If you’ve traveled out of town for a wedding in the last 5 years, you’ve probably received a welcome bag of some kind! These small gifts can set the tone for the weekend ahead and make guests feel special and cared for. That’s a win in our book! However, these little packages can also feel overwhelming, expensive and pointless on your end, if you haven’t thought the process through. With all the little details that come with planning a wedding, you really want to make this one count! Easier said than done, right? We’ve got your back! Below is a the list we’ve created of all our essential welcome items, PLUS you can download a resources list of where to find them, HERE!
Before we get into the list, we have one overall note to keep in mind. This might seem obvious, but keep it THOUGHTFUL! When buying items for your welcome bags, try to make sure that they check one or more of these boxes:
• Local to the wedding location.
• Local to where you or your partner grew up.
• Local to where you and your partner currently live (if it’s different from where you grew up or where the wedding is).
• Your favorite! For instance, the cookies you’ve loved forever that are easily associated with you.
• Something guests will need or want during the weekend. For instance, sunglasses at a beach wedding.
(Photo by Heather Waraksa)
1. Refreshments. After people spend the day traveling, they usually feel depleted and in need of refreshments! We always suggest some kind of bottled water, but you may want to add another drink that has meaning to the wedding. Maybe a bottle of wine in Napa, or tequila in Mexico. This should be paired with a snack of some kind. Think about the checklist above and see if something comes to mind! It doesn’t have to be a full meal 😉 Just something light to snack on upon arrival.
2. Revelry Kit. Giving guests a few items to get through the weekend is ALWAYS appreciated! A wedding weekend is often full of activity and indulgence. In order to keep guests feeling their best, we suggest including a collection of survival items that they may not have packed in their suitcase! Some of our favorite items include: chapstick, face wipes, breath mints, bandaids, sewing kit, pain reliever, antacid, stain remover hangover prevention pills (Party Smart, or something similar), Emergen-C.
4. Thoughtful Gesture. This one is a little more broad but we try to think of something that will make the guests’ stay extra special. Some items we’ve done in the past include a nice candle and matches, sunglasses, a book that relates to the destination, nice soap, coffee or tea, a beach towel, custom crossword puzzle made with questions and answers that have to do with the couple. As you can see, there are so many different directions you can go with this, but it’s nice to add this extra personal touch if you can.
5. Map + Itinerary. We usually group these together, so it’s easy for guests to see where they’re going, when. Your map can be as simple or elaborate as you like. Whatever feels right for you! You’ll just want to include any activities that all guests are invited to, as well a the times and any addresses or transportation info. We usually suggest adding a few landmarks or fun spots on the map that guests might want to visit over the weekend.
5. Welcome Note. This is your chance to greet your guests + thank them for attending the wedding! There’s no set length for this and it can be as simple or elaborate as you like.
If you’d like to download our resources list of all our welcome bag favorites, you can grab that HERE!
Our last tip to keep in mind is that assembling and delivering these welcome bags often takes longer than you think, so give yourself plenty of time! You may also want to add a line on your RSVPs asking guests where they will be staying.
Teissia + Alia
PS: Find more wedding planning tips using The Firefly Method here:
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Our guide to paper on your wedding day
How to use Pinterest to create a wedding design
How to send gorgeous wedding invitations without breaking the bank
3 ways to put your wedding planning on AUTOPILOT
Creating and curating your guest list
How to create a wedding budget
3 steps to start wedding planning like a pro