My Favorite Things for Welcome Bags
Welcome Bags are easily one of the most fun checkmarks on your destination wedding to-do list. Preparing special gifts for your guests are fun and exciting – it is amazing to see all of the neat things vendors have come out with that are absolutely perfect for us to buy! So this was really fun for me to put together for you and I hope you enjoy! I am not including pictures of everything (because this page would take forever to load) so be sure to click the links I am tagging for specific products too!
A Quick Disclaimer: I have tried to stick to small businesses for the most part as a personal preference but sometimes have included bulk buys that I can only find on amazon or similar. Don’t forget that you can contact me if you have any questions or think something else is amazing and should be included in the list! Another disclaimer: you are not a bad person if you don’t have the budget for welcome bags. They are a nice gesture for your guests but are in no way required. There are too many things wedding couples feel guilty about when planning a wedding and I don’t want to contribute to that in any way.
Another disclaimer: none of these links are affiliate links. I found a few of my favorite things but if you find something else you like, you do you! I hope you like the things that I like but I don’t intend to benefit in any way. Just sharing out of love!
What to Use for the Actual Bag
The Bag! The bag itself is even fun to choose. You can choose a simple paper bag, a muslin bag (which are very popular because they are usually very cost effective) or a full out beach bag. Really, you just need something strong enough to hold what you are putting in it. I chose a muslin bag for myself and it worked very well! What I love about muslin or beach bags (as opposed to paper bags) are that your guests may end up using them throughout the trip as well! My aunt referred to the bag as a “lifesaver” because she never thought to bring something to hold her money and sunglasses when she hangs out by the pool.
What I Consider to Be Essentials
If you are going to have a destination wedding welcome bag, there are a few things I think you should include. You should definitely include a copy of the wedding invitation (or some form of stationary that reminds them when and where to show up for the reason they flew down here). Something like this welcome letter with the itinerary would work well. I also think it is a good idea to give them some tips and tricks to make the most of the destination you chose – something like this Eat & Drink, See & Do letter (pictured above) is perfect for that. A city guide or map depending on the destination might come in handy as well!
These are great “essentials” for a welcome bag. Other things to include are some local flair or maybe even more traditional “favour” ideas if you like – but this is absolutely up to you! My favourite ideas are below 🙂
Ideas to Include Local Flair
I love the idea of including some local flair in your welcome bags. I hope you are truly embracing the wonderful country you are choosing to get married in! That being said, it can be a little tricky if you wait to pick up the “local flair” until you are in your destination. There are certain things you know you will be able to find for sure, like cigars in Cuba or Sugar Skulls in Mexico. It just depends how flexible you want to be while in destination. Depending on the destination, you may be able to ship things ahead of time but not always. So whatever you bring needs to fit into a suitcase!
I had maracas at my wedding and they were a huge hit. I didn’t include them in our welcome bags, we actually had them at everyone’s place setting. People loved it because it was so unique. Although.. maybe not so unique now that it is all over pinterest haha. Other ideas could be mini tequila bottles or even a temporary stamp of the country’s flag. It definitely doesn’t have to be big to be special.
The Rest of my Favourite Things
Tumblers!! These were a “crowd favourite” at my wedding. Partly because the resort we chose was an eco resort and they didn’t serve drinks with straws. For drinks like Mojitos – you need a straw!! Plus it was cool to see everyone using them around the resort – like hey you are with us!
Hangover Kits. You can DIY these by ordering the bag and then the advil and pepto individually on amazon separately. If you can find some that come prepackaged for you, it’s much easier. They used to be everywhere but for some reason I couldn’t find any (other than here on amazon) for this post. They were kind of a nightmare to put together to be honest haha – I bought bags that were too small! Emergen-C is a surprisingly tall/wide package!
Personalized Cards! We never like to talk about rain when it comes to destination weddings, but it does happen! And when it rains, your guests will be glad you included a personalized deck of cards in their welcome bags! Or something else to do in the rain. If you notice a big price difference when shopping for personalized cards, keep in mind that some people are personalizing every card and some are just personalizing the case! It doesn’t matter what you chose as long as you know what to expect.
You can mail these things down to the resort ahead of time but I don’t necessarily recommend it. It is unreliable at best. Pay for extra luggage if you have to to bring them down with you. Avoid choosing anything breakable. Pack smart: Don’t have the straws in the tumblers for example, you are just begging them to snap.
As for handing them out, I strongly recommend you hand them out at your welcome event (read more about planning a welcome event here). Of course you could always pay the resort to (resorts will charge between $3-5USD per bag on average) but often times people get missed or might get their bag hours after the first person received theirs which can make them feel forgotten about. We definitely don’t want that! I try to avoid getting the resort to do it but if you don’t want the hassle it is a good alternative. Just be sure to organize it with the resort ahead of time!
As always, if there is anything else you want me to include, don’t hesitate to contact me. Happy Wedding Planning!