This tradition is common in the USA, parts of Europe, Ireland and the UK and starting to take off here in Australia. Essentially its a “goodie” bag for guests who have travelled to be at your wedding. This might just be some of your guests, or it could be ALL of them - if you are having a destination wedding.
They are a terrific surprise and way to say a special welcome and thank you for going to the effort and expense of travelling to share in our wedding day with us.
So what do you put in a wedding welcome bag - typically they have little treats as well as information about your plans and celebration as well as information about the local area such as things to see and do, maps, bus timetables and contact numbers for taxis. Ubers, etc. It might also contain info on where best to eat or where they can pick up supplies such as a nearby 7/11 store, chemist etc. Things they may need and wont have any idea how to find easily.
A typical checklist of ideas could be:
Something to put it all in that is an appropriate size for all your items - a bag, box, basket or tote. You might even lash out and have a calico bag customised with your wedding details and their name.
A handwritten letter or card that says a personal thank your from you both and how much you appreciate them being at your wedding.
Bottled Water with a custom wedding label
Snacks - try to offer some local produce from the area like chocolates, fudge, shortbread, mints etc. You could have some sweet and some savoury. You might even order some custom wedding candies to include Roc Candy Perth City
Self packaged fruit - apples, oranges, mandarines, bananas etc the wont squish easily in the bag.
Alcoholic Minitures - champagne, wine or spirits
A trinket or souvenir from the area such as a fridge magnet or postcard.
Appropriate climate essentials - a hand fan, sunscreen, bug spray, compact raincoats or umbrellas etc
A recovery kit - Panadol, Berocca Tube, Icepack, Toothbrush and Toothpaste.
A locally made or customise item such as a scented candle, lip balm, hand soap or essential oil.
A personalised item either with their name on it, or that reflects their personality or memories you share the are personal - a book, notepad and pen, a game you shared etc
Documents that show all the details of your wedding plans they will be part of - Rehearsal, Rehearsal Dinner, Bridal Shower, Hens/Bucks Night etc.
Local guidebooks, maps, what to see and do nearby, essential numbers such at taxi, medical etc,
Putting it all together:
Ask for help or delegate. Your Bridesmaids or family members are sure to want the help you and be involved in the wedding in some way. They can help shop, fill the bags, pick things up or deliver them for you.
It’s a lovely surprise if you can arrange to have the bags already in the room at the hotel or where where your guests will be staying. That really say’s WELCOME!
You don’t have to completely fill the bags - keep it simple and within your budget.
Whatever you decide to put in make sure it can be taken home on the plane or will be used up beforehand - you don’t want airport security making them ditch it!
Personalise the bags so that anything that’s not appropriate or might offend doesn’t get included for every guest. Make sure ALL the bags have the guests name on it somewhere - even if it’s just a name tag attached with a ribbon.