Wedding Welcomes

Creating a thoughtful thanks for your guests is a labor of love.

If there’s one unexpected benefit to giving guests a thoughtfully chosen welcome, KK Harris believes it is that it will make the newlyweds’ marriage better. “The more insight you give to your family and friends who are there to support you, the better they understand you as a couple,” she says. “Every memory you can build contributes to happiness in life.” 

As the owner of House of Floralie in Richmond, the East Coast’s only storefront gift concierge, Harris urges clients to think about their identity as a couple and share their taste with others. She suggests including five items in the welcome package: something that’s the bride’s favorite, something that’s the groom’s favorite, something that represents them as a couple, something that could be helpful to guests, and something indulgent or local that incorporates the wedding venue and can allow people to get a feel for the area. “It needs meaning. You don’t just want to throw in something—that will be a waste of money,” Harris says. “Things that smell good or taste good are always the favorites.”

Virginia’s wealth of comestibles and handcrafted objects provides plenty of options. Harris often chooses bottles of Virginia Artesian water with a simple dogwood label and Charlottesville-based La Vache Microcreamery fleur de sel caramels. Three Sisters cheese straws, Olli Salumeria snacks, Virginia Cocktail Company salted or chocolate-covered peanuts, and Virginia-shaped shortbread cookies are also popular. Even blueberries from Swift Creek Berry Farm or Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood might be seasonal choices if they’re relevant to the couple’s interests, or a Virginia wine if the wedding is at a winery. A booklet of wedding information that tells a little about the couple ties everything together.

“It’s more interesting to give products where you have a strong maker story to tell about the product you are giving,” Harris says. “I think it enhances the experience between the giver and the recipient. We have a maker mindset at the store, so if we can’t source it, we’ll make it. We get joy out of handcrafting, and we support makers who are handcrafting. The labor of love comes from creating unique things.”

When a chosen item doesn’t have enough visual punch to fit the wedding style, Harris might design a custom package or label for a presentation that’s personalized. Hand-stamped bags or tissue paper dress up the gift. “There’s a fun, authentic way to share what your favorite thing is,” she says. When done well, guests will remember the details long after the wedding, and the couple’s uniquely hospitable intentions are part of the memory. Floralie.com


This article originally appeared in our Weddings 2019 issue.

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