The Food-Focused Bride: Locally Sourced Wedding Gift Bags

By: Cameron Curtis

Since we're having a destination wedding (we live in New York City but are getting married 2 hours away in East Hampton, N.Y.), I wanted to create welcome bags filled with local products. These items can really start to add up, especially when almost every guest is booking a hotel room.  I picked my four favorite salty or sweet items that I thought best represented the East End.

North Fork Potato Chips (pictured above) was started as a solution to a decline in potato sales in the 1970's. This family-run business began with a classic kettle cooked chip with real sunflower oil and the company has since expanded to include flavors like Cheddar & Onion, Rosemary & Garlic and Barbecue. I'm sticking with the classic variety for a crowd-pleasing late-night snack.

Another salty item, with adorable packaging, is popcorn from The Hampton Popcorn Company. Started in an ice cream shop in Westhampton, this popcorn is so popular it now retails at Williams-Sonoma. But since it's still made locally we definitely wanted to include one of their 15+ flavor varieties.

It wouldn't be an East End gift bag without this nationally loved cookie that started in a small bakery in Southampton. Tate's Bake Shop was opened in 1980 by Kathleen King when she was just 21 years old. The crunchy, all-natural chocolate chip cookies are a favorite nationwide and are especially loved by my fiance. We'll also be serving Tate's chocolate chip cookies with a glass of milk as one of the dessert options during our wedding reception.

While we'll definitely be including water in the gift bags, we also wanted to include a summery, local drink option. Montauk Beverage Works makes iced teas and a delicious half-and-half (Arnold Palmer) that are just lightly sweetened, just how I like my bottled teas. We're going to select a few flavors and mix and match them for our guests.

Instead of traditional bags, I'd ideally like to package all of these items in a bushel basket, but I'm still on the hunt for the right size. I think our guests will enjoy this variety of edible thank-yous, given in appreciation of them making the trip out to celebrate our wedding day.

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