Welcome Bag Ideas?

Anyone have any brilliant/creative ideas for welcome bags? My wedding is in a little over 3 months, and I'm starting to put these together. I plan to leave a bag in each hotel room where our guests will be staying-- just paper gift bags with handles in a flowery black and white pattern, with colorful tissue paper. I am thinking of filling these with mini water bottles, some kind of snack (like POP chips or granola bars), mints, shout wipes, tissues, and info about the morning after brunch. I'm not trying to spend too much money, but I also feel like all of these things, though certainly useful, are pretty generic. 

I haven't been to many weddings myself, so maybe that's why I'm struggling to come up with better ideas. What's something that you particularly appreciated getting in your welcome bag when you were a guest at someone else's wedding?

It's possible for us to specify who the bags are for if we want to fill different bags with different items (like bags just for kids, or just for our college friends) but the venue charges us more if we do that...

Re: Welcome Bag Ideas?

  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It's nice to have something local, such as Georgia peaches or peanuts, NY apples, or some cookies from the bakery around the corner. Our also had the weekend timeline and a map of events.
  • What you have is perfect! You don't want to go crazy on spending money on welcome bags. This might sound cheesy however check out The Dollar Store (no sure where you're located), they'll have cute travel stuff there that's inexpensive but doesn't look it, i.e. playing cards, word search books, etc. At one wedding, I received a mini-bottle of Malibu and a mini coke. I'm not sure the cost but it was cute. 
  • I am thinking about this myself! There are actually a lot of free things you can throw in. Look for a local magazine, city maps, and get coupons and/brochures for nearby restaurants & attractions. Extra wedding info is a must!
  • Some chocolates would be very popular, you can see what is on sale with Halloween coming up or left on clearance after.
  • We did bottles of a regional soda, snacks, tootsie rolls and a visitor's guide. The visitor's center in our area gave us a bunch of the visitor's guides for free.

    I think what you have sounds perfect! The only thing I would potentially add is local information and/or directions from hotel to venue. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I myself am not a fan, but if you do this, you might include samples of local food/drinks such as cookies from a local bakery and local publications and brochures.
  • I would be happy to get a welcome bag with anything in it! I think that's going above and beyond. Good for you though!
  • I'd keep it to edibles and information (except maybe for kids). Ours had Cheezits, a Dunkin donuts giftcard, nuts, water bottles, tic tacs, and cookies, plus shuttle bus info. You could add brochures if your wedding is somewhere exciting (ours was in my boring ole hometown).
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited September 2013
    imageMy daughter and her husband put things in the bag that represented them and their favorite things; items they were "known" for craving or never without.  Gum, mints, trail mix, pita chips, and puppy chow were in most bags.  For their peers and a few relatives known to indulge, they also made a "Hangover Helper" kit.  That included 7-UP, bottled water, and individual packets of Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, Tums, and Saltines.

    They also made a program that included a welcome letter, itinerary for the weekend, local activities and restaurants, and important phone numbers.  Finally, they made a cute door knob hanger for the guests to place on their doors.
  • Thanks so much for all of these fabulous ideas!
  • dramamonkeydramamonkey member
    250 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments First Answer
    edited September 2013
    A family friend got married in Charleston, SC, and put together a mini cookbook of recipes in their welcome bag - family favorites + recipes from their favorite local restaurants. 

    When my cousin got married (in NY, a little ways outside of the city), they included Black and White cookies from their favorite bakery. 

    For my wedding - FI is from AL and I'm from MD (where we currently live), so I'm planning to incorporate something from Alabama (TBD) and something from MD (little jars of Old Bay seasoning or Berger Cookies)

    ETA: That's in addition to other snacks, water, tourist info. 

