Advice: How to Build a Welcome Bag for Out-of-town Guests

Hello lovelies! Sorry for being MIA this past month! Daughter went back to preschool and with that comes sickies! Anyway, I have a great guest article for you from Cassandra Key whom has some great tips for how to build a welcome bag for out-of-town guests! I've done these for my own wedding, and my bff's wedding, all received rave reviews! I love all of her suggestions, especially the wedding details, something to eat/drink and hangover kit! Check out Cassandra's take and let us know what you think!

Wedding welcome kits are a must-have for out-of-town guests. Not only will guests be thoroughly delighted to receive a surprise gift (they’re traveling all that way, after all), they’ll appreciate the information and goodies you’ve put together to help them navigate and enjoy the wedding celebrations. Whether it’s a weekend full of festivities or a one day fete, you’ll want to have a welcome bag ready to go when your out-of-town guests arrive. Here’s how to put a pretty and practical welcome kit together.

Pick a Practical Carryall

First decide on what container you’ll use. The options are limitless, but some of the more popular choices are tote bags, decorative boxes, baskets, and mini crates. Tote bags are great because they can be customized to reflect your wedding theme or local flare. Boxes, baskets, and crates are nice in that they make arranging your goodies a snap and can be used again.

Note: make sure you make arrangements with the hotel your guests are staying at in regards to how the welcome bags will be delivered. Should guests pick them up at the check-in counter or will the welcome kits be delivered to their rooms?

Next you’ll want to fill your bags or boxes with practical, but fun gifts.

Wedding Details

Include a welcome letter and packet of information with essential details like locations, addresses, times, dress codes, contact numbers, transportation information, maps, and any other info you feel your guests will need to know.

Local Guides

Via Ever After Guide

If your guests will have downtime during their stay, they might want to check out the area. Provide the local lowdown with a guidebook or map, local magazine, or your top sites and activities. If you and your sweetie met at a coffee shop downtown, suggest your guests stop in and try your favorite latte. You can also make a list of your favorite restaurants in case your guests want to dine out.

Something to Eat

Photo by Jarren Vink via Brides

Your guests might hanker for a midnight snack or need a pick-me-up in between parties. Enter the welcome bag snack bar! You can include local treats (seasonal fruit, cheeses), something salty (popcorn, trail mix, chips), and something sweet (granola bars, cookies, chocolate).

Something to Drink

Via Kate Aspen

A couple bottles of water are always welcome, especially when mini fridge prices are steep. Throw on a customized label if you want to include your wedding theme. Some lovely libations will also have your guests smiling. Think mini bottles of champagne or wine and locally brewed beer.

Little Gifts

Via Jet Fete

It’s the little things that mean the most. Fill your welcome bag with gifts your guests can use again like luggage tags, handmade soap and candles, a sleep mask or do not disturb sign, weather items (sunglasses, bug spray, sunblock), a personalized hand towel, wedding soundtrack, notebooks and pens, etc.

Hangover Kit

Via Pinterest

The hangover kit may be just as important as the wedding itinerary! Don’t leave your guests with a blinding headache. Fill your hangover kit with essentials like pain relievers, antacids, and water. You can include other “emergency” items like bandages, stain removers, and safety pins.

Now that you have some ideas, start thinking about the goodies you’d like to stuff your wedding welcome bags with. You might come up with a bag that’s so good, you’ll want to keep one for yourself!

Cassandra Key is a freelance wedding blogger and founder of Bridal Magic - the online bridal space for practical tips and magical wedding inspiration. She's written about everything from real weddings and bachelorette parties to bridal showers and wedding fashion. When she's not blogging, you can find her beach bumming, reading Francesca Lia Block novels, dancing up a sweat, and trying to incorporate a daily meditation practice.

Photo Resources:
Photo 2 By Be Collective
Photo 3 By Richard Bell via Studio R Design