5 Steps for Assembling Welcome Bags That Wow for Wedding Guests
Decide on a Budget
These beautiful presents can easily add up, so you'll need to determine how much you would like to spend on each gift. Set your budget and only gift what you can afford. This budget should include the items and wrapping supplies. If you are gifting to a large number of guests, shop in bulk when you can. If there are special people whom you would like to splurge on (like your parents, bridal party, or wedding vendors), put additional money aside to make their welcome gifts extra "welcoming."
Choose Your Items
This is the fun part! Look to your wedding theme and location for inspiration. Some staples are small waters, candies, and a savory snack of some kind. A map of the area, a list of your favorite nearby shops and restaurants, and some little nod to the town or state that you are in make wonderful additions. You can also include items like pain relievers, sunscreen, and hand sanitizer-the unexpected things your guests might forget to bring with them and will be grateful to have. For more ideas, refer to this handy list:
• Small waters
• Mini bottles of booze
• Candies or chocolate
• Savory snacks
• Coffee or tea
• Maps and tourist information
• List of your favorite shops and restaurants
• Information on transportation available to them
• Timeline of wedding events
Wrap and Personalize Your Gift
Not only do the items tell your guests how thankful you are to have them there, but the wrapping does as well. From small inexpensive gift bags to large beautiful baskets, the choice on how your present the welcome gift is yours and the sky is the limit. The bigger your budget, the larger the container and vice versa. Your wrapping should reflect your wedding theme in some way (the colors of your event, for example) and should highlight the contents of the package. If you have room in the budget, rewrapping or repackaging items in a cohesive way is the easiest embellishment that will add an incredibly chic touch. An inexpensive alternative is to create personalized labels and trade them for brand labels on each item. Here are some details to include on or with your wrapping:
• Name of the guest
• Your names and wedding date and location
• A thank-you, whether just a phrase or a handwritten note
Make a Gifting Plan
Actually presenting these gifts might seem simple, but there will be some coordinating to do on your part. How and when do you want to give the items? You can sometimes store gifts behind the desk at the hotel for your guests to receive when they check in. Alternatively, you can have them waiting in the hotel rooms, or you can pass them out at an event held the day before your wedding, such as a lunch, dinner, or cocktail hour. Depending on your event, you may also be able to display the treats for attendees to take as they leave, a great idea for a small destination wedding. Keep in mind that you'll want to call ahead and check with the hotel to see how they are willing to help you distribute the gifts, ask if there are fees associated, and schedule a time to drop them off at specific hotels. If you need extra hands, enlist the help of a bridesmaid.
Have Fun With It
Most of all, make them your own and enjoy the process. My own destination wedding took place on a small island with 72 guests, for whom I made sweet little welcome gifts with waters, personalized coffee and tea, and chocolates. The day we arrived on the island, my maid of honor and I walked around to each of the five different hotels (I made sure to find out where everyone was staying beforehand). Each hotel had a different policy, so the gifts were either picked up at check-in or were waiting in the rooms. One of my favorite memories of my wedding weekend was the time we spent laughing and walking all around the island, dropping off gifts, and talking to the hotel staff about them. I also loved hearing how much my guests enjoyed them.
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