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Our Favorite Wedding Welcome Bag Ideas
Read on for all the best ideas to make your guests feel welcome as soon as they arrive, from useful totes with sweet personal touches to tasty local snacks.
Chances are you wont be able to greet all your guests upon their arrival, so a wedding welcome bag (or basket) of goodies is a great way to say, Hello, were glad youre here! right away. (This is especially true if youre having a destination wedding or hosting a lot of out-of-towners.) Check out our breakdown of everything you need to assemble the perfect prewedding goody bag thats sure to make your guests feel right at home.
Presentation is key. A basic canvas tote is a great way to hold all your items and is perfect for a wedding where guests will be sightseeing (think: beach day or city adventure). Bonus: Guests can use the bag later to tote groceries or gym essentials. If you decide to go with a custom design, steer clear of names or monograms. If youre just desperate to personalize the bag, call out your location, choose a motif thats in line with your wedding style or stamp a generic phrase, like Plan to Get a Tan, on the bag. You want to design something your guests will use after the wedding. Whatever you choose, make sure it holds everything guests will need, plus a few fun surprises.
Get Creative: Play up your theme with a creative container. Pick a galvanized pail for a garden wedding, a wicker basket for a vineyard setting or an antique box for a vintage-style affair.
The whole idea behind the welcome bag is to make your guests stay more comfortable, so keep them from raiding the minibar. Fill their bags with sweet and savory snacks that will tide them over if they arrive after dinner or if they have a late-night hankering postwedding dance party.
Get Creative:Give out-of-towners a taste of local flavor with snacks that are representative of the setting. For example, locally grown Florida oranges, Cape Cod potato chips or Vermont cheddar cheese.
Throw in a drink or two, like bottles of water. Youll keep guests hydrated without sending them to the hotel gift shop. Add a custom label to show off your wedding colors, motif or monogram.
Get Creative:Swap out the bottle of water for something that speaks directly to the theme of your wedding. Try coconut water for a tropical destination wedding, miniature bottles of wine for a vineyard soiree or locally brewed beer for ranch nuptials.
Take a cue from the season and stock up on items that will help your guests brave the elements. Sunglasses, bug spray and fans will beat the heat, while pashminas, tea bags and hand-warmers are perfect for a fall or winter wedding. Ponchos and umbrellas are other must-haves if rain is in the forecast.
Get Creative:Hotels often provide a few complimentary toiletries, like shampoo or lotion, but not everything is covered. Kick up your welcome bag with a few extra pampering products, like sunscreen for sunny days or lip balm to combat the chilly temps.
Add a personal touch to your bag by including items you love or things that speak to you two as a couple. Maybe its a signature sweet, a book of crossword puzzles or a mix of your favorite beats. These details that capture your quirks make fun welcome bag additions your guests will surely love (and get a good laugh out of).
Get Creative:Give your guests a little context by personalizing each item with a note explaining its significancefor example, John used to do the crossword puzzle every Sunday morning with his grandfather, or Emily is infamous for keeping a stash of sweets in her purse.
Keep your guests informed with all the details of your wedding weekend. Include a welcome letter with a link to your wedding website where theyll be able to find all key information, like an event timeline, important locations, phone numbers for a wedding contact in case they have questions (assign this to a planner, honor attendant or relativeyoure going to have enough on your plate already), as well as details about dress codes and any other must-know information. If you have older guests who may not be willing to access your wedding website, create a little packet.
Get Creative:Have a calligrapher or graphic designer create a custom map detailing where all of the days (or weekends) events are taking place, a fun infographic that outlines the times and locations of each event, or even a personalized guide to all of your guests viaGuesterlycomplete with a photo and fun tidbit.
Help your guests enjoy their downtime by cluing them in on the areas must-sees and dos. Pop a guidebook or map into each bag, along with the latest issue of a local magazine. Highlight hot spots, top sites to check out and activities they shouldnt miss. If your guests arent joining you for every meal, recommend a few good restaurants too.
Get Creative:Throw in a list of your favorite boutiques and coffee shopsyour guests will appreciate the thoughtful suggestions. If its the city where you two fell in love, a sweet anecdote about a place (maybe your first-date spot) or street (your new home) makes for a nice touch.
Dont let your guests regret that last glass of champagne. Create a special hangover kit, complete with a bottle of water, Advil, Alka-Seltzer and Emergen-C (even Bloody Mary mix helps) to help them combat any morning-after ailments that might keep them from enjoying the rest of the wedding festivities. Your friends and family will thank youtrust us.
Get Creative:A bad hangover isnt the only emergency your guests might encounter. Add in some Band-Aids, stain remover or a mini sewing kit to help guests deal with whatever disaster might come their way.
Your welcome bag is just one more opportunity to thank your guests. Include a thoughtful letter to welcome them and tell them how happy you are to be sharing your wedding day with them. Handwriting each note will give them that extra-special touch that says, Youre so important I took the time to pen this myself. Or if youre short on time, at least sign each one in ink. And dont forget to give a quick rundown of the items youve included in your welcome bag or basket (especially if they have a good backstory).
Get Creative:Write each note on paper that speaks to the theme of your wedding. A postcard is a fun option for a destination wedding, while aged parchment paper is perfect for a vintage-style affair.
Youve put together an amazing welcome bag, but now you have to figure out how your guests are going to get them. Shipping welcome bags to your location is a no-fuss option, especially if youre flying to the destination. If youd rather transport them yourselves, pack them well and have a family member (or a few close friends) bring them as checked bags. (Save stuffing the decorative tissue paper until the last minute or it will get crushed en route to being delivered.) Enlist attendants or family members to help you distribute bags to guests hotels to be handed out at check-in or to be waiting in their rooms when they arrive. Some hotels will charge you up to $7 a bagso ask first!
Get Creative:Surprise your out-of-town guests by having the welcome bags waiting for them in their rooms. Itll be the first thing they see when they walk through the door and is sure to instantly make them feel right at home.
Explore unique and personalized favors your guests will love on ourshop.
Ready to define your wedding style? Take our funStyle Quizand well pull together a custom wedding vision thats perfect for you, plus the right vendors to bring it to life.
Get organized with The Knots wedding guest list manager. Use our wedding guest list template to manage wedding RSVPs online and track your guests.
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