Creating the Perfect Welcome Bag for Your Guests

For many, the wedding doesn’t start until the bride walks down the aisle; but for out of town guests, the wedding weekend begins when they check into the hotel. Let your guests know how much their presence means by having a thoughtful welcome bag waiting upon their arrival!

Welcome bags are the perfect opportunity to set the tone for your big weekend. If your wedding has a theme, carry that theme into your bags! Below are some unique themes and personalized items that you can incorporate into your welcome bags; keeping in mind that there are some basics that should be included in every bag—a personalized note, schedule of events, snacks, waters and information about the area.

Post-Wedding Cure

Weddings are a time to celebrate! With that in mind, some of your guests may celebrate a little too much. To help them get through the rest of the weekend, include bottles of water or sports drinks to keep your guests hydrated as well as travel packs of aspirin or a hangover kit and plenty snacks. You can also customize a cute “Do Not Disturb” sign for them to hang outside their door so they can get plenty of sleep. Trust us, they will be thanking you the next day!


Photo Credit:


Photo Credit: The Knot










Local Love

If your guests are staying in a hotel, they may not be familiar with the area. Show your friends and family how much you love your wedding destination by providing them with a welcome bag filled with area maps, exciting local attractions, local snacks, drinks and trinkets. If the city is known for something, be sure to incorporate that into your bag.

If you choose a reusable bag, not only is it eco-friendly but your guests will think of your wedding every time they use it! Have a favorite spot or museum in the city? Be sure to mention that and if possible, provide passes for your guests.  With all of these personal, local touches, your guests will leave loving this place as much as you do!


Photo Credit: Style Me Pretty


Photo Credit: Pinterest









Beach Party

If you’re having a destination or beach wedding, play up the location and make your welcome bag warm-weather friendly! Personalize a beach bag or a sand bucket that your guests can put to use during the day. Include a towel, sunglasses and sunscreen. And don’t forget personalized bottles of water and snacks!


Photo Credit: Evermine


Photo Credit: Venuelust










Relax before the Big Day

Make your wedding a mini-vacation by pampering your guests. The bride isn’t the only one who deserves a spa day before the big day. Provide your guests with a personalized spa package that includes bubble bath, lotion, tea bags and a mini bottle of champagne to start the celebration!


Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings


Photo Credit: The Project Girl









Did you know that Swank Events creates welcome bags? If the idea of putting more than 5 of these little bags together is overwhelming, contact us today and let us help. Visit our a la carte page for more information.

We can’t wait to hear from you!


The Swank Team

Meet Our Couples: Sarah & Mike

Sarah & Mike


How they met and fell in love…
Mike and Sarah met at Bloomsburg University through a mutual friend.  Mike used to go to gatherings at Sarah’s college house. They would always talk, but neither thought the other was interested.  Mike transferred to Penn State University after his junior year.  The last time Sarah saw him before he changed schools; they exchanged numbers, and jokingly talked about Sarah making a trip to visit him at Penn State. Sarah thought that would never happen because they barely knew each other.

Almost a year after that discussion, Mike and Sarah had lost touch.  It was now March of Sarah’s senior year of college.  One of her roommates decided to make a trip out to Penn State to see some friends.  Sarah was unsure if she would go or not when she received a message from Mike a few days before her friend was heading out. He said that he heard she might be coming out to Penn State that weekend and it would be great to catch up…so off to Penn State she went! Mike and Sarah ended up spending the entire day together, and it seemed like no time had passed since they had been at Bloomsburg together.

After that weekend they started talking and texting almost every day.  Mike went to Bloomsburg to visit, and met up with Sarah and her friends for her birthday the first week in May.  After graduation Sarah stayed on campus for a review class.  It just so happened that Mike grew up close to Bloomsburg University’s campus, so they spent the week going hiking and out on dates.  After the review class was over, Sarah moved back to Virginia and Mike moved to Philadelphia for a summer internship.

They spent that summer taking the “Megabus” back and forth from DC to Philly to visit each other, and started officially dating June 16, 2012.  After passing her nursing boards, Sarah moved to Greenville, SC and Mike went back to Penn State for his last year of college. However, they agreed that what they had was something special and if they never gave it a shot then they would always wonder, what if?

Mike and Sarah spent the next year traveling back and forth from Greenville, SC to State College, PA.  After Mike’s graduation, his company offered him a job in his dream city of Boston.  Once again they were faced with even further distance between them.  They mutually decided that he should go to Boston and if it was meant to be than it would work out.  They spent another 6 months traveling back and forth before they decided to take the next step in their relationship.  Sarah started applying for jobs in Boston and got an offer from a Cambridge hospital. She accepted the job and 6 months later she and Mike moved to Harvard Square, where they now have settled for at least a little while.











How they got engaged…
Fast forward to February 20, 2015, Mike and Sarah decided to plan a weekend trip up to Burlington, VT to learn how to cross country ski, and escape the Boston blizzard.  They started the day by having to jump start Sarah’s car and then having to refill the air in all of the tires.  Once they finally got to Burlington, they checked into their room which was overlooking Lake Champlain.  The lake was completely frozen over so they decided to go walk out on the lake and watch the sunset over the mountains.  It was a perfectly clear evening and the sunset was beautiful.  Mike got down on one knee (in the snow and ice) and asked Sarah to marry him.  It was a moment they will never forget.


We just love a good love story! We’re thrilled Mike & Sarah brought on the Swank Team to ensure a perfect day when they tie the knot this August.


