One of my October 2009 destination wedding brides brought up a question this week about welcome gift baskets. Her fiance wanted to know if they were a necessity and wanted my professional advice and feedback. While out of town welcome bags are not a requirement for even destination weddings, they are a nice added touch to thank your guests for making the trip to see your wedding day. Guests feel loved and appreciated when they are greeted by a special gift in their room from the bride and groom.
Out of town bags do not have to cost a fortune. Here are some ideas for putting your goody bags together.
A nice note to welcome your guests is a good way to start. If it is a small wedding, try to add a personalized touch by signing the letter by hand. A local guide book of suggested restaurants, shops, and tourist spots is handy, but I recommend a list of your personal suggestions (your wedding coordinator may also offer recommendations). Other items I recommend are:
- Bottled water
- Snacks such as crackers, chips, and cookies – we all know how fast the mini bar charges can add up
- List of activities for the weekend or a wedding weekend itinerary
- A map to the wedding ceremony and reception site
- Necessities such as aspirin, sunscreen, mints
- A souvenir or locally made item (for example, a real poker chip from a Las Vegas casino is fitting for Las Vegas weddings)
You can also personalize the welcome baskets to suit the locale or your personalities. For the champagne loving couple, how about a split of Champagne or sparkling wine with two glasses?
Because I grew up in San Francisco, my welcome basket would consist of:
- Ghirardelli chocolate
- Prepaid All Day Passport for the world famous San Francisco cable car
- Specialty sourdough bread
- Cable car or Golden Gate Bridge ornament
- Coffee mugs from The Buena Vista
With a little imagination and creativity, I’m sure you’ll come up with the ideal welcome gift basket for your out of town guests!