Image coutesy of ackgiftbags.com
Whether you have 5 or 50 guests attending your destination wedding, a welcome gift bag is the ideal way to thank them for attending. The welcome bag can also serve to welcome them to the destination and your scheduled events even if you’re not there to personally greet them. While welcome gift bags are appropriate for any location, they serve an especially important role in a destination wedding.
Here are our recommendations of what should be provided:
1. Information on the Destination: Include tourism information, guide books, coupons to local businesses, restaurant recommendations, and a map. Make it easy for your guests to enjoy and appreciate the destination!
2. Include a schedule of events, contact phone numbers of your wedding party, a list of guests, etc. so your guests can prepare.
3. Tote Bag- whether personalized with your names and dates, or blank, everyone loves a bag they can carry to the beach or pool. This also makes for a simple presentation, saving $ on packaging costs.
4. Snacks – include some small snacks, both indigenous to your destination or timeless favourites like granola bars, candy, etc. Give your guests something that they can grab on the go.
5. Beverages – Including a couple of bottle of waters is always a great option, but also consider including mini bottles of liquor or a ½ bottle of wine. Shipping water is expensive, so consider ordering labels and then buying the water locally and putting on the labels yourself.
6. Sun Lotion – For beach destinations and summer weddings, sun protection is a must. Include a small bottle of sunscreen, like this 3-ounce biodegradable lotion from Beach Buff. Also, consider including lip balm, aloe gel, and after sun moisturiser.
7. Travel sized items – There are a great number of travel-sized items out there – consider adding in hand sanitizer and travel packets of Advil, Tylenol, etc.
8. Toys for Child Guests – add something in for the children that will keep them entertained. Their parents will thank you!
9. Local Gifts & Souvenirs – whether it is an artisan candle, local sauces and spices or a towel, choose something that will remind them of the destination and share a little bit of local flavour.
You can opt for a deluxe bag filled with all of the above or you can keep it simple with a rum cake and a nice message. Overall, it is the thought that matters most and an opportunity to express your appreciation.
There are many ways to stay within your budget on these bags – from shopping at dollar and value stores to shopping online. Keep in mind the cost of shipping though – while the price of the item may seem like a deal, shipping them, particularly internationally, can really drive up the bill.
It also important to keep in mind that the items should either be able to be used immediately or are small enough that they pack and ship well. Non-perishable items are best as hotel rooms rarely have refrigerators these days.
Consider hiring a professional – People often underestimate the time, labor and space involved. Hotel rooms don’t offer the space necessary, and couples don’t have the time to gather last-minute items, making assembly a burden. You’re better off spending that time enjoying the moment than stressing out. If you can’t outsource the full project, consider getting assistance for portions of it to ease your burden.
If you have the budget (or creativity) to do so, consider personalizing your gifts – this can be done on the bag itself, custom labels for the water, on the local gifts, or even on the paperwork you include. It is a great way to add some extra personalization to your gifts and is often what people remember most. Some ideas that we’ve heard of include a custom scavenger hunt; a mixed CD with your favourite songs themed to you and the destination; and tickets to a group activity like snorkeling.
Author Bio: Post contributed by Meghann on behalf of caribbeantrading.com purveyors of unique gifts and Caribbean treasures. As the ‘gift guru’ in Puerto Rico for corporate and wedding gifts, Caribbean Trading Company has worked with many couples over the last 15 years to create wedding welcome bags.