Are a lot of your guests coming from out of town for your wedding? Then thank them for coming to celebrate your love with a well thought out welcome gift bag! While this certainly isn’t a must-do activity, this small gesture will really make your guests feel welcome, not to mention excited for the wedding.
I love putting together welcome gift bags. Seriously! The sky’s the limit – you can make them as elaborate and detailed as you wish, or just include some basic necessities your guests will enjoy. Some items we like to use at Hitched Events include bottled water, snacks, a note from the couple, and a map of the area. Make it unique and fill it with things that you like! Of course, I found some great ideas on my go-to inspiration website, Pinterest!
I’m loving this Texas-themed welcome gift bag – purchase some gift bags from your local craft store, add your own personalized sticker or even use a great personalized stamp and voilà…you have your bag ready to fill with your choice of products!
Remember the brown paper lunch bags we used in elementary school? Why not use it as a bag for your welcome gift bag!
I’m loving this next welcome gift bag idea for multiple reasons – 1) The personalized reusable tote 2) Information about the local area 3) Products that are native to your area.
Keep in mind the following tips when putting together your welcome gift bags:
- Be sure to set a budget for your welcome gift bags. It can be very easy to go overboard with welcome gift bags, so make sure to set a budget you’re comfortable with before purchasing all the goodies. Include the cost of the goods going in the gift bag as well as the gift bag itself and any other stickers, ribbon or labels that you may use to decorate the gift bag. Your guests probably won’t be expecting this welcome gift bag, so it’s o.k. if you need to make it simple.
- Get an accurate count of how many welcome gift bags you need. Usually one welcome gift bag is provided per couple or room, so make sure to get a list from the hotel of the guests booked within your room block prior to putting together your welcome gift bags. Think someone is missing from the list? Have the hotel check their system for the reservation and move them into the room block so they will receive a welcome gift bag. If they’re not on the list, the hotel won’t know to give them a goodie bag. And it’s always a good idea to make a few extra welcome gift bags, just in case. Should something unexpected happen to one during transport, you’ll be covered!
- Pick items that will be easy for your guests to travel with. Be mindful when picking items to include in your welcome gift bags. Some of your guests may be traveling by airplane, so items such as fluids over 3 ounces, and sharp or flammable items will not be allowed in their carry-on luggage. Also, avoid using heavy and fragile items such an candles or glassware as those will just be a pain to travel with. Small bags of snacks or bottled water are great to include in your welcome gift bags as they will most likely be consumed during the weekend. If not, they are easy to pack and travel with.
- Include a personalized note from the future Mr. & Mrs. This is such a nice personal touch! Thank your guests for coming to your wedding. Include a timeline of the weekend, directions from the hotel to the ceremony and reception and recommendations of things to do/local attractions and places to eat in the area.
Once your out-of-town welcome bags are assembled, you’ll need to give them to the hotels where you have reserved room blocks so that they can be distributed. You’ll want to deliver the gift bags to each hotel prior to the first guests arrival. Keep in mind that most hotels will charge a per-item-fee, usually around $2-$4, to deliver bags to your guests. Some hotels will deliver the bag to the guest room after they checked in and others will hand it over the registration desk as guests check in. While some hotels might give you an option for how you want the guest bags distributed, others will have a set policy, so it’s best to check with the hotel prior to putting together your welcome gift bags to make sure you know the details.
There are so many ways to customize these welcome gift bags to make it truly unique for your guests, so get creative! Will you give out welcome gift bags to your out-of-town guests? What would you include in them?