June 3, 2019
You’re thinking about putting together Welcome Bags for your guests but not sure what to include? Here to help!
Let me start by saying that you do not necessarily need to have welcome bags for your guests but I do believe they are a nice way to greet your guests with gratitude if you’re hosting a destination wedding. If guests are arriving from out of town, it’s a really nice way to thank them for making the trip to be there with you. These bags/baskets can be as fancy or casual as you would like. When planning your quantities, it’s normally one bag per couple (meaning usually one bag per hotel room). So with all of that being said, what should be included in each bag?
What to include in your Welcome Bags
- A note of thanks & weekend information – start by thanking your guests for making the trip to be there with you. Let them know how excited you are to see them and celebrate with them. Then provide helpful information like schedule of events, shuttle schedules, etc. While you’ve provided all of this information already (via invitations, website, etc.), it’s really helpful to provide a printed reminder. Lastly, if guests will have downtime, provide a few “go-to” suggestions for restaurants so they don’t have to choose a restaurant randomly. Help them have a great experience!
- Hydration! Simple but necessary – provide two bottles of water in each bag. Speaking of drinks, if you want to take it one step further, add a small bottle of Champagne, Wine, or even Bailey’s (for coffee the next morning).
- Sweet & Salty Snacks – when it comes to snacks, my tip is to include something a little sweet and something a little salty. These can be simple – don’t overthink it. What are your favorites? You could add little tags on each that say “Bride’s Favorite” and “Groom’s Favorite” to tie it all together for guests.
- A nod to the destination – I like to include a little gift that ties guests to the destination. What is special in the area? If you’re in Vermont, think about local Maple Syrup. Are you on the coast? How about something like a custom oyster shucker. If you’re in Charleston, an idea I love is adding your favorite Candlefish scent (I love the tin size for Welcome Bags!) The goal is to add a little something that is special and unique to the area you’re in.
- Day-After Helpers – hopefully your guests will be dancing the night away! With that being said, they might wake up a little foggy (i.e. hungover) and tired. Toss in some Advil (liquid gels are life savers), Bandaids (blisters happen!), Pedialyte Packets (I swear by these for hangovers), and a hydrating facial spray (help your peeps look alive).
Go all out
If you’re looking to go all out, consider these enhancements to your welcome bags….
- Upgrade the bags – think linen totes, woven bags, or farmers market totes so your guests will be able to reuse them later.
- Use a unique vessel like a woven basket, wooden box, wired basket, or cute mini cooler.
- Customize the labels on the items included in your bags. This is a great opportunity to continue the theme/motif guests saw on the invitations and will see on printed items at the wedding.
- Theme the entire bag – this means each product in the bag or basket would be locally made and tie to the destination.
If you’re looking for a luxury company to handle all of your gift/welcome bag needs, check out A Signature Welcome , To & From Gifts or Marigold & Grey. They are all able to create something truly unique for your wedding.
Remember that you’ll need to coordinate the delivery of the bags to guest hotels. In addition, each hotel will have a delivery policy – they can provide bags to guests at check-in or put them in guest’s rooms before their arrival. Each will be at a different price point but you’ll want to make sure you know their capabilities and options. You can work with your wedding planner on this!
I hope you find this information helpful! Welcome Bags are one of my favorite components of the wedding to create so have some fun with this!