From perfecting the welcome package to sending your reception party home with an experience they won’t soon forget, local tastemakers share the top gifts for guests.
Whether your guests traveled near or far, give them a warm welcome filled with Lowcountry favorites that can both be enjoyed right away or savored later.
For snacks, think salty, sweet, bubbly and refreshing to cover all your bases. Anna Swanson of Swanson Signature Events says you can’t go wrong with the classics, like Georgia Peanut Commission peanuts, Savannah Bee Company honey, locally made pralines and Coca-Cola in glass bottles. For a playful twist, she recommends adding in Savannah Bananas memorabilia, monogrammed golf towels and a bottle of wine — plus a hangover kit for post-wedding recovery.
Need more inspiration? Here are a few ideas to incorporate local flavor.
Emily McCarthy & Co.’s Cocktail Candle is hand-poured in a reusable low-ball glass, making it a two-for-one souvenir. Be sure to include a handwritten note. Emily McCarthy & Co. can also help with custom stationery. // Photo courtesy EMILY MCCARTHY
Nothing says “Southern coastal” quite like an oyster shell. Allison Newton of Allison Event Design suggests gifting a local shell painted with a local map by Richmond Hill-based True South Designs for an original memento that can be repurposed as an ornament or ring dish. // Courtesy ALLISON EVENT DESIGN // Photo by ASHLEY SPANGLER PHOTOGRAPHY
A familiar staple found at the Forsyth Farmers’ Market or on the shelves at Fancy Parker’s Market on Drayton Street in Savannah, Palmetto Kettle Corn checks the boxes for a snack that’s both salty and sweet. // Photo by KELLI BOYD PHOTOGRAPHY
To take your welcome package the extra mile, give the gift of sightseeing, such as including tickets to hop on Old Savannah Tours. Swanson also recommends including an itinerary for the weekend with a custom watercolor map of the city. // Photo courtesy VISIT SAVANNAH
Before you say goodbye, surprise your guests with a local treat to send them home with full hearts — and bellies. “I tend to lean more towards an experience they won’t forget or something practical they will keep and not throw away,” says Swanson.
Likewise, Dapper Event Co. owner Sophie Longwater always suggests couples offer a snack if the party will last late, such as Chick-fil-A served on silver platters to guests on the dance floor. “I have never heard of a guest turning their noses up to a yummy snack before the night ends.”
For coffee lovers, consider having an espresso bar at your reception. Better yet, choose a favorite bean blend from a local roaster — such as The Coffee Fox Roasting Co. or PERC Coffee — and offer guests bags to take to go. // Courtesy THE COFFEE FOX
Another option is to check with your caterer or reception venue for add-ons. For example, Longwater says The Alida serves “the most delicious chicken-and-waffles bar you’ll ever eat.”