Welcoming wedding guests with a small bag of goodies is a nice touch that guests enjoy. The welcome bag (or box) is a convenient way to let guests know the details of your day and share a little bit about the location you’ve chosen to exchange vows.

Who receives a welcome bag?

Generally, welcome bags are reserved for out of town guests traveling to join you on your wedding day. This is where you’ll stash details on shuttles to the venue, list a few fun things to do while they’re in town and make your guests’ stay in a hotel a little more comfortable.

As with most wedding traditions, you by no means need to follow this general rule. Create welcome bags for as many or as few guests as you’d like, as long as you draw clear lines so no feelings are hurt.

Consider welcome bags for the guests using your hotel blocks, family members who traveled, or every single guest, in lieu of favors. For destination weddings, each guest is from out of town, so a welcome bag for the entire guest list is a nice touch. In this case, consider shipping your bags to each guest before the wedding so you don’t have to tote dozens of boxes to your location.

What container should you use?

A pretty yet practical container is ideal. Bags, boxes and bins are all good ideas, just don’t forget that some guests will need to fit the container into a carry-on bag for the flight home. Consider one of these popular options:

  • Stamped paper bags
  • Reusable canvas bags
  • Wooden boxes
  • Foldable cardboard boxes
  • Wire baskets
  • Foldable cloth bins
  • Wooden or acrylic trays

What goes inside your welcome bags?

If your wedding has a distinct theme or feel, mirror it in your welcome bags. Beachy, nautical, rustic, bohemian and woodsy vibes can all easily be incorporated into your welcome bag.

Start with a few snacks. Guests who traveled to your location, especially on the morning of your wedding, will be hungry and most likely won’t have time to sit down for a meal until your reception. Boxed or bottled water is also a welcome item.

From there, consider adding a few luxury soaps, lotions or lip balms. If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, bug spray and sunscreen are also nice additions to your welcome bag.

Slide in a few pieces of paper tucked in a folder or tied with a ribbon with important information guests need to know. Include an itinerary for the weekend with details about shuttles to the venue (or UBER and Lyft credits) and activities the next morning. List a few nearby restaurants, shops and things to do that you and your fiancé enjoy so guests can visit them before or after the wedding festivities. Most important is a heartfelt thank you note for your guests.

Also include a token that represents your hometown, where you and your fiancé met, the location you got engaged in or where you’re getting married. Locally made chocolate, seasonal fruit (oranges in Florida or apples in New York), locally roasted coffee beans, beer brewed nearby, high-end olive oil or a vintage-looking postcard are all sweet ideas guests will appreciate.

Add a little personalization to your welcome bag with a book you and your fiancé love, a beloved family recipe, luggage tags or a small gift card for morning coffee.

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