As your hotel room block begins to fill up with close friends, family, and out-of-town guests, you may be wondering how you should greet them upon arrival at the hotel. Though stuffing dozens (if not hundreds!) of wedding welcome bags may sound daunting, this is your chance to welcome guests with little luxuries and personalized treats they can use for your wedding weekend.
What are Wedding Welcome Bags?
Wedding welcome bags are essentially a goodie bag for your guests, most commonly your out-of-town guests. They're a great way to say, 'Hello, we're delighted to have you with us!' and to thank your guests for making the journey to your wedding. As well as little treats, wedding welcome bags often contain information about your celebration and the local area.
Below, we’ve collected the best tips for curating the ultimate wedding welcome bag.
Personalized Paper Goods
A welcome bag should be both delightful and instructive. As you assemble your bag, you’ll want yours to include some practical information—like a weekend itinerary and transportation –for your guests to refer back to. Just don’t stop there: “Guests will always appreciate an itinerary but if you want to elevate the design of the bag, add in a custom neighbourhood map or list some of your favourite neighbourhood places” suggests Dawn of DM Events & Design. Wedding maps can be especially whimsical, as they often include charming illustrations of the town and local landmarks and read like something straight out of a storybook. We suggest working with your stationer to create artwork that complements your wedding invitations and feels consistent with your overall design scheme. “Paper goods are usually the most cost-friendly items you’ll put in your bag,” says Dawn, “so don’t be afraid to go all-out!” Whether it’s a custom wax seal with your initials or a hand-calligraphed thank you note, these touches will send your gift over the top.
We say these are a must! Your wedding welcome bags should include two bottles of water (full-sized preferred) so guests are hydrated for the weekend’s festivities. Plus, that $6 mini-bar water bottle always gets on everyone’s nerves.
Though you can purchase customized water bottle labels on websites like Etsy or Zazzle, we advise either purchasing a printable template or creating these yourself. We saved $100 doing so, and all you need is a simple design (even as easy as Microsoft Word), computer paper, scissors, and a glue stick. You can even get fancy with kraft paper if you really want to go the extra mile.
Apples, oranges, and bananas are the easiest to pack in a goodie bag.
A mini hangover kits
this can include things like painkillers, eye masks and a vitamin tablet or sachet!
A thank-you card or note
Guests will really appreciate a simple note to let them know how thrilled you are to have them!
A pretty bag, box, basket, or tote to store everything in - some couples have their own canvas tote bags printed, others source simple carrier bags and tie gift tags around the handles.
If you’re hosting a local wedding, well, you’re in luck. You can shuffle the wedding welcome bags to the hotel sometime during the week of the wedding (just make arrangements with the hotel beforehand).
If you’re having a destination wedding, we suggest shipping these out priority mail 7 days prior to the wedding. You can pre-assemble them, though it’d be easier to ship the items separately and assemble the gifts at the hotel if you have time once arriving. In this case, avoid anything super perishable that won’t travel well (like chocolate). Some hotels will charge to deliver the gifts to guest rooms, so we advise having the front desk hand them out at check-in to your guests.