Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Welcome Bags

1)  Are you having them or not having them?  Why?

2)  What do you suggest should be put in a welcome bags?

Re: Welcome Bags

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    1. Not - one of our hotels refuses to distribute them and we have no way of finding out if guests are staying there, and the other hotel charges $10 per bag, even just to hand them over at the front desk. We're using the money to provide free valet parking at our venue instead.

    2. Food is always a good idea. Especially if it's local.
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    @zoberg Wow they're charging?  I definitely never thought of that.  Oy!
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    itzMSitzMS member
    First Answer First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment

    Yep, most hotels will charge to store the bags and for the extra time for their staff to hand them out or distribute.

    To me, welcome bags aren't worth it. Save your money!

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    Yes, we had them. The hotel did not charge us anything. We put brochures for local attractions, some chocolate / candy, a water bottle, aspirin, and I think sun screen?
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    We did welcome bags.  Our hotel rooms were expensive so we wanted to give the guests a little extra something to welcome them.  Our hotel charged $3/bag to hand them out.

    We put in water, granola bars, chips, salt water taffy, hershey kisses and tylenol.
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    Yes! i just finished ordering for them yesterday.

    Our wedding is in Maine, so I have navy bags with an awesomely cute sticker from Etsy that says Welcome to Maine, Bayside and Bayside FI, Wedding date, w/ a lobster background. Lobster tissue paper. We have locally made cheese and popcorn, and chocolate lobsters from a chocolatier friend of ours. I have to buy the mints today - still debating tins vs. just tossing in some wrapped peppermints. Also two bottles of water, I'm going to stick putting personalized stickers on them.

    We will also have a welcome letter (already written!) and some info about local things to do.

    And finally, I found bulk vintage Welcome to Maine postcards, for 30 cents each, and with that, I'm done!

     

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    zoberg said:
    1. Not - one of our hotels refuses to distribute them and we have no way of finding out if guests are staying there, and the other hotel charges $10 per bag, even just to hand them over at the front desk. We're using the money to provide free valet parking at our venue instead. 2. Food is always a good idea. Especially if it's local.

    Gah - never thought of that (actually just sent a frantic email to my mom letting her know we should check with the hotels before buying the stuff). We are planning to distribute welcome bags - I had written them off on an expense and hassle that wasn't worth it, but my mom really wanted to do them and she's covering the cost, so now we're doing them! Right now, we're planning to put in local honey, chocolate from the local chocolate shop, brochures for local attractions/things to do, a map of the little town, and maybe one other thing...As with favors, I always err on the side that people will prefer anything edible.
    Anniversary
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    Mayberry - that's perfect. somethign salty, something sweet, some water and mints.
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    We're having welcome bags.  Our hotel doesn't charge to hand them out and they are pretty much expected in FI's family for all OOT guests.  We're getting married in the Philly suburbs so in addition to the basics (water, aspirin, sunscreen, directions, travel brochures) we're including homemade whoopie pies, soft pretzels, turkey hill or wawa iced tea, and tastykakes.
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    I am having them. We are in a really small town so the local hotels don't have a problem. And we rented out an entire summer camp so all of the cabins will have them as well. We are doing New Englandy things, maple candy, Boston baked beans,etc.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    We had them and our hotel did not charge to pass them out. 

    We had water, Tastykakes, Slim Jims, crackers with cheese, fruit snacks, Goldfish, a pack of Advil and a pack of Tylenol. 



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    We are having them - hotel isn't charging. We're including snacks, water, personalized mini liquor bottles, scented linen powder from the southern city where my mom lives, aspirin and mints. 
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    I don't think we're going to do welcome bags.  One thing I did do though, was I put together a custom Google map of RI and highlighted various attractions, our favorite restaurants, the hotel, the venue, etc.  This was emailled to most of our out of town guests so they can get an idea of what there is to do in the area.  I've received positive feedback on it so far.  Anyone with a smart phone will have easy mobile access to it while they're here as well.
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    @Ven&Radio  I've never heard of that before - that sounds like a really great idea and something personal too! Love it!
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    kaos16kaos16 member
    First Answer First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    I have never heard of a hotel charging to hand out welcome bags. . . . That's crazy!  If I had been charged to hand mine to my guests I would have thought twice about getting them.  They were free at our hotel.
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    Kaos - our hotel was going to charge $3 or $5 a bag to deliver to each room. But finalyl after we were like WTF they said they would just had them out at check-in for free...
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    edited June 2013
    I never even thought of a welcome bag, but I really am loving this idea for my out of town guests!

    Would it be rude to only do this for out of town guests??? Or does everyone need to have them? One per a family member? Or one per family? Extras for larger families?
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    Big Bro and SIL apparently did them the other week in Chicago. FI and I didn't get one, but we weren't staying at the blocked hotels (found something more in our budget). Dad and mom got one, had some tourist info, aspirin, bottled water, and a local treat. Some kind of popcorn.

    I'm considering them for my OOT guests, which is basically everyone but me, the groom, and the FILs. Since Tallahassee is half rural, half urban (and is known for streets that change names 3 times in a 2 mile period), I'll probably throw in extra copies of maps, local dining options and chain locations, water, aspirin, info on stuff to do in town, and perhaps some baked goodies. Gotta find out about that hand out fee though!

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    After posting earlier and emailing my mom, I heard back from her that our hotel will not charge to give them out (the lady at the front desk sounded surprised we even asked...but my parents live in and the wedding will take place in a small town).

