Post by Amy Plass
Welcome bags may be a new addition to the wedding scene, but I doubt they will go away any time soon. A wedding welcome bag is a bag of goodies that is left at the hotel room of your wedding guests from out of town. It is filled with all sorts of things that will make your guests experience more enjoyable. I absolutely adore this tradition! It’s a great way to show some hospitality to guests who have traveled a long way to be there for your special day, plus it gives your guests a friendly first impression of your wedding.
All too often, people forgo welcome bags because they think they will be too expensive. And it’s no wonder, many of the welcome bags that are featured on local wedding blogs contain tickets to local events, bottles of wine or alcohol from that area, or other spendy treats. But welcome bags don’t have to cost a lot to have an impact on your guests! Sometimes homemade and DIY items pack the bigger punch.
There are many different themes for welcome bags, but it isn’t necessary to have one. Some couples like to include favorites from the area. Another favorite theme is “the home team”: If you and your honey are big sports fans, you can stuff the bags with swag from your favorite local team (or the team of your alma mater). If you are getting married at a destination spot, you can let that be your guide. Pack vacation essentials like mini sunscreen or inexpensive sunglasses. You don’t have to go all out with beach towels or pashmina wraps if it’s not in your budget.
Bags can easily be the most expensive part of this project, although they don’t have to be. You can splurge for a beautiful canvas bag or you can decorate a Kraft bag with stamps and ribbon. Either one can be beautiful and personal.
Play tour guide for your guests by including information about the area. Whether you include maps, brochures, or create your own list of great places and eats in the area, your guests will appreciate the information. If you want to find free brochures to give to your guests that are written specifically for visitors, check out your city’s visitors’ information bureau. They might have suggestions for what else to include.
Snacks are always a great gift to include in the welcome bag. If you want to go crazy buying locally made munchies, candies, and spirits go for it, just keep in mind the price can add up very quickly. Another option is to bake some of your favorite homemade cookies and wrap them up in a plastic bag with a pretty bow. Guest’s will appreciate the personal touch.
Souvenirs are a great addition to the gift bag. Souvenirs can be as simple as a postcard from the area, a chotchky gift, or a locally made product.
A personal note is the finishing touch to your welcome bag. A simple note signed by you and your fiancé that welcomes them to town and thanks them for coming all the way to join in your special day is perfect.
Do you have any wedding questions or etiquette conundrums that are driving you crazy? I want to hear them! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.