If you're having a destination wedding, or have quite a few out-of-town guests travelling for your big day, a welcome bag is a thoughtful addition to your wedding planning to-dos.
It's unlikely you'll be there to greet your guests as they arrive at your wedding, so a welcome bag of information and goodies is a great way to say "hi!" and ease their arrival to an unfamiliar destination.
Have your wedding welcome bags waiting for your guests when they check into their accommodation, or pass them out at your rehearsal dinner. You can make one for every guest, or just for the people who've travelled from out of town.
What should you include in a wedding welcome bag?
Something to hold everything
First up, you want something that'll hold everything. A basic canvas bag is a great way to introduce their welcome pack, and your guests can keep it as a memento long after. I recommend sticking with a simple design that your guests will use after your wedding, instead of your initials or anything that's too personalised to you specifically.
This cotton drawstring bag is cute:
A stamped swing tag attached to a paper bag is a pretty simple and budget-friendly idea:
I'm crushing on this printed paper bag + hangover kit combo:
Nothing says 'wedding' more than announcing it's going to be the 'best day ever' - bonus points for personalisation and it'll come in handy for carting the groceries when reality returns:
This is cute - celebrate your destination wedding with a phrase, quote or saying from the local language:
Check with your designer if they're able to offer matching bags, tags, or stickers to tie into your wedding stationery. Southern Bride Verified member Be My Guest offers this service, so get in touch.
Sightseeing brochures and vouchers
Share the area's must-dos - raid your local i-site information center for pamphlets about local attractions, a map of the area and any other suggestions the helpful staff may have to share. Bus or tram timetables, menus from your favourite takeaways that'll deliver, even the latest edition of the local newspaper to get their bearings.
Try a taste of the town
Is your wedding location known for something in particular? If the area or even country are well known for a particular food or trinket, then a sample would be a welcome treat!
A Dunedin wedding welcome bag may include a can of Speights and a block of Ocho Chocolate. Drinks, food, sweets - anything that'll give your guests a tangible insight into the area they're visiting will make their trip that much more memorable! Delicious honey, soap, perfumes, confectionery, olive oil, wine?!
Something for "the morning after"
Make sure your wedding guests enjoy the WHOLE weekend - even the day after - with an item or two that'll help with any ailments. Panadol, sticking plasters and even bottles of water will be greatly appreciated to those in sickness rather than health:
Cute tins of breath mints will keep everyone happy at the day-after brunch
If you're trying to do a little DIY hangover kit, a sticker + wax bag combo still looks the part but is a bit more budget-conscious.
A personal touch
Including something that ties it back to why we are all here in the first place - the happy couple!
What's something that's special to you guys? -
- Are you fans of poker? A deck of cards might be a goer.
- Had your first date at a local coffee shop? Perhaps a voucher for your favourite brew would go down a treat.
- Jam made from plums in grandma's garden or tomato relish made by granddad
- Many wedding favour ideas work well in welcome bags too - check out 70+ wedding favour suggestions here for inspiration!
A wedding timeline
What's happening now? Want to head off texts and phone calls galore as your wedding guests settle in? Forgetful guests misplaced their wedding invite and asking what time they should be at the wedding ceremony?
Give your guests as much information as possible with a wedding weekend timeline of all the happenings in one place. I also recommend including the phone number of a wedding planner or trusted friend/family member who can answer any enquiries that your guests may have.
If you're clever about it, your wedding itinerary cards can do double duty, introducing your welcome bag and giving your wedding guests the 101 on what's happening and when.
A welcome bag for your wedding is absolutely an optional extra, but with a bit of creative thinking and DIY, you can make a memorable impact. Smooth the way for your wedding guests to be able to kick back, relax, and focus on the truly important stuff - supporting the happy couple as they say 'I Do!'.