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Jennifer Milbourne

Picture this. You’ve been traveling all day. You’re exhausted. You check into your hotel, open the door to your room and on the bed is a beautiful wicker basket, wrapped in tissue paper and satin ribbons. Suddenly, you feel the trip has been worth it.

Whether you’re planning a wedding, a bar mitzvah or a corporate event, local event planner Jamie Donaldson said welcome baskets are the perfect way for hosts to go the extra mile for out-of-town guests. Donaldson owns Fox Creek Designs based in Helena, Missouri.

“It just shows that they appreciate that they have taken the time to travel to come to their wedding,” Donaldson said. “So it’s a nice way to say thank you and we know that you took time out of your schedule to come and see us.”

Donaldson offered the following tips and suggestions for event planners.

Make it personal

You don’t want your welcome basket to be generic. Include something that shows some personality. Something as simple as a handwritten thank you note will do the trick.

Don’t break the bank

The basket budget will vary depending on the size of your event, but Donaldson said spending between $10 and $30 a basket is a good rule of thumb.

Help your guests relax

When it comes to the contents of the basket, keep your guests’ needs in mind. Something to help them relax after a long day on the road will be much appreciated. Think candles, snacks and bath bombs.

Keep it local

Remember that you’re not only inviting friends and family to spend time with you, you’re inviting them to spend time in your town. Select items that encourage them to get to know the area, like coupons and gift cards for local shops. A map of the neighborhood is excellent.

Think of the children! How many of your guests have children in tow? They’re people too. Remember to include coloring books and a few candy bars for the kiddos.

Courtney Bierman can be reached at courtney.bierman@newspressnow.com.