I have always believed that my sister Patti started that most wonderful of all traditions, THE GIFT BAG. The gift bag is what you get when you go out of town to a family get together or wedding. The gift bag is waiting for you when you check into the hotel and is full of meaningful little items and chocolate. You might also find Jordan Almonds nestled in a special gift bag. The first gift bag I ever encountered was (I believe) at my niece Jenny's wedding in Iowa..... hence my idea that my sister was the genius behind the goodie bag. Imagine my surprise when a friend was telling me that when they checked into the hotel for her relatives wedding they had a gift bag full of goodies. I was stunned at how fast my sisters idea took root(I don't get out much)... I am glad I kept my mouth shut and didn't brag that my sister invented the things. I found out sadly that my sister did not invent gift bags. I will, however, say that she may not have done the first gift bag but she is in the running for the best. Rebekah and I now have a problem: THE GIFT BAG. What to put in it... we have a family image to uphold. I can't have my relatives whispering behind their hands that our bags were somehow inferior. The real trick is to fill the bag with useful items and things that make the recipient go.. awwwwwww looky at this... how cute, and to do it without spending the mint to do it. Beck and I have discussed this for a year. Gift bag items rank right up there with what to serve at the reception. In fact a great gift bag can go along way in decreasing the complaints about the reception food... for example "man that cake was as dry as toast but boy-o-boy didn't we get a great GIFT BAG, these people sure know how to throw a party". We come from an area that provides great sample goodies like Tabasco sauce from Avery Island, pralines, Mardi Gras stuff, plastic alligators...you know the neat stuff. The ultimate goal is to continue to hear about the gift bags that you have created for at least 2 family reunions.
Wedding souvenirs are those take home things that are given at the reception.(I could just slap the snot out of the person who started that little tradition) Everyone gets those as opposed to the gift bag which only those who stay in the hotel get. We now have to find an item that is meaningful, says 'we care' and reminds the recipients of Becky and Shane AND doesn't cost the moon for 250 of them. I also don't want something that involves me tying ribbons around, gluing, or doing any manual labor in getting it ready for presentation on the souvenir table. It was a piece of cake when everyone smoked.... books of matches. I thought about getting those small personal purse sized toilet paper rolls(found those and gave it to the kids in their stockings 2 Christmas' ago) It's meaningful, it certainly says 'we care' and they will remember Becky and Shane each time they hit a bathroom that has run out of toilet paper. It would be really cute if we could get a picture of the bride and groom wrapped around the roll.