Today is the start of our “How To” series, where we’ll talk through certain aspects of your wedding (or event) to help make the planning process easier. If you have any requests on what topics you want us to discuss, please let us know in the comments or send us a note! To get us started, I want to show you how to put together a wedding welcome bag.
Typically, welcome bags are given out to guests who are staying at your hotel. We recommend gifting one per couple or one per hotel room. These bags serve two purposes. The first is to make sure your guests have everything they need for your wedding weekend, including important information about the wedding. The second is to serve as a thank you for celebrating with you.
I don’t know why I get so excited about welcome bags, but here we are! There’s something special to me about being greeted with one. To me, it marks the official kick-off of the wedding weekend and always puts me into celebration mode. While you don’t have to go crazy with the goodies you include in the bags, there are a few key items we always recommend for your guests.
Necessities to include in your bag
- Wedding weekend itinerary – This is how you can share all the wedding details your guests will need for the weekend. What’s the venue’s address? What time do guests need to arrive at the ceremony? Is transportation being provided? These are all key pieces of information you should be including in your bag to make sure everyone knows the who, what, where, when, and how.
- Water – I recommend including 2 waters in each bag. Chances are your guests – who have been eating and dancing all night – will forget to bring their own drinks. And while they might be able to run down and get a water from the hotel, sometimes the restaurant/bar is closed by the time guests get back to their rooms. (This has happened to me before!) It’s always nice to make sure your friends and family stay hydrated.
- Treats – Along with the waters, a little treat goes a long way. If you can, include your favorite snack (and/or your partner’s) for a more personalized addition.
- A Thank You – This doesn’t have to be a long, handwritten note. You can put a little thank you tag on all the bags, or even write a thank you on the itinerary. We always recommend having “Thank you” written out somewhere so your guests know how much it means to you to have them there for your big day.
Optional items your guests will appreciate:
- Postcards – From where you met, where you got engaged, or where you’re getting married. This is a fun way to welcome guests to your city or town.
- Local treats or items – This is such a fun way to introduce your locale’s culture to your guests, especially if it is someplace guests haven’t been to yet. We’ve seen TastyKakes in Philly, olive oil in Italy, and tea in England.
- Tylenol – Just thinking ahead on this one. ; )
- Mints or gum – Your guests will be talking to a lot of people, so this is a nice way to freshen up when they are out and about.
- Spa service or restaurant voucher, depending on hotel and location – Check in with your hotel to see if they offer any special rates for your guests.
- Wedding-themed item – I love including items that reflect your wedding! You can have so much fun with these types of goodies. As guests, we’ve received towels at destination weddings, sunglasses during summer receptions, Hogwarts magnets at a Harry Potter-themed wedding, and wine stoppers at a Napa wedding.
- Tote bags – instead of a gift bag, consider personalizing a Tote Bag that your guests can take home with them. We love an item that serves double duty.
No matter what you include in your wedding welcome bags, your guests will truly appreciate the care and time that went into making them feel welcomed. It’s always the thought that counts. Just keep in mind that guests will be traveling home with whatever you include, so small is usually best!
What did you put in your wedding welcome bag? What was your favorite thing you’ve received as a guest? Tell us in the comments, we want to know!
Chat with you soon!
Kaitlyn & the KBE Team