Fresh Wedding Favors

January 12, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Lifestyle News
The future grooms all dropped to one knee to make their marriage proposals to their brides-to-be. One man proposed on the roof of a six-story building during a firefighter graduation. Another wrote his proposal on a sand dollar that was "discovered" on the beach by his future bride. A third proposed during a surprise trip to a tropical island.

Their inspiring, heartfelt stories were recently voted the top three entries in the first Best Proposal Contest held by HansonEllis, the leader in unique, high-quality wedding favors and wedding gifts sold online.

HansonEllis offers an innovative line of fresh items, perfect for a wedding in the New Year. The range of favors and gifts in their online catalog will match your wedding ideas, whether you are planning a theme wedding or something classic.

Wedding favors and gifts from HansonEllis are inspiring, personalized and unexpected. Those attributes also reflect the top marriage proposals in the recent contest, in which customers voted online for their favorite story.

Amanda and Chris, a couple from Cincinnati, Ohio, won the first prize and will receive up to $500 worth of personalized gifts and wedding favors from HansonEllis. Chris had trained to become a firefighter and Amanda attended his graduation, which included Chris climbing a ladder to the top of a six-story building. The fire chief asked Amanda to sneak up to the roof, supposedly to present him a leadership award. When she got there, Chris proposed while his fellow graduates took photos. Amanda's excited acceptance was heard over the firefighter radio by cheering family and friends on the ground below.

The wedding favors and wedding gifts the winning couple will select from HansonEllis could include any of the company's most popular items, such as those with beach, Asian or heart/romantic themes, or those that are eco-friendly. One of the company's most innovative items is its Message in a Bottle invitations, especially one that includes a real, dried starfish and tiny seashells in a bottle filled with coral sand.

"We are known for having a variety of items that we have designed and created ourselves. You cannot find them anywhere else," said Tracy Hoang, owner of HansonEllis. The 10-year-old company, located in the Los Angeles area, continually searches around the world for the latest favors and updates its catalog throughout the year.

HansonEllis, which has helped thousands of brides and grooms with wedding ideas, favors and gifts, assembles all its favors. By contrast, most of its online competitors appear to sell items preassembled, "but when reading the details, everything is sold separately," leaving the unsuspecting customer to do the work, Hoang said.

The company owns machines that allow it to print invitations and personalize its products through engraving, sandblasting, embroidery and die-cutting. "Everything is done in house and not sourced out," Hoang said. "This is a big advantage when it comes to having the items produced and shipped out quickly. No company that is in the wedding industry has the flexibility that we do for production."

Hoang said HansonEllis studies trends, such as colors and themes, to determine which products would appeal to couples. The economy also plays a role by influencing how much couples can afford to spend on their wedding. HansonEllis has items to fit any budget and to match any theme.

The second-place couple in the story contest, Sheena and Steven, might want to choose a beach theme for their wedding. Steven arranged for Sheena to search for seashells with him and friends on the beach at Oceanside, California, only for her to find a perfect sand dollar with a message written on the underside: "Will you marry me, Sheena?"

The third-place couple, Nicole and Daniel, is a good candidate for a destination wedding. Daniel took Nicole on a surprise trip to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. There, the couple went snorkeling and enjoyed themselves on a private beach before Daniel proposed. The happy couple said they literally went sailing into the sunset.

For 2010, Hoang anticipates that more couples will be looking for wedding favors that are more economical and practical, such as items that guests can use long after the wedding. Couples also desire favors that add value to their lifestyle and might be less interested in items with a sense of tradition.

Examples of popular items offered by HansonEllis that can be engraved or otherwise personalized include seashells, chopsticks, wine glasses, picture frames, teapots, luggage tags and key holders.

A surprising bestseller for HansonEllis through the years has been its Rope Wedding Bell, a shiny miniature bell with a rope and ribbon featuring gold or silver trim. After the wedding, the item can be used as a memorable Christmas ornament.

HansonEllis products have been featured on NBC's Today Show and in such magazines as Bride's and Destination Weddings and Honeymoons. Among their loyal customers are numerous Fortune 500 companies. The company's promise — "We translate your dream event into a reality" is based on a strong record of customer satisfaction.