Wish you were Here Box

Wedding Blog: Tales of a Planner

Wedding Ideas and Planning Tips from Industry Professionals here at Ybarra Events

Wedding planners are more than just event planners. We're designers, problem-solvers, coordinators, budgeteers, part-time therapists, and friends to the couples and families who are entrusting us to help them with their events. Since we're on friendly terms now, here are some tips and tricks to the trade of navigating wedding planning! 

Make your Virtual Wedding come to life with a

"Wish You Were Here Box"!

OK, let’s be honest, having to cancel or postpone your big, beautiful wedding is depressing at best. You’ve put so much time and effort into everything, only to see all your plans and preparations tossed out the window.

updated: 09-20-2020


If it makes you feel any better, there are thousands of brides-to-be feeling the very same way these days. Wedding plans have been canceled or postponed across the country as we all wait for the current crisis to come to an end. In fact, the entire wedding industry is a total mess right now, with many service providers struggling to make ends meet.


But there is hope, and it comes in the form of a virtual wedding! That’s where you and your partner get married and your family and friends join you via video to share in your ceremony! Virtual weddings have skyrocketed lately on Zoom and other video chat apps, giving hope to millions of couples chomping at the bit to tie the knot.  (You can read more about virtual weddings here.)

How To Make a Virtual Wedding More Real

If you and your spouse-to-be have decided on a virtual wedding, congrats! It may not be exactly what you were hoping for but, in many ways, it can be just as fun and fulfilling. One thing it will most likely be is less expensive. Hey, you won’t have to rent a venue, which will save you thousands of dollars! You won’t need a limo either, or thousands of dollars worth of food, drinks, beer and wine.


Of course, your virtual ‘guests’ won’t be nearly as involved in what’s going on since, you know, they’re not actually there with you. They won’t have the champagne to toast you and your newly minted spouse. They won’t be able to sign your guestbook either, or get those oh-so-awesome wedding party favors. (Some people really like collecting them!) And as for wedding cake, well, let’s just say that a virtual wedding cake is virtually unsatisfying.

If you’re highly aware of these facts and feeling unhappy that your friends and family won’t be able to take part, take heart: we’ve got an idea for you that will allow them all to be much more involved!  It’s called the “Wish You Were Here” Box and it can be a real treat! (Emphasis on the ‘real’.)

What in the World is a Wish You Were Here Box?

Here’s the thing; weddings are all about friends and family getting together to share a special moment. If that moment happens to be through video, it’s still just as special, especially if there are real things that they can do in real-time along with you and your partner.


That’s where the Wish You Were Here Box comes in. It’s a box of special goodies that you mail to all of your guests so that, while your virtual wedding is progressing, they can all join in at home! When you toast your new spouse, they can toast too! While you’re feeding each other some wedding cake, they can take a bite! And, yes, those all-important wedding favors are included too!


In other words, a Wish You Were Here Box brings the wedding experience that you and your partner are having much closer to home. (In fact, it brings the experience directly into their homes!) It’s truly the next best thing to being there with you, especially with today’s technology being the way it is. Many people use big-screen TVs when they get together on Zoom, allowing them to see a bunch of people at the same time! It’s almost as good as being there!


What Can You Put In a Wish You Were Here Box?

So, here’s the thing; you can put practically anything you like in a  Wish You Were Here Box. (Also, let’s shorten that, shall we, to a WYWH Box.)


Your WYWH Box can be as big or as small as you like (or as your budget supports). It can be tiny, with just a wedding favor or a ‘thinking of you / missing you’ card. It can be medium-sized with maybe a mini-bottle of bubbly, a champagne flute or 2 and a wedding favor. Or, you can go all-out and send a WYWH Box that’s packed full of all sorts of goodies like flowers, some place-settings and even a table centerpiece. The sky is truly the limit!


Some couples that we’ve helped to plan their virtual wedding have gone all-out with their WYWH Box simply because, since their big wedding was canceled, they saved thousands of dollars. They figured that, if they couldn’t bring friends and family to their wedding, they could at least bring their wedding to them at home. (The results were more magical and satisfying than even we imagined, truth be told.)


Here are a few things you can include in your WYWH Box. Keep in mind that it’s your choice completely. If you think of something special you’d like to include, go for it!


