Welcome bags are perfect for your out of town guests or for destination weddings. It's the perfect way to make your guests feel more comfortable with their surroundings and encourage them to get out and have some fun! Most hotels will be willing to have your welcome bags ready and waiting in your guests' rooms or even hand them out when your guests check in. Make sure to ask each hotel if they are willing to do this before doing your room blocks!
Depending on how many guests you are expecting to have, these bags can be very inexpensive to make and they only take a few minutes to put together once you have all of the supplies you need. You don't have to put everything in a bag. You can even use a basket or decorative gift box....have fun with it!
So what in the world should you include in those welcome bags/baskets/boxes? Here is a list of items that your guests will love (and need!):
Welcome note - Nothing long winded or fancy just a quick little "Hello" or "We are so pleased you could make it!"
Your wedding timeline - Is it a weekend affair or just a day? Include an easy to follow schedule so everyone will know where to be and when! Also include on the schedule if there is a dress code or if food and drink will be served. Most importantly include contact info. If you have a point of contact, such as a wedding planner, include their information so that guests can easily contact them with questions.
Map of the area - You don't have to go out and spend a bunch of money on maps. In fact, most town Visitor's Centers have them for FREE! If that doesn't float your boat, find one online and print it off and dress it up with fun decals to identify where your wedding's events are taking place. If you have a wedding logo, slap it on the back to personalize it even more! Maybe even include vouchers for a free cookie at the local bakery...something to get them out and about!
List of the areas hot spots - Include your favorite restaurants, MUST SEE tourist attractions and list the closest drug store or the big box stores like Wal-Mart and Target.
Snacks! - I don't know about you, but the first thing I do when I arrive somewhere from traveling is look for a snack and water! Include some small munchies, gum or breath mints and bottled water. You can even print out cute personalized labels for the water bottles...cheap and very cute!
Bubbly...or some other form of alcohol - Any alcohol you can think of comes in mini form so why not include a little bit of fun with your welcome? Whether it be champagne or bourbon, your guests will appreciate it!
Hangover Kit - Let's be honest, weddings are just really big celebrations and the alcohol will be a flowin'! Include some aspirin/pepto and even a personalized door hanger for your guests for the day after the wedding. These are also very easy to make! Most office supply stores sell door hanger templates you can design and personalize.