Whether you are hosting a wedding in your own city, or traveling to far escapes to celebrate your love; you might consider welcome gifts for your guests traveling to join you. After traveling, who wouldn't enjoy being greeted with a thoughtful surprise? We've put together a list of the 5 must have items for your destination wedding welcome bags and a few tips to handle it like a pro.
What to Include:
Include any items you've planned for the week with dates, times, and dress code. Be sure to list if the events are optional or restricted to specific guests (like the wedding party).
How should your guests get around? Include local transportation information like subways, city bus, taxis and preferred car services, should your guests choose to venture out on their own.
We recommend having your guests pre-download a map app that can be used offline. Read about it here: How to travel without cell service.
Restaurant & Entertainment Guide
If you did a pre-wedding site visit to your wedding destination or your hosting in your own city, include some local restaurants and activities your guests may enjoy.
You can also check for a pre-made list of top recommendations with the local chamber of commerce or ask the concierge service at the resort (if that is applicable for you).
A sweet and savory snack or drink for your guests is a nice addition to the welcome bag.
ie: Coffee in Costa Rica, Cannoli's in Boston, Mini Bottles of Appleton Rum in Jamaica, Bagels in Philadelphia, Cookies from Levin Bakery in New York, locally roasted nuts, local popcorn, & locally made adult or non alcoholic beverages.
If you opt to not go local, little packs of nuts and mints are a nice addition.
Going to the beach? Include a pair of sunglasses or sunscreen.
Getting married in the desert? Include umbrellas or fans.
Worried about pesky bug bites? Add a bottle of natural, neutral smelling bug spray.
Guests will be thankful of the thought you put into essentials they may have forgotten. Include items such as a travel toothbrush, aspirin, bandaids, bottled water, etc...
The Bag Itself
Consider something that is reusable and memorable like a customized tote to commemorate your wedding weekend.
If you are going to use a disposable bag, try to find something that fits your wedding weekend (like color scheme or theme)
How to Deliver
Most hotels have a delivery service if you have items that you'd like placed in guest rooms prior to their arrival. This typically costs anywhere from $3-$10 (or more) pending the item and delivery method. Inquire with your room block contact at the hotel to get a final cost to add this to your budget.
Consider giving these as a welcome gift at your rehearsal dinner if you are inviting out of town guests. It will save on hotel delivery and can double as favors at the dinner.
When to Deliver
If you plan to have the hotel disburse these, let the hotel know well in advance. They may request delivery a few days before or the day of your first guest's arrival. Each hotel will have different requests and requirements.
If you too are traveling to the destination, you may want to have these items shipped to the hotel in advance. Check with your accommodations contact to see when and if they allow items to be stored or shipped in advance for no additional fee.
Maybe you have enough events planned and the welcome gift doesn't feel like your style. You can opt to have itineraries given to guests upon check in at the room block location, instead of a more elaborate gift. Pending the size of the itinerary (think business card size), some hotels may offer this complimentary, where others may charge a nominal fee of $1-$5 per distribution at check in.
We hope this list helps you start planning a surprise treat for the people who mean the most to you! Your guests will be thrilled to receive a personalized gift filled with sweet treats, area information, and an itinerary for their stay.
Read our delegation guide here to recruit family, friends or loved ones to help ease the stress during your wedding week, to assist with items like delivering welcome bags.
Originally written for Destinations.Design
Photos: Danielle Harris Photography