We’re big gift givers on this end. We just love making guests feel special and think a welcome gift at a destination wedding is the opportunity to do just that. That said, however, we are the first to admit that sometimes these gifts go unappreciated, but more on that later. One way to ensure that doesn’t happen is a gifting suite. A gifting suite is a room, nook or area at an event that is set up beautifully which allows guests to pick and choose the items they would enjoy most. We’ve done these with one bag or a variety of options and then let guests go to town in choosing their favorite snacks, souvenirs and more. With that in mind, we wanted to share four reasons to have a gifting suite over a traditional welcome bag:

Because guests are choosing only the things they really want (or in some instances even forgoing a bag all together), they only take those elements they can truly envision themselves enjoying. This means no more custom yoga mats in the trash, bags of the couple’s favorite candies untouched and bottles of wine unopened. Instead, you can feel good that the guests took what they enjoy and plan to use it.

Gifting suites add an element of fun and interaction at your events. We specifically like to feature these at the welcome celebration, where guests can feel like their shopping, talk to other guests, ooh and ahh over their new favorite finds and more. Much like anything interactive (a food station, Photo Booth, etc), this is usually a hit because guests love something that engages them.

Because you don’t need to provide one of each element for each guest, you can provide variety. We recommend assessing which items you think will be the biggest hit and getting one per couple of those details. Everything else, you can get enough for about half of the people and incorporate a lot of options. Think snacks, souvenirs, travel guides, cocktail kits and more.

The one thing I truly love about a gifting suite is seeing the joy on the faces of the guests as they choose their favorite item. Guests truly are like kids in a candy store and it’s such a wonderful experience to witness how special this type of activity makes them feel.

We will share more about how to execute a successful gifting suite soon. In the meantime, a special thank you for David Bastianoni for the beautiful images of this amazing gifting area executed for Rachel and Alex’s welcome party in Ravello, Italy…check it out here.