Wedding welcome gift bags should serve to delight and surprise your guests. They should also provide them with information about the wedding, directions, contact information, and recommendations (restaurants, things to do etc.). With that in mind, here is a list of things (Both personal, practical, and memorable) to include in your welcome gift bags. Mix and match from the ideas below and you’ll be on your way to something special. Just make sure to include things that reflect your personal taste and the location of the wedding.
Personal Items to Include In Your Wedding Gift Bags:
- Personal note to thank out of town guests for making the trip
- A picture of the bride and groom with a hand written message thanking them would be a super nice touch
- Map and directions to the reception
- A list of favorite restaurants or fun coffee shops
- Map of the location where your significant other proposed
- A postcard with a picture of the town
- List of phone #’s for bride/groom, bride’s family
- Custom CD with old home movies, pictures, slideshows
- Local Travel Guide (sights, restaurants, history, facts) for out of town guests to enjoy the city. Consider contacting the local chamber of commerce to try and get free maps and discount coupons
Snacks to include in the wedding gift bags:
- Bottled water with personalized labels
- Special coffee (local coffee being the preference)
- Bagged teas/honey
- Pastries or cookies from a local bakery
- Something local about the area, such as a food that’s produced there
- Breath mints and/or gum
- Microwave popcorn
For couples with kids:
- Crayons & coloring book
- For the bags of the older kids, consider including fun card games. Put different games in different bags so they can be swapped and played by others
- Tissue packs
- Travel size toiletries such as aspirin, antacid, toothpaste/toothbrush
- Local T-shirt
- Mini lint rollers. Perfect for dark suits and dresses
- Sewing kits
- Hangover remedies
- A Local magazine
- A disposable camera
- Coupons – Most hotels have discount coupons to local attractions at the front desk. If you have a block of rooms set aside for your guests, ask the front desk to provide these booklets. Or if you’re really bold, try going to some local restaurants and see if they can give you $5.00 off coupons for your gift baskets, or even a 2-for-1 appetizers coupons.
Before You Start, Decide On:
Do you want there to be a theme? You may want to think local. Do you have any nearby candy companies that make great products? Candle makers? Breweries? Specialty stores? You could get samples or discounted products to put in the bags.
How much can you spend per bag? While the cost should be around $10-12 per bag, you can adjust it to your liking based on what you choose to include and how much you choose to personalize.
Hotels where you have blocked rooms for wedding guests will store and distribute wedding gift bags for you. Some charge for the service ($1-3 per bag) while others just include it as part of the service. If you are negotiating rates or amenities with a hotel, we suggest that you ask for this to be provided for free
When Picking Gift Bags For Your Out Of Town Wedding Guests:
- Making the gift bag yourself. Buy the fabric of your choice and two seams later, you’ve got a personalized gift bag that you can customize any which way that you want.
- Buying canvas tote bags at Branders or LL Bean
- Ordering bags from a company like Chicobag.com to use as the OOT bag. They are super cute and reusable and the price, at $5.00 isn’t too bad either.
- NOT using baskets or boxes as the guests will probably not have room in their luggage for this.
- Going to the Dollar store for gift bags. You can find Hallmark quality bags that regularly retail for over five dollars for only a buck.
Gift bags for your out of town weddings guests are a great idea and the list above will get you started. If you have any additional ideas, please share them in the comments section.