I always have a number of requests with what to put in a welcome bag for wedding guests, so I figured I might as well write a blog about it!
This info is specifically tailored for a destination wedding
- Determine Number of Bags:
- ADULTS: 1 bag per guest room (not 1 bag per adult)
- Keep the bags something that is either recyclable or easy to pack
- KIDS: if there are kids attending, think of doing something extra special for them. For example, for a Hawaii wedding I coordinated, the kids received sand pails filled with more child friendly goodies and snacks to keep them busy.
- ADULTS: 1 bag per guest room (not 1 bag per adult)
- Hotel Policy:
- In my experience, many hotels don’t love working with welcome bag deliveries as they can get misplaced, room numbers change, etc.
- Many hotels often charge to have them delivered. This charge can be extremely expensive at some hotels, so best to know that ahead of time to see if this is even in the budget
- Some hotels don’t allow welcome bags to be handed to guests at check in
- Also check what the hotel policy is for contents of the welcome bag. We have had some hotels not allow ANY food/beverage in bags before.
- Welcome bags are generally an “American” thing. So if you are planning a wedding in a more remote part of the world, alert them as to what welcome bags even are, ask them if it would be easier to be delivered or at check in
- Bottom line, simply ask for their policy. If the policy won’t work for you or your budget, consider handing them out at a welcome dinner or another pre-wedding event
- The only think I would do before your trip is order anything custom (tote, sunglasses, etc). Do this early to avoid steep rush fees.
- Be sure to also bring along any hand written welcome notes, printed itineraries, etc.
- Have the same designer that did your invitations do this to keep the theme cohesive.
- Beyond that, purchase as much as you can at the destination when you arrive if you can. More local the better and saves on a lot of luggage space.
- As the wedding planner, I often do most of the purchasing and assembly for the welcome bags for my clients. If you don’t have a wedding planner hired to do this, be sure you have a friends and family tasked to help.
- Define your budget — these items can add up quick!
- If purchasing custom welcome bags are not in your budget, try use craft bags and do a custom sticker or stamp instead
If no welcome bags are in the budget, at least do a hand-written welcome note and I strongly suggest making room in your budget for an itinerary. The more informed your guests can be, the more on time they will be to shuttles, excursions, dinner, etc.
Add a contact person’s info on the itinerary. For example, my clients use my Mobile number/Viber/Skype contact so guests can contact me anytime during their stay and I can answer questions for them.
WELCOME BAG IDEAS:
- Make it something generic that people will actually reuse again
- Customize the bag tag
- Lunch bag cooler — love these from Toss Designs
- Weekend Itinerary & Welcome Note
- Things to do
- Restaurant Recommendations
- Contact Person
- Local Transportation Info
- Social Media Hashtag/where to upload photos
Custom map created for our clients for their wedding in Postitano (including their beloved dog that couln’t join them!)
By Momental Designs
- Something to Sip
- Water Bottles
- Wine from the region
- Local Beer
- Mini Cocktail Kit
- First Aid Kit
- Target has great mini first aid kits in their travel size section for around $2 each
- Hangover Kit
- Something Sweet
- Something Savory
- Local/Hometown Favorites
- SPF (if somewhere sunny)
- Lip Balm
- Hand Sanitizer
- Music Playlist
- Custom Sunglasses
- Custom Beer Coozie
- Custom Door Hanger
Emma & Jack’s wedding was full of Jewish tradition and elegance, making the Four Seasons Seattle the perfect setting for this classic winter wedding. A wonderful Kosher caterer, Epic Bites, came all the way from San Francisco to cater this event. Isaac and his team did such a phenomenal job with all of the food and beverage.
We went from the Tisch, to the Bedeken, to the Ketubah signing to the beautiful ceremony under the Chuppah. Then of course dinner and LOTS of dancing to follow. Their wedding fell on a Seattle Seahawks Sunday, so the 12th man flag made an appearance during the hora dances after their win.
Big thanks to:
Photographer: Molly Landreth
Venue: Gerald & his team at Four Seasons Seattle
Catering: Epic Bites
Hair & Make Up: Michelle Chappron
Floral & Decor & Linens: Loves Me Flowers
Band: Daniel Zwelling Band
Video: Cory Bogle
Lighting: Hardcastle Entertainment
Wedding websites are great for any wedding, but if you are planning a destination wedding you will 100% be sure to want one.
They keep you and your guests organized and reduce the amount of phone calls from people asking about the details of the event. It is a great place for people to get every last piece of information they need for attending your wedding. From current weather forecasts to what attire to pack for each event. No matter how big or small the guest list, I strongly suggest having one. They have come so far in the last couple years.
If you are going to spend money on planning a wedding, you might as well have yourself a nice wedding website. The small additional cost (in the grand scheme of the wedding) will be good money spent if you actually use it to its capacity. There are free wedding websites out there but often do less for you or put you on 20 million different email subscriptions.
Here are my top choices for wedding websites:
This is a great site that also has an app feature for guests to download onto their smart phones. Probably my favorite site for the money. Websites range from $35-69 flat fee an no monthly hosting fees.
Riley & Grey
This company offers websites with lots of great functions and layouts as well as clean classic designs. They have a good “try before you buy” function too, which will more or less in 10 mins give you the confirmation you need to commit or keep moving. Prices are $35 per month or $245 for the year. So great for the couple looking to plan their wedding in 1 year or less.
Bliss & Bone
Love their designs. Very minimal, chic, elegant and easy to customize. User friendly for those of us less tech-savvy people and good RSVP functionality. Most templates seem to have a blog function as well for those brides and grooms that want to share their story as they go about planning their wedding. They are also a stationary site, so if you happen to already like their website templates, you might also be able to use them for your one-stop-shopping for invites, save the dates, etc too! Sites are $175. One time fee.
Save the Date – Digital
For many people they don’t have the “vision” quite nailed down with regards to colors, details, etc before it is time to send out the save the date. Or an engagement photo for that matter. So I am seeing more couples trending to a clean looking digital save the date to initially get the word out to invited guests then putting more of a design focus on the invitations. My go to website for this is Green Envelope — pricing from $29.99! They also have digital invitations too for those not interested in sending out paper invites.
Back from yet another trip to Santorini!
Here are a few quick snaps of my trip…
More details on where to stay and what to do on my Earth + Ocean Travel Co Santorini Blog.
I will be back in Oia in October 2015 if there are any more folks looking to get married and are in need of a coordinator there. We can do anything from an elopement to full service planning. I will be sharing some wedding packages next week for those interested! Please feel free to email erin(@)lindemanweddings.com if you have any questions about getting married or planning your next trip to Santorini.
Hope you enjoy the view…