How to Create the Ideal Wedding Welcome Bags For Your Guests

wedding welcome bags destination wedding
bag courtesy of By Modern Social

Wedding welcome bags are such a lovely treat for your guests to receive when they check into their hotel or airbnb for your destination wedding. Your guests have traveled and taken time out of their lives for your special weekend, so this is just a really great way to treat them and say thanks!

We love how creative couples get with their welcome bags but there are a few things to keep in mind when putting your bags together. We reached out to some industry experts to hear what they think makes for the perfect wedding welcome bag. Let’s see how to put together the perfect wedding welcome bag…

1. An itinerary card is a MUST for your wedding welcome bags

wedding welcome bag itinerary template
wedding itinerary template via etsy

Philip Casey Photography shares that, “the most important thing to add to a welcome bag might be the welcome itinerary, especially for destinations with less than perfect internet! Let your guests know where to be on each day (and how to get there), when they will have time to relax and explore, and a note saying how excited you are to see them.”

We could not agree more with this idea. Etsy has lots of customizable templates you can use to create your itinerary. Or if you are working with a stationery designer, have them create one for you!

2. Create a balance between fun items & necessities.

chocolates for wedding welcome bags
Local chocolate bars make a fun addition to the bag. These are from Compartes

“We’re major fans of wedding weekend welcome bags – making a dashing first impression of the vibe of your big day is essential in our eyes!” Candace, Owner of ilu-lily Designs shares with us. “Set the tone with memorable welcome bag favors that your guests will get tons of use out of, even after your wedding.”

The key? Keep things balanced with both fun and personalized items and some basic necessities so your welcome bags feel intentional and genuinely helpful. “Include important details, like branded stationery with a welcome letter, an itinerary of events, and perhaps even a map of the area with local attractions for guests that are in town for a long weekend. Local snacks (and of course, water!) are always a great idea – think chocolates, popcorn, nuts, or cookies for crowd-pleaser favorites. Add a couple of souvenirs like a fun postcard or keychain representing the area, and then toss in some items that fit your wedding weekend vision: sunglasses or personalized beach towels work well for your coastal wedding, a hangover kit is key if you’re planning a major bash full of signature drinks all night long, or cozy beanies would be great for a destination wedding in the mountains.”

3. Gift your wedding welcome bags in a reusable tote to stay eco-friendly.

wedding welcome bags for california wedding
California Wedding Welcome Bag

“Rather than a traditional gift bag or box, consider presenting your welcome gifts in a custom reusable tote. Not only is it eco-friendly but guests will make use of a cute tote bag for years to come.” – Mandy Connor, Owner, Hummingbird Events & Design

If you want to make sure your guests really use the bags after your wedding, consider not including your wedding name and date on them and just make them a more netural bag with the destiantion on them. Swag Bags Co. on Etsy has lots of great options for weddings in Maimi, Brooklyn, New York, Texas, Hawaii, Malibu and more!

4. Include items that won’t go to waste.

wedding welcome bags for destination wedding
photo by Jenny Quicksall

“In our experience, the essentials are a must for any great wedding weekend welcome bag! Aim for items that won’t go to waste or may come in handy like lip balm, mints, sunblock, pain reliever, spring water, and, our personal pick, Wedding Cake Drizzled Popcorn for a sweet and salty snack. Your guests will appreciate having a delicious, on-theme snack waiting in their rooms when the celebration is over!” – Will Holsworth, CEO of The Safe + Fair Food Company

5. Focus on quality vs. quantity.

soy candle for welcome bag
soy candle

Consider infusing some high-quality locally-sourced items into your welcome bag –  a scented candle made by a local artisan, some local snacks that your town is best known for and of course, a personal note that expresses your appreciation for each guest’s attendance.” shares Mandy Connor, owner of Hummingbird Events & Design.

We could not agree more on the personal note idea. Guests will truly apprecaite the thoughtfulness of a handwritten note.

6. Pay homage to key locations.

sea salt caramels for welcome bag
sea salt caramels

“If you are having a destination wedding, we love incorporating something from your hometown, your fiancé’s hometown, and something from your wedding location. Things that are always a hit; are something sweet like toffee, something salty, and something unique from your wedding location. For us, that would be sea salt, custom wine, or hand-blown glass. All from local vendors!” – Erica Trombetti, Infinite Events

7. Incorporate a hangover kit in your wedding welcome bags

hangover kit for wedding welcome bag
hangover kit to add to your wedding welcome bag

Are you planning to have a late night dance party with lots of drinking? You might want to include a small “hangover kit” in your bag which can have Advil, hydration packets, hair ties, gum, band-aids, etc.

8. Add a nod to your personalities and interests!

his and her snacks for wedding welcome bag
use these his, her, or our favorite stickers for your bags

“I believe there are two key elements to creating the perfect welcome bag. The first being items that reflect where the wedding takes place since many guests often come from out of town. The second being a nod to the couple’s personalities and interests! I think it’s always fun for guests to walk away with a personalized gift that they’ll use over and over again.” – Melanie Levin, Owner of LuckEleven Events 

An easy way to do that is to share each of your favorite snacks in little bags in the welcome bag. Think different nuts, chips, candies, etc. This company makes cute stickers with clear bags to make this an easy thing to add to your bag!

9. Design your wedding welcome bags around the vibe of the wedding weekend.

wedding welcome bag for beach wedding
photo by Philip Casey Photography

“You’ll want to incorporate the vibe of your wedding location into your welcome bags, shares Lisette Gatliff Photography. “For a beachy aesthetic, one can go for personalized beach bags that include must-haves like sunglasses, hats, beach towels.”

Having a camp wedding or wedding in the woods? Fill wooden boxes filled with a variety of scented toiletries, fruity snacks, and mini wine bottles for a beautiful welcome gift for a rustic weddings. Remember to have fun with these!!

10. Gift your guests items that will make them feel welcome and comfortable while they’re away from home.

wedding welcome bag
photo by KT Merry

And the most important thing to remember? You want these things to help your guests feel more comfortable. Ashley Lachney of Alston Mayger Events shares, “My number one recommendation when gifting for your guests is to give them items they’ll actually use! ie, skip the can cozies with your names + date on them. In fact, skip anything branded with your wedding specifically (unless you have a badass hashtag, in which case — go off).

Water, snacks, pain reliever, blister control, cozy socks, a note inclusive of things to do when they’re not partying with you, and even candles (be sure to check your hotel’s policy on this!) are all items that will make guests feel welcome and serene in their home-away-from-home.”

We hope these tips help you put together the perfect wedding welcome bag for your wedding guests! What do you plan to put in your bags?