  • i'm loving the more personal/local ideas that some of you are suggesting-- dramamonkey- old bay is a great suggestion! my fiance is from MD as well!

    i'm starting to think about mini boxes of Godiva chocolates since I'm obsessed with chocolate, and mini tins of mints shaped like the mushrooms from Super Mario, since my fiance's a game designer, and we're both gamers. thanks so much for getting my creativity going!
  • All of these sound so lovely! As a central PA bride I am going to include some UTZ and/or Herrs chips, bottled water, and Hershey Chocolates, because come on...my OOT guests are staying in the junk food capitol of the World!!!!!!!!!  Also I would include an itinerary of need to know things and directions incase they forgot theirs!
  • Yay, Herrs and Hershey are also great ideas! I'm in Southeast PA. Tasty Cakes would be a great idea as well... I also just discovered recently that Irish Potatoes (the coconut cinnamon candy that you can only find around St. Patrick's Day) are apparently a Pennsylvania oddity as well... would be fun for a March bride, or Irish bride...
  • Are welcome bags necessary?   Do guests expect them?  I can understand any info about the city where wedding is, but all the rest?  Or am I alone in these sentiments? 

  • I definitely do not think they're necessary! In my case, since our wedding is also a big college reunion, and since our parents are paying for most of the wedding, we wanted to do something special for our friends and relatives staying at the hotel that is just from my fiancee and me. 

    I've always been a big party favor person, and since lots of our guests are staying for the whole weekend, we just thought it would be fun to kick everything off with a few treats. 

    I've only stayed at the hotel for one wedding that I've attended, and there weren't any welcome bags there. I did just visit my venue for a meeting recently on a Friday however, and there were three different sets of welcome bags waiting in the lobby!
  • I think it's a great idea, however definitely not required!  We found cute (cheap) personalized water bottle labels online and are going to do bottled water with these labels.  We are from Western PA, so a Sarris Chocolate candy bar will be going into each one, gum, a bag of chips, little packets of advil & an itinerary!

    I would recommend an itinerary be handed out to each OOT Guest, regardless if bags are being handed out!  I went to a wedding a couple weeks ago where they did not provide any information to their guests and everybody was so confused!  We weren't instructed where the rehearsal was going to be held, what time the shuttle ran to the ceremony (wedding started 45 minutes late due to most guests missing the shuttle).  Granted this was more because they were just disorganized than anything, but giving your guests some direction is a great courtesy!  
  • I am including a mini map, 2 cookies, and a hand written note of thanks.
    I may or may not plug the "Other events" page on our website. I listed and linked (for location and cost if any) community activities like the science museum, art museum, symphony, local sports ect.
  • We went to a wedding and received canvas totes at our room. In it was gum, fruit snacks, lip balm, Starbucks cards, pain reliever...
  • If I were traveling to a wedding & getting a welcome bag the things I would appreciate finding would be, bottled water (at least one bottle for each guest staying in room), something salty (like pretzels, those are an easy everyone likes type thing) and something sweet (like chocolate chip cookies or oreos). If you want to throw something unquie to the area in there that would be great. Extras that would truley be extras, tissues & asprin. One other thing that I would find nice is either a sheet or brochures of local resturants or things to do in the area. This way if say your wedding is on Saturday and guests come in on Friday, they will find places to eat & things to do Saturday before your wedding. And if they have any kids, maybe include any places where they could take there kids to burn some energy off like a playground
  • We went to costco and got mentos, cheez its, Hershey's treasures, and bottled water. We also wrote a little note thanking everyone for traveling to celebrate with us :)
  • The only time I got a bag was when I flew across country for a wedding.  B&G gave all OOT guests a bag with local foods.  DH and I had a great time trying the foods when we got home and having a nice reminder of the trip.  We also tried at least one of their suggestions for places to go listed on their website and really liked it.

    For our wedding we had a lot of family coming from OOT.  For most it was their first trip to Pittsburgh so we wanted to share some of the city with them.  We included Clark bars, smiley cookies, Heinz flavored chips, chocolate covered pretzels and oreos from the local chocolate shop, a coupon booklet from the mall by the hotel and we printed up a welcome letter with definitions of words only used in Pittsburgh (Pittsburghese).  All of this was put into an American Eagle shopping bag (HQ is in Pittsburgh).

    @erina27 do you know about the Herr's Heinz flavored chips?  We ordered them online and they were really good.

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