07 Jul Welcome Gifts for Guests That Are Sure To Please
Let’s face it – who doesn’t love a surprise gift? Here in Charleston we are blessed with a cornucopia of items – farmers markets filled with local fresh fruit & veg; specialty local foods from pralines – to she crab soup mix – to grits – even local sea salt; handmade items from local artists from sweetgrass baskets to crafts involving palm fronds and seashells; craft beers and locally distilled spirits; and literally scores of boutiques with unique ideas sure to delight your visiting guests.
Nothing says Southern Hospitality more than a welcome basket in your room on arrival. Theme it to the time of your guests arrival, what’s in season at the time of their visit and what they may be doing while visiting – and of course if you know their favorite treats!
Deliver a lovely basket that can be immediately enjoyed after a journey. Bottled water is always welcome; include fresh fruit – local in season where possible – some bread and a local spread –nuts or crackers tied up with a pretty bow – something light to take the edge of before the festivities. Include a printed itinerary of the weekend’s events – maybe even a list of the other guests attending. Finish off with a sprig of fresh flowers
THE GIRL’S WEEKEND
Maybe it’s your BFF, sorority sister, favorite relative, godchild or ex-neighbor that’s jealous you now live in Paradise. Spoil them with a pastel pretty, indulgent, girlie-themed box of special yummy treats and a few small gifts. Fill a pretty box with special bottled water or favorite specialty drink; decadent cookies; a lovely scented candle and bar of luxury soap and other small unique nibble. Try and use one or two colors as the theme. – as in the peach and blues here. Include a personal note to let your guest(s) know how much their visiting means to you. This customized gift box is just one of many creative combinations by “A Signature Welcome” (www.asignaturewelcome.com). Photography by Lauren Jonas Photography (www.laurenjonas.com)
You don’t have to fill a basket with lots of treats, a few meaningful ones also makes a great hospitable impression. Fill a pretty container – this white picnic basket sets off the contents perfectly and it can be a gift as well – with just a few items – a bottle of their favorite wine – a jar of homemade goodness and a small bouquet from your garden tied up with a pretty bow. Somewhere in the basket include a corkscrew and utensils to enjoy any foodstuffs. Don’t forget the personalized gift card.
Sometimes your welcome gift is best appreciated on leaving. Pack your guests off for their journey home with a Charleston sendoff of local treats and small gifts to remember their visit. As well as a pretty basket (if you’re feeling flush and they are very good friends you can make it a sweetgrass one) as their present, tie up something small and uniquely Charleston to put inside – perhaps a dish towel or napkins – and easy to eat treats for the ride home – locally baked sweet treats; some fresh fruit; nuts; bottles water and salty satisfying nibbles. Wherever possible customize to your friends preferences. Tie it all up with a “Hope y’all come back real soon” heartfelt card and pretty bow.
WEEKEND CELEBRATING AN ANNIVERSARY OR WEDDING
You’ve invited great friends to gather for a special anniversary or wedding. Your passion is your garden, crafting, and cooking. Showcase your talents in a welcome gift highlighting your enduring love and special talents. Monogrammed novelty items such as plastic cups, cozies, stickers for homemade treats and bottled water, etc. emphasize your togetherness and make great keepsakes. Keep the decorations simple and to a minimum to let the monogramming message and your delicious tidbits shine through. Include a personalized note and welcome message with the weekend details.