As hosts, you want your loved ones to feel appreciated and welcomed when they arrive at your celebration. And as wedding planners, we know how important it is to make a great first impression on your guests.
One way to do this is with a thoughtful welcome amenity.
However, putting a memorable one together can be overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure what to include or how to present it. Where do you spend? Where do you trim?
That’s why we’re sharing our favorite tips and ideas for creating wedding welcome bags your guests are sure to adore.
Keep reading to find out more!
Know Who You’re Gifting
Each guest brings their unique personality, preferences, and expectations. And tailoring the experience to suit their needs naturally creates a warm and inviting atmosphere.
As you plan your welcome bags, think about who will receive them. Are they predominantly family members, close friends, or a mix? Understanding the dynamics of the guest list will help you curate bags that resonate.
Welcome Bag Essentials
When crafting the perfect wedding welcome bag, certain essentials are a must to ensure that your guests feel comfortable, appreciated, and well taken care of throughout their stay.
- Welcome Note: Express your gratitude and welcome loved ones to the celebration with a heartfelt welcome note written by you!
- Wedding Itinerary: Help your guests navigate the wedding weekend by including a detailed schedule of events. From the rehearsal dinner to the ceremony and reception, having a clear itinerary ensures guests don’t miss any memorable moments you’ve planned. Pro Tip: personalize the itinerary with variable data that is applicable only to the events they were invited to!
- Local Information: For destination weddings or out-of-town guests, providing information about the local area is invaluable. Include maps, details of nearby attractions, and recommendations for restaurants and activities to give guests a taste of the area’s charm. If traveling to a large city center or remote location, be sure to include how guests should get around.
- Snacks: A day filled with excitement can work up quite an appetite. Including a selection of snacks, such as trail mix, granola bars, or gourmet popcorn, provides a delightful treat for guests to munch on as they settle in. Pro tip: most five-star hotels already include complimentary water and don’t have a refrigerator unless one is requested. You can skip the beverages!
- Local Goods: Avoid buying something for your guests they could easily buy for themselves. Instead, consider focusing on one meaningful item that’s thoughtfully packaged and supports the local community. This could be something like locally sourced chocolates or a small bottle of wine from a nearby vineyard. Pro tip: make sure the guests have the ability to easily open anything you gift them.
- Emergency Contact Information: While nobody likes to think about emergencies, it’s always wise to be prepared. Include important contact numbers, including the couple’s contact information, local emergency services, and nearby medical facilities.
Gift Ideas to Include in Wedding Welcome Bags
They say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, and that sentiment couldn’t be truer when it comes to wedding welcome bags. Including a selection of mouthwatering edible treats is a delightful way to pamper your guests.
Showcase the flavors of your wedding destination by including local delicacies. Whether artisanal chocolates, regional specialty cookies, or jars of gourmet jam, these treats offer a taste of the locale and make wonderful souvenirs.
While sweets are always a hit, remember some guests prefer savory treats. So, include gourmet chips, pretzels, or a selection of artisanal cheeses and crackers for a well-rounded assortment of goodies.
And don’t forget to raise a toast to your guests’ arrival by including mini bottles of wine, champagne, or locally brewed beer. This thoughtful gesture sets the celebratory mood and allows guests to enjoy a little sip of happiness in the comfort of their accommodations.
Local Guides and Recommendations
One of the most rewarding aspects of attending a wedding is exploring a new destination and immersing oneself in its unique charm. Providing guests with local guides and recommendations is a thoughtful way to enhance their overall experience during their stay.
Offer a curated list of nearby attractions and activities that showcase the best of what the location has to offer. Whether it’s historic landmarks, scenic spots, or hidden gems off the beaten path, these recommendations help guests tailor their itinerary to their interests.
No exploration is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. Consider including a list of handpicked restaurants and eateries that cater to different dining preferences and budgets. You can even add a personal touch by sharing your favorite spots or experiences in the area.
Additionally, providing contact information for local transportation services, such as taxis, ride-sharing apps, or public transportation, is invaluable for guests navigating the area. Seamless transportation options make it easier for friends and family to move around and explore at their leisure.
A Touch of Relaxation
Your wedding day is undoubtedly one of the most joyous and exciting moments of your life. But it can also be quite overwhelming for both you and your guests.
Including pampering and relaxation elements in your wedding welcome bags are an excellent way to help your guests unwind and feel rejuvenated, ensuring they can fully enjoy every moment of your special day.
Add a touch of luxury by gifting a candle or bath product, and encourage loved ones to indulge and unwind after the festivities.
Personalized sleep masks or eye pillows are another thoughtful addition that promotes relaxation. With the busy wedding schedule, ensuring your guests get a good night’s sleep is a beautiful way to show your care and consideration for their well-being.
When choosing the right bag or box for your welcome gifts, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure that whatever you choose is stackable and won’t spill or fall apart. A stackable box is a great option because it’s sturdy and easily transported for you, for your guests, and for the hotel to keep behind the desk.
Additionally, you’ll want to choose a bag or box that is visually appealing and memorable. However, avoid monogramming your bags with your name or wedding details—as much as we love your monogram, your guests aren’t likely to sport a tote with someone else’s initials. Instead, opt for a cute bag/tote that will make people think of you without being too obvious. Consider a fun phrase or even steal a floral pattern from your invitation.
Welcome Bag Presentation Ideas
Once you’ve chosen your items and packaging, it’s time to decide how to present your welcome bags. Hand-delivering your bags is always a nice touch, as it lets you personally welcome your guests and thank them for coming.
Alternatively, you could have your bags waiting for your guests in their hotel rooms as a surprise. This is a great option for destination weddings, as it allows guests to feel welcomed and cared for when they arrive without having to manage their bags and now a welcome amenity up to their room. Just note that most hotels charge for this service, so be prepared for an extra fee.
Understand Delivery Options
Every hotel will handle the delivery of welcome amenities differently. Some will pass them over the desk and some have strict rules against it. Some will deliver them to the room but only at a shift change. Some will charge by the number of attempts and stop after three. Understanding how the property will handle welcome bags will help you craft the most perfect experience for your guests AND alleviate any stress for you and your family.
In addition to providing your guests with a welcome bag, you could also consider building a breakfast box for them. This could include items like pastries, fruit, and coffee or tea. This is a great way to greet your guests in the morning and gives them a chance to connect over breakfast.
Creating the perfect wedding welcome bag doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. By focusing on thoughtful details like locally sourced items and essential information, you can create a memorable welcome experience for your guests.
If you would like help curating a welcome bag that wows, let us know! We’re happy to help you plan every detail.