5 Welcome Bag Mistakes Not to Make

Want to give your guests the warm greeting they deserve? Avoid these welcome bag don'ts.
by Maggie Seaver
Saint Louis–themed welcome bags wedding
ASHLEY FISHER PHOTOGRAPHY

A welcome bag or basket is the nicest way to greet your guests with a gesture that says, “Thank you so much for coming! We want you to be as comfortable and happy as possible while celebrating with us.” While you’re free to be as creative with your welcome packages as you’d like, here are a few mistakes you definitely don’t want to make. Trust us, your friends and family will appreciate the extra effort.

1. Offering Something Large, Heavy or Fragile

If it doesn’t travel well, leave it out. As much as your guests would love to bring home those wine glasses and two gorgeous bottles of cabernet, anyone flying or trying to travel light will probably have to make the devastating decision to leave those thoughtful goodies behind. When in doubt, avoid delicate glass or other fragile materials and go for miniature versions (half bottles of champagne, small bags of customized M&Ms) they can consume in a short amount of time, or pack in a small suitcase to enjoy later.

2. Providing Zero Hangover Remedies

It’s up to your guests whether or not they take full advantage of the open bar. All you can do is anticipate their needs and be there for them when the sun comes up—in the form of water bottles, Advil, Alka-Seltzer, Emergen-C and snacks (see below). Go a step further and include lifesavers like Band-Aids, gum, stain-remover and mini sewing kits in case they have more to nurse than a headache.

3. Forgoing Snacks

Keep your guests from raiding the minibar and treat them to some munchies—bonus points if you include something local or homemade. Whether they snack upon arriving after a long drive or postreception for a late-night bite, they’ll appreciate this offering the most.

4. Not Including a Note or Wedding Info

Along with your treats and essentials, include an actual welcome note to let your guests know how happy you are to have them. If you can pen them all yourself, you’re a hero! Otherwise, taking a little time to at least sign each copy yourself should do the trick. Provide an event itinerary, directions and transportation options, local food and activity recommendations, and any other insider details. This is especially helpful if you’re celebrating over an entire weekend so guests can make the most of any downtime.

5. Forgetting to Make a Delivery Plan

You’ve got the goods, now you just need a way to get them to your guests. Flying to your wedding location? You’re best bet is to ship them, otherwise you can transport them in checked bags. Once there, enlist attendants or family members to help distribute bags to guests' hotels to be handed out at check-in or waiting in their rooms when they arrive. (But ask first—some hotels will charge per bag.)

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