, but I think even I could manage this one! Photos by Select vendor, Eric Kelley.

Tools:
curling iron (if needed to create loose curls)
texturizing spray (Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray or Redken Hot Sets 22 Thermal Setting Mist would work)
sectioning clips
bobby pins
finishing spray (Lora prefers Fekkai Sheer Hold Spray)

Directions:

What do you think? Something to try for your engagement party or rehearsal dinner – or even your wedding day if you’re going to DIY hair and makeup?!

Lora’s last tip? “When trying a new hairdo, I always start with tidy, happy makeup. It makes everything look better when you’re finished.”

Hair, Makeup: Lora Kelley / Photography: Eric Kelley

This post contains affiliate links. 
Lora Kelley and Eric Kelley are Snippet & Ink Select vendors.

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