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Creative Wedding Welcome Bag Ideas

Check out these wedding welcome bag contents and create the perfect token of appreciation for loved ones who have traveled far to attend your special day.

By: Kathryn Abrams, Editor, AllFreeDIYWeddings.com
Creative Wedding Welcome Bag Ideas

For out-of-town guests who have traveled a far distance to attend your wedding or those who are journeying to your destination nuptials, a wedding welcome bag is the perfect way to show your appreciation upon their arrival.

Welcome bags can be pretty to look at, but they aren’t just there for show. They also provide a glimpse of what’s to come by communicating your wedding theme and showcasing your personality. There are so many creative ideas when it comes to figuring out how to make a wedding welcome bag.

These small tokens of appreciation are the perfect way to simultaneously express your appreciation for your loved ones' support and provide a little more information in terms of what to expect throughout your wedding weekend.

How to Assemble Your Wedding Bag

Figuring out how to assemble your wedding bag is half the fun! For your convenience, we've put together this handy infographic outlining the simple steps to take to create a bag full of goodies your guests are sure to enjoy. Don't forget to personalize your homemade wedding favors by choosing a unique tote, writing a thoughtful wedding welcome bag letter, including some local treats and beverages, and finishing with some basic toiletries and first aid items.

Click here to download a PDF of the image you see below!

How to Assemble Your Wedding Bag

Wedding Welcome Bag Contents

If you’re wondering what to put in hotel gift bags for wedding guests, you’ve come to the right place. Wedding welcome bags hit the sweet spot when they combine both fun and practical elements. Since most couples have a welcome bag ready upon their guests’ arrival at the hotel, it’s a nice touch to include some basic toiletries or other small items your loved ones may have forgotten at home.

* Toothpaste
* Deodorant
* Hand sanitizer
* Hair ties
* Eye mask
* Mints
* Bottled water
* Snacks


Beyond the basics, many couples opt to include hometown-specific items such as Florida oranges or saltwater taffy in the northeast. Think of items representative of you, your partner, and where you call home.

Wedding welcome bags are also the perfect opportunity to mix and match complementary items such as olive oil and bread or whiskey and chocolate. Don’t be afraid to get creative and showcase items you love.

You may also consider including a map of the surrounding area highlighting some of your favorite eateries and attractions. Postcards and brochures of notable sights are also a nice way to help your loved ones orient themselves.

Wedding expert Jessica Bishop from thebudgetsavvybride.com discusses some items to consider when putting together the perfect welcome bag,

"Besides pertinent information about wedding events and logistics, snacks and drinks are always appreciated by your guests! It's common for couples to include local fare or items that are reflective of the area you are getting married. For example, a couple getting married in New England might include salt water taffy, whereas a Southern couple may give Goo Goo Clusters or Moon Pies. Beverages such as bottles of water or mini bottles of booze are also common. It's become increasingly popular for guests to give "hangover kits" in their welcome bags, for their guests to utilize the day after the celebration."

Vintage Embellished Gift Bags

Wedding Welcome Bag Letter

An important part of assembling your creative wedding welcome bag is the welcome letter. The letter is your opportunity to express your gratitude to friends and family members who made the effort to be with you to celebrate on your big day.

In her article for BRIDES entitled "How to Create the Perfect Wedding Welcome Bag," Heather Lee says:

"Go the extra mile and pen a note to thank your guests for coming to the wedding. Expressing how grateful you are that they're here to share your wedding day will go a long way in making guests feel appreciated and special."

Along with your thankful sentiments, the welcome letter can include any tourist information and a timeline of events. Including transportation specifics, such as shuttle pick-up times and locations is also incredibly helpful.

Perhaps the most fun part of the wedding welcome letter is your list of favorite things to eat, see, and do in the area. Your guests will love knowing you can’t resist the local brewery around the corner from the hotel, the handcrafted sandwiches at your favorite café, or the nature trail that runs through your favorite park. This list is an opportunity to share your personal hotspots with your guests and (hopefully) make their stay in the area even more fun and memorable.

Lastly, your welcome letter should include contact information in case of emergencies. However, resist the urge to offer your own information or your soon-to-be spouse’s digits, because the two of you will be super busy!

The best point of contact is your wedding planner or someone you specifically appoint to handle these types of phone calls. You can also give the assignment to someone not in your wedding party but who is reliable and will know the wedding schedule very well.

