Planning a destination wedding or even a local wedding including a lot of out of town guests?  A welcome bag is the best way to show your guests how much you truly care for their presence on your big day and make their weekend even more enjoyable!  I have put welcome bags together with a variety of different goodies and in a variety of sizes.  Here is a list of some of my top ingredients to the making of The Ultimate Welcome Bag!

1.  The Actual Bag:  It’s the first thing people see….the first impression your guests get at your welcome bag!  Why not choose something resourceful.  Don’t get me wrong….I love the look of a basket.  You can organize all of your items inside so they look nice, neat and presentable.  However, are they realistic?  If you have only 10 baskets….maybe.  But imagine toting 50 welcome baskets into a hotel the day before the wedding!  That is a LOT of room in your car, and a lot of man power to load, unload, and deliver.  Not to mention your guests having to fit them into their own luggage to potentially fly or drive home.  The majority will clear out the basket and leave them behind.  I am going to advise a nice tote.  Something your guests can use as a pool bag, or even for their weekly grocery store trips after the wedding is over.  A constant reusable reminder of the AWESOME time they had at your wedding!  I love when couples add a little welcome note to the outside of their bags.  Thank you’s always go a long way!

Check out these totes on Amazon!

2.  Hangover Remedies:  These are surely to come in handy over the weekend if your friends and families are anything like mine LOL We LOVE to party!  The list goes on in this category and they offer the CUTEST bags for all of your hangover remedies on Amazon!

Personalized water bottles.  Anything with your name on it….just makes it THAT much cuter and special!

Gatorade, Anacin, Tums, Eye Drops, Gum, Emergency, Tylenol, and do not forget the Blowfish!!!  This stuff works SO good.  I say that with experience LOL  Drop some of these in your water in the morning and all is right in the world again!  You can find it in bulk on Amazon here:

3.  Kids Treats:  I have to give a huge shout out to one of my favorite couples, Matt and Meghan!  They got married in Lake Arrowhead in the fall.  Complete with 130 guests….about 40 of them being kids and teens under the age of 18.  They totally NAILED this part of their Welcome Bags (along with just about every other aspect of them….seriously the best welcome bags I have ever seen).  Kids love to be busy, and lets face it….us parents love for them to be busy even more!  Throw some coloring books, markers, crayons, activities, snacks, glow sticks and games.  You can find an entire slew of fun stuff at your local dollar tree or 99 cent store.  Matt and Meghan, took it to an entire other level.  They created personalized coloring books for each of the kids, complete with mazes, such as “Help Matt’s Best Man Find the Wedding Rings”, coloring pages of wedding festivities, the list went on…..and they were absolutely adorable!

4. The Cheesy Swag: No welcome bag is complete without some cheesy swag inside.  “Mint to Be” – mints, “Our Love is the Balm” – chapstick, and/or M & M’s with your picture and initials on them.

5.  The Favors: I love the idea of incorporating the wedding favors into the welcome bags.  I can not tell you how many weddings I have worked, or attended, and at the end of the night, about half of the wedding favors are left on the tables.  People just forget them!  In the welcome bag, it is guaranteed to get to their room!  My favorite favor is a personalized glass….wine glass, water cup, shot glass.  Something that every time your guest drinks out of it, they think of you and your special day!  The most cost effective way to do this is hit up your local dollar tree.  They have ALL sorts of glassware.  Use glass writing, dishwasher safe, felt pens to write everyone’s names on each glass, your initials, future last name, wedding date, etc.  I have even used this technique and used the glasses as the guests place cards.

You can find the markers here:

6.  Weekend Itinerary: The best part of a destination or even a stay-cation wedding is that you get to enjoy your guests for more then just the wedding day.  A weekend itinerary is the perfect way to let them know what you will be up to all weekend long.  Plan a welcome dinner or welcome cocktails the night before your wedding, a buffet brunch the day after, make it an entire weekend of memories as opposed to just your 4-6 hours of a reception!

Welcome Bags are just one of the very many ways you can personalize your wedding weekend.  The big day is all about the details!  Drop a comment below about the best item you have given or received in a welcome basket at an event!  And as always, thanks for reading y’all!