12 Things to Include in Your Wedding Welcome Bags
Welcome out-of-town guests to your wedding festivities with a thoughtful bag brimming with everything they need for the weekend ahead.
Weddings these days require a lot of planning. One of the things that often gets overlooked is personalized welcome bags for wedding guests. Whether you have a destination wedding or an in-town affair, most couples have a group of family and friends who travel long distances to celebrate their special day. And for these guests, it's a really lovely gesture to make them a special welcome bag full of goodies.
These bags can either be left at the hotel's front desk (so guests can grab them when they check-in) or distributed at an event such as the rehearsal dinner. It's also a good idea to ask another family member or friend to be in charge of distributing the bags once you have them assembled, as that's one less thing the bride or groom needs to worry about. There are countless options and ideas for what you can fill your welcome bags with, but we've rounded up 12 of our favorite ideas to get you started.
Custom Tote Bag
The first thing you’ll need is a tote or bag to hold all the items you're giving your guests. If the budget allows, a personalized tote bag is a great item they can use over and over again after the event. Etsy has loads of options to choose from where you can customize the bags with the couple's names, wedding date or location. For more budget-friendly options, opt for simple, solid-colored gift bags or small wooden crates to gift your items in.
Weekend Schedule + Maps
Most out-of-town guests will be sticking around for a few days to take part in several wedding activities. It's very important to make sure your guests know where they should be and when they should be there at all times during the festivities. So, you'll want to include a schedule, maps and any other important information they'll need to know such as dress code, parking, etc.
Consider filling each bag with a mix of bottled water, juice or iced tea, and even something more fun like a small bottle of champagne or wine. For an extra special touch, print your own personalized water bottle labels highlighting your names, date and location of the wedding.
In addition to the drinks, you'll want to make sure each bag includes snacks as well. Keep things simple by going to your local wholesale club and grabbing some snackable treats in bulk, making sure to pick up both salty and sweet options. If you want to go one step further, include fun interactive stickers to notate you and your spouse's favorite snack for guests to enjoy.
Don't forget about those items your guests may have forgotten but will likely come in handy during your wedding weekend like a lint roller, wrinkle release spray, stain remover wipes, a sewing kit, lip balm, sunscreen, etc. Most of these items are available in the travel section of your local pharmacy or discount store. You certainly don't need to include everything we've listed, but a few additional essentials are always much appreciated by out-of-town guests.
A great way to personalize your wedding welcome bags is to add a couple of local or themed items. If you're having a destination wedding in Mexico, for example, think about including a handheld fan, sunblock or a delicious jar of local salsa. For a wedding in New York City, you could include subway cards or a bagel. A couple of bottles of local wine would be a great choice for a couple who's having a wedding in Napa. Try to think about some fun, inexpensive items you can add to your bags that will speak to either the location of your wedding or the type of wedding you're having.
If your wedding festivities are in several locations and you don't have a shuttle to take guests from spot to spot, consider including rideshare vouchers for your guests. Email them the voucher beforehand and include the confirmation slip in their bag, or pick up a physical gift card at a store to include.
A nice way for your guests to remember the trip after all the fun is over is to include a souvenir from your wedding location such as a postcard, magnet or sticker. To go with the souvenir, pull together information on local activities or your favorite local spots your guests might be able to enjoy while they're in town.
After a fun night of dancing, drinking and celebrating, it's a good idea to include a small recovery kit for your guests. Include useful items such as pain reliever, electrolyte drink mix, mints, mouthwash or eye drops.
Another lovely gift to include in a wedding welcome bag is a small pampering item guests can use in their hotel rooms. While hotels usually include shampoo, conditioner and soap, a few other ideas are a small candle, a fun face mask or relaxing bath salts. Extra touches like these help your guests feel more at home during their stay.
We suggest including one fun or quirky item in your guests' bags. This could be something like a scratch-off lottery ticket, a favorite family recipe, a horoscope for the weekend or a cute Instax photo of the happy couple. You can really get creative here!
Finish off each welcome bag with a handwritten note welcoming and thanking your guests for traveling to your wedding. While it does require a bit of extra time, it really goes a long way in helping your guests appreciate how excited you all are to have them join you during this special time.