Wedding Welcome Letter and Welcome Bags

How to Create Personalized Wedding Welcome Bags

A personalized wedding welcome bag requires a fair amount of thought. In The Knot’s article entitled “How to Put Together the Perfect Gift Baskets,” expert Jamie Kutchman, founder of Marigold & Grey, states:

“Each item you select for your basket should have a reason for being included. If you can’t think of a good reason why your recipient would use the item, then leave it out and choose something else. If you stick to this formula, you’ll find that when you’re done curating your items, the gift will end up being appropriate for the occasion and “just right.””

When it comes to wedding welcome gifts, consider including something sweet, something savory, some “home away from home” amenity items, and perhaps a locally inspired keepsake. You can even include a few bottles of water with your monogram or wedding logo or miniature bottles of bubbly to really get the celebration started.

Some couples even choose to focus on their guests’ needs post-party by providing a recovery kit. Think eye masks, do not disturb signs that match your wedding décor, Advil, a few snacks, etc. After a night of dancing and perhaps overindulging at the open bar, your friends and family members will truly appreciate these items.

Finishing touches also go a long way, so consider how you would like to package and present your welcome bags. Ribbon, a gift tag, and a sweet wedding welcome letter (as explained above) will enhance the overall look and feel of your gift.

When it comes to personalizing your welcome bags, Jessica Bishop from thebudgetsavvybride.com says,

"Paper bags or sacks are incredibly affordable, and you can easily customize them with stickers or labels. Consider ordering custom stickers from an Etsy seller to make them extra cute!"

Finally, keep in mind it’s perfectly fine to plan for one gift per couple at weddings. However, if you have two single people sharing one hotel room, make sure they each receive their own gift. This type of forethought will surely make your guests feel right at home – especially if they have any qualms about attending without a plus-one.

Super Simple Printable Gift Tags

Unique Hotel Gift Bags for Every Guest

When it comes to creative wedding welcome bag ideas, the only true limitation is your own creativity. Greet your guests who have traveled from far and wide for your celebration with a gift packed full of necessities and a few surprises.

Jessica Bishop from thebudgetsavvybride.com explains,

"Welcome bags are not a requirement, but they are definitely a nice touch. It just goes to show your out of town guests how appreciative you are of them taking the time and financial commitment to travel for your celebration."

Your welcome gift bag can really increase the excitement level for the entire wedding weekend. A bit of thoughtful planning can go a long way when it comes to making your guests feel as comfortable as possible without breaking the bank.

Do you feel prepared? It’s time to start curating your favorite items for your hotel gift bags! Before you know it, you will have the perfect wedding welcome bag for every special guest attending your nuptials.

Mason Jar Wedding Day Emergency Kit

Other DIY Wedding Favors

Wedding welcome bags can be considered the first favor your guests receive, but it's also customary to give a favor at the end of your wedding reception. If you're looking for budget-friendly DIY wedding favors beyond the welcome bag, take a look at the adorable options below:

* Wedding Favor Candy Boxes
* Bohemian Seed Bomb Wedding Favors
* Test Tube DIY Party Favors
* Adorable Little Mason Jar Cheesecake Bites
* Mint to Be Wedding Favors
* Perfect Match Party Favors
* Scented Mirrored Glass Wedding Favors
* Lovely Herbed Salt Favors
* Classy Mint Julep Favors
* Relaxing Grapefruit Homemade Bath Bombs

As you can see, the possibilities are virtually limitless when it comes to homemade wedding favors. You can really let your imagination run wild and show off your creativity in terms of what you choose to gift your friends and family members on your wedding day.

Scented Mirrored Glass Wedding Favors

What types of items would you include in a wedding welcome bag? Leave a comment below!

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This is an absolutely spectacular idea! I wish I would have thought of it. So many times I have had friends travel far distances, and while I do give them gifts, this is really special. I could see these used in so many ways, from giving to wedding guests as suggested, to even a comfort bag to folks traveling to a funeral or sick person....as a cancer survivor, I made comfort bags for other sufferers, and this idea is perfect for that use. Great concept, thank you for sharing!

Wow! These wedding welcome bag ideas are so unique. What a great way to let your guests know you appreciate the effort they made to attend your wedding. Thanks for the wonderful and thorough information!

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