  • Thinking of You / Missing Your Company Card. You can make these yourself for a personal touch or have them printed. Larger or oversized cards can also be a lot of fun and make a bigger impression.
  • A Centerpiece for their Table. This can be as simple or as ornate as you like. One that needs to be put together can add to the fun and make people feel more involved.
  • This can add a touch of color and a pleasant aroma to your WYWH Box. One thing to keep in mind is that, since flowers are perishable and can wilt, you may need to send them in an insulated WYWH Box.
  • Wedding Favors! Whatever you were thinking of to give as wedding favors at your wedding before can still be sent now in your WYWH Box! (Here’s an article we wrote with some memorable, fun and unique suggestions if you haven’t chosen something yet.)
  • Stemware for making a toast! This can be real glass if you like or, if you’re worried about breakage (or breaking the bank) there’s always plastic stemware.
  • You can’t send stemware without something to pour into it, so a bottle of bubbly is a must! You can go with mini champagne bottles if you like, or go with a full-size bottle, it’s your choice.
  • Sending a playlist on a CD or mini-USB will really add to the mood at home for all your friends and family.
  • Engagement Photos! This would be a great way to share one or 2 of your best engagement photos with everyone! (Plus it’s such a nice little gift!)
  • Something for the Children. Get the children in your family involved with, say, a coloring book based on weddings, or some printed black and white pictures of a wedding couple to color. Mini bottles of sparkling apple cider will allow them to get in on the toast as well. Fun!
  • Your Guest Book #1. This could be really fun. For example, you could send 1 page to everyone and have them sign it with good wishes and attach a picture of themselves on your wedding day as they participated in your virtual wedding. Then they can send it back (don’t forget a postage-paid envelope!) and you can put them all together in an album. Voila, instant wedding album!
  • Your Guest Book #2. Another cool idea would be to have a puzzle made from one of your engagement pictures and send a puzzle piece to everyone. (If you can get big puzzle pieces it works best.) Then, they can sign them, send them back and you can put them together and frame it! Sweet!
  • Place Settings. If you really wanted to go all-out, an entire place setting could go in your WYWH Box so that your guests could enjoy wedding day food. Speaking of which…
  • A Hello Fresh or Blue Apron Box. If you wanted everyone to share the same meal on your wedding day, sending them all a meal-kit from Blue Apron or Hello Fresh would be perfect!
  • Wedding Candles. Many wedding traditions involve lighting candles during the ceremony. Sending all your friends and family a wedding candle in their WYWH Box is a great way to share that tradition.
  • Wine and Beer. Let’s be honest, booze is a big part of why weddings can be so much fun! (In moderation, of course.) So adding some wine or beer to your WYWH Box simply makes sense and will make lots of people happy too! (Who couldn’t use a drink these days, am I right?!)
  • Your Own Hashtag. Starting a hashtag that everyone can use on social media would be a great way for everyone to stay more connected.
  • Cake! Sending a cake mix would work, or a couple of cupcakes that could sit-in for wedding cake. That way, everyone could enjoy it at the same time while you and your new spouse feed each other!



It’s a Great Way To Get Everyone More Involved!

What do you think?  Does a WYWH Box sound like a great idea to get everyone you love more involved in your virtual wedding? We sure think so, and believe that it could make the experience much more memorable and fun for all involved!


Who are we? We’re Ybarra Events and we’ve been planning weddings in California for years. We’ve helped hundreds of couples plan their dream wedding. Recently we’ve been helping many couples with planning their virtual weddings as well.


We'd love to help you plan your special day, virtual or real-time. If you want advice, need help or have questions about how to plan every last detail of your upcoming wedding, please leave your name and contact info and we’ll get back to you ASAP.





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About the Author: 

Tara Ybarra, Co-Owner and Event Planner for Ybarra Events, has been in the Wedding Industry for over 20 years. From Photographer, to Wedding Cake Artist, to Florist, to Officiant, and now Wedding Planner, her accumilated experience, paired with her College Courses in Event Planning, have given her the experience she has today. Blogging gives her an opportunity to share that knowledge with her readers. 

Ybarra Events is located in California’s spectacular Napa Valley. Ybarra Events are the pièce de résistance of wedding planners. Run by the dynamic duo of Tara and James Ybarra, they help couples organize, design, and plan their nuptials at some of the most fabulous and luxurious wedding venues in Napa, Sonoma, San Francisco, and Beyond. Chat with them today to start planning the wine-country wedding of your dreams.