My youngest daughter recently started her first post-college job in the Boston Design Center for a world-renowned home textiles company, Pierre Frey. In a text message exchange, she told me, ‘Mom, all the designers carry the L.L. Bean Boat Tote.’
I’ve been a fan of the boat tote for decades, and when assigned the welcome bag detail from Lindsey and Ethan during their wedding planning, I accepted, thinking the L.L. Bean Boat Tote would make the perfect catchall for anything I might want to include.
If truth be told, I never knew that the welcome bag for out-of-town guests at a destination wedding was a thing. While planning Caroline and Sean’s wedding, I never gave it a second thought, consumed with all other aspects of putting together a fete for 210+ guests at our then much-neglected country house. That house got a stellar upgrade simply by deciding to have the party there.
Patti, Sean’s mom, Caroline’s mother-in-law, and now a dear friend of our family took the reins on the welcome bag, and I never gave it a second thought. It was divine.
As for the Rizzo Collins welcome bag, I had to dig deep. I hemmed and hawed about ordering the boat tote; other options were available at much less of a cash outlay. As usual, and it can get me into trouble, I decided to go big or go home. I contacted the L.L. Bean Business Gift department and asked for a quantity discount, and they graciously obliged. Soon on our doorstep were 70+ White and Blue size Small Open-Top Boat and Totes.
To fill those beauties, I started baking in earnest, stockpiling Giant Crinkled Chocolate Chip Cookies, and ordering cases of potato chips, Tylenol, Coca-Cola, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and Liquid I.V.. Locally, my husband and I bought cases of wine, corkscrews, and grapefruits, all good things to add to the haul.
Lindsey helped me fill them, and we used colored tissue and hand-written tags to personalize them. It was a tag-team delivery effort (with a few hitches! Sorry if you are reading and we did not get your bag delivered to your hotel), yet the bags were a hit. They make a lovely keepsake, never go out of style, and are an ideal size for a quick market run. And if you are an aspirational designer, they also look great and can say to the world, ‘I belong here too.’