Our Favorite Virtual Wedding Trend

Looking for a way to make guests feel connected when they can’t attend your wedding IRL? Let us introduce you to our new favorite trend: wedding celebration boxes! 

As the name suggests, these petite packages are a way to get virtual guests excited about your wedding while letting them know how much their attendance is appreciated—even from afar! “The goal is to distinguish your virtual event from the run-of-the-mill Zoom calls that now fill our days,” says Lindsay Landman, creative director at Lindsay Landman Events

What is a Celebration Box?

This gifting idea—literally, a party in a box—is a way to include guests in a virtual wedding by mailing them props to enjoy as you exchange vows via Zoom.

The boxes should reflect who you are as a couple and can include elements you’d find at an actual wedding including cocktails, cake bites, custom cocktail napkins, and matchboxes. “Consider useful everyday items that promote green living or ones that benefit charities,” suggests Letitia Gibson, founder of Studio Luxe

Whatever the theme or contents, the purpose is to promote a sense of inclusion and excitement that will always be remembered.“Thoughtful inclusion is the goal of virtual gifting—although guests are not able to physically attend, they still want to join the celebration and feel part of the special day,” Gibson adds. 

Below, our experts offer up their tips and advice—along with eight unique boxes at various price points—to give you an idea of what can be created. 

Who to Include in the Mailing  

The goal here is really to extend the party beyond the screen so it works best if everyone receives the same mailing. “It’s fun having everyone ‘in attendance’ drinking the same cocktail and nibbling on the same treats,” explains Beth Helmstetter, a wedding planner who successfully launched her own gifting shop

Of course, sending individual boxes can start to add up. “Budget often drives who receives a box, but if money is not an issue, consider sending boxes to everyone invited to the virtual wedding ceremony,” Landman adds.

If budget, or even last-minute execution, is a concern, know that it is possible to recreate this idea on a smaller scale. “You can certainly make it an experience for all your guests but if you want to limit gift boxes to immediate family or your bridal parties to keep within your budget, you can do that as well,” says Alexandra Puccini of Lavender + Pine Gifting

How to Determine Your Budget

As for pricing, wedding experts see couples spending between $35 to $250 per box, keeping in mind there are additional costs for the box, packing materials, and shipping. 

To crunch your own numbers, Puccini suggests following this method: “Determine your overall budget first and from there, divide that total number by the number of people you want to gift to determine your cost per gift, then add shipping,” she says. “This will help steer you in a direction of what’s possible when it comes to content and help you determine who you can gift.”

Another way to put a dollar amount on how much to spend on each guest? “Budget what you would have for the price of each plate if the guest were physically attending the reception,” suggests Gibson. 

Lastly, don’t forget to budget for shipping costs, which Helmstetter estimates as an additional $15 to $45 per mailing. 

How to Curate a Unique Box 

“When deciding what to include, I suggest writing out how you want your recipient to experience your celebration and what your theme and desired aesthetic will be,” Puccini explains. Gibson agrees, adding that “whatever a couple includes should be dictated by their personality and the type of wedding they’re throwing—whether that’s a brunch, destination, or formal black-tie wedding.” 

From there, Puccini says you should think of elements that guests typically enjoy: the cocktails, specialty foods from your hometown, seasonal desserts, music. When choosing items, Landman strives to hit three notes—fun, personal, and useful—in particular. “Something fun could be a set of props to use with a virtual photo booth or Zoom call,” she explains. “Something personal could be an item from the intended wedding, such as a ceremony program or signed note; and something useful is really about a keepsake worth keeping, which generally translates to something that does not have the couple’s name on it.” 

Never put a wedding date on any of your enclosed items! "If we’ve learned anything in these past few months, it’s that dates are constantly in flux," Landman acknowledges with a laugh.

In general, the products should complement each other or, as Puccini warns, the purpose of the gift can fall short of what you’re looking to accomplish. 

“For example, if you want your guests to get a feel for what your in-person reception would have been like, add all the fix-ins of a perfectly crafted cocktail along with a wedding playlist made up of your handpicked songs with a link they can stream,” she says. “Or add something sweet like macarons or chocolates from your favorite local bakery. Whatever items you choose, it’s important they are thoughtful, practical, and fun!” 

For a genius-yet-surprising theme, consider these crowd-favorites:

  • Highlight a Decade: “I’ve worked with a bride to create custom 80’s dance attire for her bridesmaids so they could take part in a virtual Beyoncé dance class in lieu of a bachelorette party, created cooking class kits, perfume-making gifts, and meditation kits in lieu of a bridal shower,” says Helmstetter.
  • Be Cheesy: “I’ve sent cheeky cutouts of the couple with an Instax camera and a playful backdrop so guests can dress up and take pictures with the couple in their wedding attire,” Helmstetter adds. 
  • Include an Element of Discovery: “One of the most interesting celebratory boxes I was asked to make included a DNA test kit,” Gibson says. “A client was having a heritage-themed celebration and wanted guests to learn of their ancestry!”

What to Know About Packaging & Shipping 

Of course, presentation is key—this is a wedding, after all—so be sure to keep this in mind as you research packaging materials and mailing costs. Helmstetter says there are plenty of pretty boxes that may hold up in the mail without protection; however, she encourages the use of a mailer such as a padded envelope or an outer box, which will “offer more protection so your gift shows up intact.” 

Gibson also recommends a green option: “I always suggest a green box option—a wooden box, for example, is a great choice as it’s a gift that keeps on giving—it can be repurposed as a catchall or be refilled and re-gifted,” she says. 

Whatever you choose, complete your packaging by asking yourself the following questions, courtesy of Puccini: What, if any, are the gift tag options? Is there a ribbon? How is the ribbon tied? Is there a note card included? Is that notecard handwritten or typed?

Keep reading for eight expert-curated gift boxes that include ready-to-shop products and ideas to match various themes and price points. Please note that these estimates do not include the cost of packaging and mailing as that's subject to whatever you choose!

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