As a sweet gesture to congratulate us on launching this blog for DC-area weddings, Amber and Emily from Amber Karson Events were so thoughtful to gift us chocolate figures of the DC monuments. They were almost too perfect to eat. (I said almost!) We had to know where the chocolates were from, so we asked them to put together a list of their favorite DC themed gift and favor ideas for weddings. I’ll let them take it away…
Over the years we’ve enjoyed planning events all over the U.S. and overseas. But, there’s truly no place like home. DC is still our favorite location because of the city’s rich history, unique landmarks, and amazing venues. The city’s distinctive characteristics have also helped inspire many one-of-a-kind gift ideas that let guests take a little piece of the city home with them. We recently caught up with Lisa Marie of Sweet Tea Photography to explore some of our favorite neighborhoods and share our ideas on DC-inspired gifts with United With Love readers.
Since Amber Karson Events is based on Capitol Hill, we didn’t need to look far to start our journey. Hill’s Kitchen is the ultimate gourmet kitchenware store with the best gifts for those that like to cook or entertain. We’ve always adored their collection of state – shaped cookie cutters (Who wouldn’t want to receive an edible U.S. map made entirely of cookies?) and they even just added a Washington Monument shaped cookie cutter to the collection.
Have a bridesmaid that loves to cook? We love the idea of pairing a great cookbook with a DC/MD/VA cookie cutter tied with a pretty satin ribbon, along with a set of embroidered dish-towels from Cat Studio. You could even throw a baking party for your bridal party and make your own DC-shaped cookies to add to your guest welcome bags!
One of our other favorite places to find gifts on Capitol Hill is Eastern Market. There is rarely a weekend that passes that we don’t head to the market for crepes, flowers and to browse the offerings of our local artisans at this 136 year old market. It is a perfect place to find a DC-inspired gift – jewelry, photography, custom art… but our favorite is local artist Jeannette Landphair’s booth of vintage DC postcard art. Her magnets make great guest favors and are an affordable keepsake.
Our next stop was off to the famed DC cupcakery, Georgetown Cupcake. Don’t be scared of the line outside – it moves quickly, and is a great chance to people watch and chat. We loved feeling like tourists in our own city, giggling at the site of all the sweet wonderfulness.
We’re big fans of having a special amenity delivered to each guest room in lieu of a traditional welcome bag. We recently found these cute dishes from The Dish Ltd and what better gift to give your guests after a long day touring the Mall then a keepsake plate filled with cupcakes?!
We also love that the two owners of Georgetown Cupcake are sisters who left corporate America to pursue their passions and work together.
After devouring cupcakes in the name of research, we skipped up to Dupont Circle’s Chocolate Chocolate where we found their solid milk, dark & white chocolate monuments. At up to 14 oz of solid chocolate goodness, your ring bearer and flower girl will think you’re better than the Easter Bunny. If you’re looking for a smaller version for guest favors, check out these ones too!
Across the street is one of DC’s finest jewelers, Tiny Jewel Box, which has six floors of jewelry, watches, and gifts. Having been in business since 1930, the staff at Tiny Jewel Box knows a thing or two about DC’s discerning shoppers. Wouldn’t your groomsman love a DC map baseball or look dapper in a pair of sterling silver cufflinks?
Our favorite product however is a speciality line of decoupage keepsake boxes by Pennsylvania artist Willian F. Inc. featuring vintage DC artwork. They come in a variety of sizes and price points and can work with you on custom orders. Each box can be engraved with a special message, wedding date or even the entire invitation text – what a wonderful present for the bride and groom.
When we heard Ben’s Chili Bowl now ships its famous half smokes nationwide, we had to check out it out for ourselves! After all, all this shopping had us hungry! What a great gift to ship your ushers after the big day as a surprise thank you! Your out-of-town guests probably made a stop to Ben’s while in town and fell in love with this local institution just like we did.
(Oh, and if you need dessert, Georgetown Cupcake ships too!)
Still looking for more DC-inspired gifts? Check out these favorite online shopping ideas:
- Timree Personalized Gifts & Accessories – Timree’s personalized dishes are one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Whether creating a ring dish for your bridesmaids, or a plate with your wedding venue, Timree’s whimsical pieces are great gifts and can be customized to incorporate any city or theme.
- Smithsonian Store – We love shopping at Smithsonian gift shops and their online site doesn’t disappoint. All gifts listed include a description of their museum provenance. We love this Panda game inspired by the National Zoo’s favorite furry friend (perfect for your flower girl) or this Cherry-Blossom scarf inspired by works at the Freer Gallery of Art (and the Tidal Basin!)
- Virginia Wine of the Month Club – Getting married in the Virginia wine country? Give your bridal party the gift of local wine delivered to their doorstep each month. Present it to them with a bottle of wine along with monogrammed coasters or this fun Virgina is for Lovers t-shirt!
Photo credits: Sweet Tea Photography