    Originally, I figured we would only do them for guests coming in a day early (I figured people coming to town the day of the wedding and only staying one night wouldn't need the brochures of things to do, etc.), but my parents thought it would be nice to do one for everyone and they're paying. I'm planning to do one bag per couple, maybe 2-3 for larger families. Feel free to correct me, but I don't think just doing welcome bags for OOT guests is rude because it's not something that's handed out in front of everyone at the reception. Everyone except my parents will be OOT for my wedding, though, so that's why I didn't have to cross that bridge...
    Anniversary
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    Awebb  - just OOT guets. Those in town presumably have easy access to snacks and asprin :) it's NOT necessarily the "favor" that people do, althoguh I think sometimes if a couple spends a lot on the bags the favor mgiht get cut.
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    TerriHuggTerriHugg member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited June 2013
    Our welcome bags were simple. Our tote bags were canvas.  We put a beach mat, fan/spray bottle, sunscreen, a magnet that said, " I went to a destination wedding and all I got was this magnet" and welcome note. 

    The hotel distributed them as guests checked in for free.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    csuavecsuave member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper

    All of our family is OOT and most will be visiting Pittsburgh for the first time for our wedding (we are transplants ourselves).  We are having an overall "Pittsburgh" theme and the bags will be an extension of that.

    Contents: local chips (heinz ketchup flavored), candy, cookie and drink; a one page sheet describing "Pittsburghese" local sayings/dialect; coupon book from the mall that is very close to the hotel; and it will all be packaged in a paper shopping bag from the clothing store that we both work for and has its headquarters in Pittsburgh.

    @audubonbride2013 I lived in Philly before and your bag stuff is very cool!

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    1) I'm not a fan of gift bags.

    2) I've been trying to think of alternatives.  Most of my guests would have Internet access, so they would be able to look on a wedding website, if we do one, for information about scheduling and local things.  As for food and anything else that might come in a gift bag, I've been trying to think about alternatives.  One possibility that comes to mind is covering minibar charges for our guests, so they can take from the minibars without being charged through the nose for them.  I'm not certain though if it would work, so it's not set in stone.
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    Actually just finished putting ours together! Bottles of water, some of FI's favorite salty snacks, homemade cookies I baked this party, a welcome "brochure" I made with the weekend's schedule and lists of things to do / local restaurants, and a walking map of downtown.
    image
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    mlg78mlg78 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    Jen4948 said:
    1) I'm not a fan of gift bags.

    2) I've been trying to think of alternatives.  Most of my guests would have Internet access, so they would be able to look on a wedding website, if we do one, for information about scheduling and local things.  As for food and anything else that might come in a gift bag, I've been trying to think about alternatives.  One possibility that comes to mind is covering minibar charges for our guests, so they can take from the minibars without being charged through the nose for them.  I'm not certain though if it would work, so it's not set in stone.

    Why are you anti-gift bags?

    I'd feel bad about taking from the mini bar because everyone knows they're notoriously overpriced.

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    mlg78 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    1) I'm not a fan of gift bags.

    2) I've been trying to think of alternatives.  Most of my guests would have Internet access, so they would be able to look on a wedding website, if we do one, for information about scheduling and local things.  As for food and anything else that might come in a gift bag, I've been trying to think about alternatives.  One possibility that comes to mind is covering minibar charges for our guests, so they can take from the minibars without being charged through the nose for them.  I'm not certain though if it would work, so it's not set in stone.

    Why are you anti-gift bags?

    I'd feel bad about taking from the mini bar because everyone knows they're notoriously overpriced.

    I'm not a fan of gift bags because the things in them either go abandoned or have to get packed in  if they're kept-and that assumes that any food items in them can go through security if they're being flown.  If they're abandoned, it means a lot of money gets wasted on the things in them that are unused.  Also, the ones I've received as a guest have been quite large in size, so if they get packed, it means the recipients have to find room in their suitcases or carry-ons for them, and that can be a pain.

    In regards to the minibar, the idea is that people can take from it without being charged for it.  As I said, it's not a fixed idea.  I may do something else.
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    mlg78 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    1) I'm not a fan of gift bags.

    2) I've been trying to think of alternatives.  Most of my guests would have Internet access, so they would be able to look on a wedding website, if we do one, for information about scheduling and local things.  As for food and anything else that might come in a gift bag, I've been trying to think about alternatives.  One possibility that comes to mind is covering minibar charges for our guests, so they can take from the minibars without being charged through the nose for them.  I'm not certain though if it would work, so it's not set in stone.

    Why are you anti-gift bags?

    I'd feel bad about taking from the mini bar because everyone knows they're notoriously overpriced.

    I'm not a fan of gift bags because the things in them either go abandoned or have to get packed in  if they're kept-and that assumes that any food items in them can go through security if they're being flown.  If they're abandoned, it means a lot of money gets wasted on the things in them that are unused.  Also, the ones I've received as a guest have been quite large in size, so if they get packed, it means the recipients have to find room in their suitcases or carry-ons for them, and that can be a pain.

    In regards to the minibar, the idea is that people can take from it without being charged for it.  As I said, it's not a fixed idea.  I may do something else.
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    We are having them...I found a great canvas bag that will have the state of Florida with a heart located in Key West which is where we are getting married. Beach towel, water, Gatorade, Advil, mini liqueur, sunblock, Chapstick, Key lime cookies, Key West map, "do not disturb" door hanger, luggage tag and whatever else I can think of. I would greatly appreciate receiving something like this which is why I'm doing it.
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    My mom has suggested throwing in a bottle of "3 buck Chuck" (Charles Shaw wine from Trader Joe's). I think you'd have to know your guest list for that one though... might not fly as well with some groups
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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