The Swank Team

The Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Cakes

For most couples, choosing their wedding cake can be one of the hardest decisions to make during the wedding planning process.  There are so many elements to a cake – color, size, flavor, shape, theme, decorations, etc…Wedding cake is also one of the item guests look forward to most at a wedding – it’s the most important dessert you will ever come across. Have no fear, Swank Events is here to help you make this decision a piece of cake…

Do: Compromise!

You and your fiancé can’t decide on a cake design? Rather than spending extra money on two separate cakes (a groom’s cake and bride’s cake) at your reception, merge your ideas onto one cake everyone will enjoy!  Marriage is all about compromise, right? You want a traditional cake but your fiancé wants the cake to express his love of superheroes? No problem… Take this awesome cake by Tier by Tier.  One side for more traditional wedding cake cutting photos and another side for more fun pictures, which will make you both happy!


Photo Credit: Tier by Tier


Photo Credit: Tier by Tier









Can’t decide on flavor? See Swank’s very own Kristin Healy’s dual creation with her other half which merges vanilla and chocolate – the best of both worlds!

Do: Taste the Cake

As you start researching bakeries, make sure they offer tastings and are willing to meet with you in person.  At tastings you will be able to sample cake, filing and frosting flavors, ask questions, and most importantly review portfolios. This is a perfect opportunity to meet your potential cake baker, get a feel for their style and ask them questions about what they can and cannot do.


Don’t: Under order

If there is wedding cake being served, every guest will expect a piece of it! According to Generally, three tiers will serve 50 to 100 guests; you’ll likely need five layers for 200 guests or more.  So, don’t expect a two-tiered cake to feed all 80 guests you have.

If you are looking for ways to save, but still want to serve wedding cake, you do have options! You can order a small cake for you and your new hubby to cut into, but also order sheet cakes to be cut up or have cupcakes served to your guests. Another idea is to have the cake plated and put out on a table, if it’s not served to each place setting, you do not need to order for the full guest count!


Photo Credit: Zev Fisher


Photo Credit: Zev Fisher










Don’t: Forget about the little details

Do you want a picture perfect cake? Make sure you remember every element involved: cake table, linen for table, cake stand if needed, cake topper, table decorations, flavor signs, etc.  Additionally, you want to make sure there is a specific spot where the cake will sit during the reception (preferable away from the bar, so people don’t sneak frosting tastes after a few drinks or bump into it).

Contact us today to help make this decision a cake walk!


The Swank Team

Venue Spotlight: The Exchange Conference Center

The Exchange Conference Center

Located in the heart of Boston’s hottest new area, the Seaport District, lies The Exchange Conference Center.

jean and eric

Photo Credit: Ashley O’Dell Photography


In 1915 when the Fish Pier opened, The Fishing Gazette described it as “the largest, most complete and sanitary building in the world devoted exclusively to the handing of fish – a monument to the industry for all time.” Built to accommodate Massachusetts flourishing fishing trade of the 1900’s, the pier and its buildings provide a large, efficient facility for fishermen, fish processors, and fish distributors. In 1963, landing 339 million pounds of fish, the Boston Fish Pier reached a peak.

Although today new uses have been introduced onto the fish pier, fishing and fish processing remain its primary function. Originally called the Fish Exchange building, the Exchange Conference Center is now managed by East Meets West Catering and is the historic home of the Boston Fish Auction.

garnick moore

Photo Credit: Garnick Moore Photography


Exchange Hall is a great location for social events such as weddings, bar and bat mitvahs, birthday parties, and anniversary celebrations. With high ceilings and spectacular panoramic views of the Boston Harbor, Exchange Hall can accommodate up to 150 guests for a seated dinner, or up to 200 for a reception. The Exchange Hall opens up to the next option, the Harbor Terrace.

Exchange-Conference-Center-Wedding (1)

Photo Credit: Josh Andrus Photography

The Harbor Terrace is ideal for cocktail receptions or al fresco dining. Tents are available in a variety of sizes to suit all guest counts!

harbor terrace

The second and third floors of the Conference Center offer spaces for a variety of uses – either for wedding party suites or for a corporate board meeting, the Conference Center has a room that will meet your needs and more. With spectacular views of the harbor, and within the city limits, the Conference Center offers clients the best of being in the city but also having a unique space!

exchange photo meetin room

Vendor Information

East Meets West is the exclusive caterer of the Exchange Conference Center, offering extraordinary food and exceptional service. East Meets West has been catering since 1989. The full liquor license allows them to customize the beverages, as well, served by their professional bartenders.

jeannine and derick

Photo Credit: Ashley O’Dell Photography

For more information and to book your next event at the Exchange Conference Center, contact Caralyn Ross at 617-790-1900 ext. 222 or

Happy Planning!

The Swank Team


Taking the Cake

According to, it was around the 19th century that wedding cakes started to become the multi-tiered, elaborate, fancy cakes we see today. Historically, the top tier of the cake from the wedding was preserved for the Christening which was expected to happen within nine months of the wedding. Today however, most couples are preserving the top tier to celebrate their one year anniversary. Sadly, they are finding the cake doesn’t taste as great as they may have hoped.


Adriano Batti Photography

If you do choose to save your top tier, place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes to let the icing harden before wrapping it; then wrap several times with plastic wrap, place in an airtight container and then wrap that with aluminum foil.


Simi Rabinowitz Photography

Be sure to keep in mind, if you do save the top tier of the cake this means you’ll need to order a cake with sufficient tiers to feed all your guests and preserve the top one! An alternative is to revisit your baker and order a replica of your cake on your first anniversary. Some bakeries also offer a free small cake on your anniversary date!

Whatever option you choose, we hope you indulge in the tradition of celebrating your one year anniversary with cake!

Happy Planning!

The Swank Team