Airliner landing and passing over palm trees

Whether you are hosting a destination wedding, or just expecting many out-of-town guests, gift baskets are a terrific way to welcome your visitors and thank them for making the journey!

As if getting married in the wonderful location that you've chosen isn't enough to entice guests to join you, welcome them with thoughtful and personal guest gift baskets to enhance their stay from the moment they check in. We all know of the usual suspects like tropical swag bags full of plush towels, sunscreen and sandals, or a spa-inspired treasure trove of lavender scented oils and aromatherapy candles, but why not make your basket a truly unique experience? Here are some wonderful ideas that fall outside of the lines of expected but are still affordable and very "amour" inspired.

Southern-inspired Swag

If you are tying the knot alongside cobblestone streets in Charleston or Savannah or are giddy-upping to a ceremony site knee-deep in Tennessee wildflowers, choose local items that can capture the essence of your country soiree. Pack some local honey from a road-side stand, a few packets of flower seeds indigenous to that area, and a CD of all your favorite Loretta Lynn tunes ("Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man" comes to mind).

A DIY detail? Make your own "moonshine" bubble bath by buying some bubble bath in bulk and transferring it into Mason jars tied up with gingham and twine. Be sure to hang a handmade itinerary tag from the basket or bag's handle so guests know where to be and when. And above all, don't be afraid to throw in a yee-haw or a howdy somewhere. The more corn the better the bread, right?

Big City Gift Baskets

For couples who have chosen the urban appeal of a gorgeous skyline like Chicago, New York, or Seattle, try to capture that city sophistication in your gift baskets. Don't rely on cheap souvenirs like a Space Needle or Statue of Liberty trinket; instead, think about why you love these cities and get inspired from there. If you love New York because of the high fashion, consider leaving a copy of Vogue in each gift basket and a small bottle of champagne. For any other city, find the food they are famous for like cupcakes or coffee and bundle those items in a basket full of retro-inspired stationery highlighting your city of choice.

If your city has transportation like the Subway or the train, include some prepaid cards for fare so guests can explore your great city on your dime. If the weather is pretty predictable--either cold, wet, or hot-- include a small umbrella, a scarf, or a small handheld fan to make getting around easier. These little conveniences can help make your guests comfortable as well as highlight your city's most interesting aspects.