Our clients are the heartbeat of everything at HHE. Every piece of our client experience is intentional and created to help them focus on their relationships beyond their wedding day. A big part of that is staying in touch with them, since we become friends throughout the planning process. I am so grateful that is the case. As part of nurturing those friendships, our client experience does not stop at their wedding day. Not even with the thank you gifts! Some of my favorite texts and emails are from brides and grooms years after their wedding day about anniversary trips, new homes and growing families. When I say that we are a HHE family, I so not say that lightly.
As such, when it came time to determine what I wanted to gift our couples as thank you gifts a few years ago, I spent a lot of time thinking about what it would be. I didn’t want it to be something obvious or that would get put in the back of the closet. It also needed to be personal and unique. I didn’t want to send a photo, as I know many photographers send canvases or other gifts with their beautiful work. I wanted the gift to remind them of the joy they felt on their wedding day and make them feel special. To gift them something that they might pass down through generations and cherish. After searching many artists and other sites, I decided that a custom painting would achieve the nostalgia I was hoping to. Also, getting a 5×7 size created means they can put it on their nightstand, entry table or anywhere in their home. I was so excited to get in touch with my sweet friend Jessica, of Simply Jessica Marie. A custom painting ticked all the boxes!
One of my favorite things about working with Jessica on a custom painting is that is it just that – custom. We can include details in the art that weren’t necessarily photographed or styled the same way, but evokes memories of the carefully curated details we included in their celebration. Every time we begin discussing a new piece, I tell her a bit about each couple. What was important to them on their wedding day, why a certain detail should be included and let her take those into her creative process.
So what is it like to do this with Jessica? I’m so glad you asked! In short, it’s simple and a true joy. I get giddy every, single time. We’ve been doing this for a few years now, so we have learned how each other works. First, I email Jessica with images from the wedding and description of what I envision. We then talk about timelines and I let her work her magic! Jessica always sends sketches for approval before beginning painting. I have to tell you, I think over the years, I’ve had less than a handful of revision requests for her. The ones I do have are so miniscule.
Getting the sketches in my inbox puts such a smile on my face. I start imagining myself framing and wrapping it. What it will look like painted. What will the couple’s reaction be when they receive theirs and where will they display it in their home? Will their children and grandchildren look at it in years to come and ask about the details we included? How will my bride’s face light up as she tells her granddaughter the story behind the flowers she selected or why we included bottles of ketchup and mustard or certain architecture? All of this from a beautiful sketch.
Then, about a week later, Jessica has everything painted and sends a final proof for approval to make sure no colors need adjusting. Once it’s all signed off on, I anxiously wait for my beautiful happy mail with Jessica’s signature calligraphy on the envelope. At the same time, I go purchase frames for the paintings and write my note to the couple, expressing my gratitude for them being part of our family.
Once everything arrives and I get it framed and wrapped, I get it boxed up to mail. Just last month, I had the honor of gifting my first one in person to a bride as we had a catch up lunch. I was absolutely overjoyed when she couldn’t wait to open it and had the biggest smile on her face when she saw it. I hope that everyone feels that way when they unwrap these. I know that I put so much love into the thought and concept of them. Beyond myself, Jessica’s care and craft in creating them is bar none, amazing and so heartfelt.
Above all else, even if I gifted them a gift card for date night, my desire and the heart behind gifting thank you gifts is this – I want my couples to always remember that no matter what challenges, adventures and laughs that life throws their way, they should always keep choosing each other. I pray that these gifts serve as a reminder to do just that. Choosing love, each other and their life together, every day until forever.
What are some gifts you’ve received post-marriage day that carry special meaning to you? As a business owner, what have you gifted your couples?
Also, don’t forget to check out Jessica’s beautiful shop, including lifestyle, wedding and legacy art! Her custom calligraphed vows are on my wish list.