Photo by Rodney Bailey
Finding the perfect mix of things to fill your wedding welcome gifts can be tough, but if you focus on these five areas, you’ll be able to put together a great gift that your wedding guests will be sure to remember. When choosing what to put in wedding welcome gifts bags, you should consider adding items from each of the following areas: food, drinks, keepsakes, wedding information and hospitality extras.
Food may be the most important part of wedding welcome gifts. You want to include a couple different things so your guests have both sweet and salty options to choose from. For something sweet, I love using candy or cookies that are famous from the area of the wedding itself or from the couple’s hometowns. You can also buy custom cookies done by a local baker in the shape of the state you are from or with the image of one of your favorite places. For a salty option, I recommend using nuts or a snack mix. Guests will always appreciate having something more substantial with protein in it after a long day traveling. Again you can find great local options like Virginia peanuts or Route 11 chips for DC weddings. You can also use your favorite granola bars or popcorn. To figure out what to put in your wedding welcome gift bags, think about what you can find that’s local or what might reflect your hometowns.
As someone who generally hates hotel tap water, I am a huge supporter of including water in wedding welcome gifts. Buying generic waters in bulk from a local grocery store is easy and cheap. You can take it a step further and buy water bottles with customized labels online at lots of different websites. If you want to spend a little bit of extra money and get the party started as soon as your guests arrive, you can add alcohol. There are lots of fun ways to add something alcoholic to your wedding welcome gifts. Splits of bubbly are always popular as are mini Sofia wine cans. If you want something local, adding beers from a local brewery is a great idea. You can also put in all of the fixings for a signature cocktail and create a classic bar in a box.
Although not required, adding a keepsake of some kind can be a fun addition to wedding welcome gifts. When you think about what to put in wedding welcome gift bags as a keepsake, don’t forget that your guests have to be able to get it home. Make sure you are including something that is small enough to easily add to their luggage and that won’t break during the journey. There is nothing worse that giving your guests a gift that they can’t take with them. Some of my favorite easy and affordable options for wedding welcome gifts are coasters from your favorite bar or restaurant, a keychain from your favorite band, and a bottle opener or wine stopper. If you want something a bit more upscale, you can include a Turkish towel, a mini cocktail shaker or a Moscow Mule mug.
Although the food, drinks and other keepsakes are the fun part of what to put in wedding welcome gift bags, you also need to include information for your guests about the wedding itself. I believe that every wedding welcome gift should have an itinerary and a short thank you. Both can usually easily fit on one side of a 4 by 6 inch card and you can easily get them designed to complement your wedding invitations. Having that extra information about when the events begin, where they are and whether there are shuttles is invaluable to a guest. In addition to the thank you note and itinerary, you can put together a booklet with restaurant and sightseeing recommendations for the area as well as tips on how to get around by metro or with Uber. Out of town guests who will be staying for multiple days and who are new to the area will appreciate having the extra information to use during their stay.
We have covered the important areas of what to put in wedding welcome gift bags and now we can touch on some of the extras. One of my favorite easy extras for wedding welcome gifts that guests always get a kick out of are two packs of Advil. You can buy them in bulk online and then attach them to the water bottles with double sided tape. If you want something a bit nicer, put together a whole medical kit for your guests with Advil, Chapstick, BandAids and more all packaged in a custom bag. Another fun extra for wedding welcome gifts is a door hanger. You can find tons of great door hangers online or design your own. I often include mints in wedding welcome gifts as well. Mints are something guests will always use especially on the wedding day and you can often find local brands like DC Monumental Mints.
Final Thoughts on What to Put in Wedding Welcome Gift Bags
The best wedding welcome gifts have a variety of items including food, drinks, keepsakes, wedding information and hospitality extras. When you decide which of these items to put in your welcome bags think about what your guests would enjoy the most and how the items all fit together as a theme. Choosing what to include in wedding welcome gift bags can be a challenge, but make sure to have fun with it and find items that go along with your wedding theme and who you are as a couple.