If you’re a guest at a destination wedding, there’s nothing quite like arriving in your hotel room to find a welcome bag filled with thoughtful goodies, useful information, and local treats! It starts the whole wedding weekend off on a happy note. Even if you’re not planning a destination wedding, I highly recommend putting together some kind of a welcome gift for your out-of-town guests. It’s a lovely way to show how thankful you are that they’re there.
The first thing to consider is how you will present your welcome gift. It doesn’t have to be a bag, although a cute tote is always useful. For example, you could also use a box or basket (although a basket may be difficult for them to take home on a plane). Make sure the container you choose isn’t too big, so you don’t have to buy too many products to fill it!
But what goes into the bag? No matter your destination, a good welcome bag will usually contain a combination of the following:
- A handwritten welcome letter or note for that personal touch
- A printed wedding weekend itinerary
- Bottled water
- Snacks (both savory and sweet)
- Mini bottles of alcohol
- Practical items (like sunscreen or bug spray)
- A map, guide book, or list of useful information like transport links and restaurant suggestions
- Local gifts or souvenirs
- Pain killers for the morning after!
To craft a welcome bag that really makes your guests feel at home, you can customize this list to suit your destination. Here are some fun ideas for three of my favorite wedding destinations!
Cabo San Lucas Wedding Welcome Bag
- A colorful Cabo postcard with your handwritten welcome note
- Topo Chico mineral water
- Mexican wedding cookies, dried mangoes or banana chips,
- A bottle of local beer (for example, Baja Brewing Company) plus a cute bottle opener
- A mini bottle of tequila or Damiana liquor
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- A short list of Spanish phrases with their English translations
- Mini maracas, a pompom tassel or a beautiful locally woven blanket
Italy Wedding Welcome Bag
- A welcome letter on classic Florentine style notecards
- A bottle of fizzy San Pellegrino
- Cantucci or amaretti cookies and fresh grissini (breadsticks)
- A bottle of wine or limoncello
- Sunscreen, lip balm and heel stoppers
- A guide book to the local region
- Italian leather luggage tags, coffee beans or a bottle of local olive oil
Hollywood Wedding Welcome Bag
- Retro Hollywood notecards with a handwritten welcome note
- A reusable water bottle
- Sprinkles cupcakes or sea salt caramels, oranges and pistachio nuts
- A mini bottle of champagne
- Sunglasses, luxury skin care products and sheet masks
- Wildsam Field Guide: Los Angeles
- A fun mini Oscar statuette or scented candle
Most importantly, have fun brainstorming ideas for your destination wedding welcome bag, and remember it’s not about how much the gifts are worth, but the thought you put into them.