What's in the Bag?!?
So you are getting married, and have a few guests coming from out of town. You have heard of couple's getting welcome bags for their guests, but you're not sure as to what it's for and what you are supposed to include. A welcome bag is your way of of thanking your out of town guests for coming to celebrate your "big day", and showing them some appreciation for the expenses they may have incurred while trying to get there. It's also a way to keep them informed on things going on in the area, as well as your itinerary until the wedding. Below are a some items you may want to consider including in your welcome bag.
1. TOTE/BAG: Depending on your budget, I would suggest buying reusable totes, instead of paper gift bags. I personally love reusable totes and have found that mosts guests appreciate it more. You can find pretty good deals on wholesale websites by buying them in bulk. A lot of guests don't reuse custom bags so leaving the tote plain and in your wedding color, may be ideal, and cheaper. If you would like to have your wedding info on bag, think about removable decorative tags to place on handle of the tote.
2. WEDDING WEEKEND ITINERARY: Any activities that you may have planned for your guests to join in on, let them know by placing a card in their bag with all of your details.
3. LOCAL ATTRACTIONS: Inform your guests of the local pharmacy, stores, eateries and any main attractions your area is known for. Your guests may want to explore when/if you don't have any activities planned for them. Be sure to include a map of the area, most hotels will provide you with them. Let them know plenty of time in advance if you have a large party.
4.SNACKS: Always include snacks, this may be the first thing opened up by your guests. A lot of guests appreciate this late at night after a party or outing, and room service or the hotel snack bar can become expensive. Include sweet and salty snacks; chocolate bars/candy and chips or pretzels. Cookies are nice addition as well. I would also include breakfast bars, some guests may wake up after breakfast (too much partying, LOL) and need something to hold them over until the group eats lunch.
5. DRINKS- If you have excursions planned for your guests, make sure to include a few bottles of water in each bag. It's also nice to include small personal champagne, wine, or liquor bottles for your guests. If you know the hotel has a Keurig coffee machine in each room (most hotels do now) throw some K-cups in the bag for your guest. This is one way to keep their energy levels up during the weekend.
6. SPECIAL ITEM/TRINKET: I suggest that you include something, small or creative to wow your guests. If you are a DIY person, include something they can use that you enjoy to make, maybe candles, hand soaps. or potpourri. If your area is known for something different, whether food or trinkets, that can't be found where your guests may live, include that. Small sewing kits/safety pins are almost ALWAYS needed, the person who slightly rips their dress or pops a button off their suit will thank you later.
There are plenty of other items you can include in your bag, above are just a few essentials. Be sure to think about your budget, and I would always consider whether the item is something people would really use.