Dear Donna: What do I put in a Welcome Bag for my out-of-town wedding guests?
I am trying to figure out what to put in my Welcome Bags for my out-of-town guests coming to my Wedding. I'm a little overwhelmed at all the options and wondered if you could give me some advice and steer me the right direction on what to include.
Thanks so much!
We'd be happy to help you!
Welcome Bags or (OOT(Out-of-town) bags are not a necessary addition to your wedding but they are a very welcome (no pun intended) addition to your special day.
Brides often ask me if they should go with a basket, bag or something disposble. I usually recommend either something disposable/recyclable and something that can be folded up. Baskets are beautiful and look great, but if your guest is travelling by plane, chances are the basket will be left behind. There are so many great gift bags that are made of paper or Jute bags (the kind you use for your groceries) and they can be customized easily. (We'll have another blog post on this soon).
Buying them online or going to a store like Christmas Tree Shops, Target, etc. are great options. Most grocery stores, including Whole Foods, have inexpensive options for a reusable bag.
Now that you have the bag, what do you put in it?
Here are our general suggestions for the ingredients for your perfect Welcome Bag:
1. Something Sweet - individually wrapped candies that are local to the area are a great idea. We also love Hershey's kisses or customized M&M's but be careful of chocolate (melting) in the summer months. We also love having a customized cookie in the bag. A Dozen Eggs creates some great Boston cookies or a totally customized cookie.
2. Something Salty - again, an individual bag is a great idea. Cape Cod Potato Chips is a local favorite and can be purchased in bulk at Costco or BJ's Wholesale Club.
3. Something Healthy: It's always nice to include something nutritious like granola or trail mix. Since many kinds of granola are manufactured in facilities that also process tree nuts and peanuts, just take caution when deciding on something, especially if you know you have guests that have nut allergies. Vermont Nut Free Chocolates makes a nut free granola bar that is individually wrapped.
4. Something MINTY - Tic Tacs, Altoids or even Peppermint Lifesavers are a nice and refreshing touch.
5. Local Maps or Tourist Guides. Often a local chamber of commerce has a local travel guide that you can get for free to include for your guests. Sometimes a local magazine is also a nice touch and oftentimes the magazine companies will sell you a discounted rate for larger number of magazines, as long as you pick them up.
6. Bottled Water - It's a nice touch to add a bottle of water but keep in mind that they are heavy and transporting many bags can be challenging! But we love creating a customized water bottle label which really completes the design of the welcome bag.
7. Toiletries - A small tube of toothpaste, or some pain reliever "Just in case" your guests party too hard at your wedding.
8. Welcome Note - Last but certainly not least, a small note to say WELCOME to your wedding weekend is not only a nice gesture, it can also help your guests with directions, addresses, reminders for transportation times and it can include last minute changes as well.
The combinations are endless but this list will give you a start to help you decide what to include for your Welcome Bags. What did you include in your bags that was unique or special? We'd love to know!
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