A bride and groom standing in front of a tree with fall colors at The 228 in Sterling.

When couples invite out-of-town guests to their wedding, they sometimes put together welcome bags. Welcome bags are especially used for destination weddings when many guests stay at the same few hotels. It helps to show your appreciation for the effort the guests have made to come to your wedding. Here are some ideas if you want to follow this lovely tradition. Don’t worry, you need not include everything on the following list.

Information on Wedding Details

The most important thing to include in welcome bags is information on the wedding. Include details on all wedding events, such as time, location, directions, transportation info, and suggested attire. If some people have children, a list of trusted local babysitters can be helpful. Be sure to include contact info in case they have questions.

Useful Local Information

If people have downtime, they may appreciate ideas for activities in the area. Recommendations for restaurants and other local businesses can come in handy. For that extra special touch, include a map with their locations marked.

Tasty Treats

A hotel minibar only has a few overpriced snacks and drinks. Put a few tasty snacks — both sweet and savory — and beverages in the welcome bags in case guests get hungry. Include water, but some people also include juice, soda, tea, or alcohol. Guests appreciate regional beverages and treats they can’t get just anywhere. They also enjoy the personal favorites of the bride and groom. A little fresh fruit, such as oranges or apples, is often welcome.

Oft Forgotten Necessities

People don’t always remember to bring everything they need when traveling. Guests often appreciate small useful items. Examples include tissues, a travel sewing kit, sunscreen, over-the-counter pain relievers, stain remover, eye drops, ear plugs, bandaids, wet wipes, lotion, chewing gum, and chapstick.

Local Specialties

If the wedding location is known for anything, include something related in the welcome bag. Ideas include candy from a beloved specialty shop or a small bottle of something produced locally. Even postcards of the area or coupons to a famous restaurant can be a nice touch.

Theme-Related Items

If you’ve got a particular wedding theme, include items in the welcome bags related to that theme. The same is true with wedding colors. One option is to choose a suitable bag, basket, or box. If you use a reusable bag, avoid the temptation to customize it with your names and wedding date. People will be less likely to reuse them. You could put a favorite quote on the bag, however, or a theme-related decoration.

A Handwritten Thank You

Don’t forget to write a handwritten note in a nice thank-you card in your welcome bags.

Delivery Considerations for Welcome Bags

Ask the hotels what the best choice for delivery is. It is a wonderful surprise when guests find the bag in their rooms. Hotels can also hand the bags out at check-in. You can even deliver them to guests at a pre-wedding event or the reception. Some hotels charge for distributing the bags. Check ahead of time so you can factor in any cost or make alternative arrangements.

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