Dear Digital Crinoline,
What should be included in a “welcome basket” for the out of town guests?
– Distant Family Bride
Distant Family Bride,
Before I answer your question, let me remind you that out of town bags are a nice-to-have and very sweet to offer… but they are not law. Make sure that you budget for them, if you want them, and don’t leave them to the last minute before your guests arrive!
That said, if you want to create a welcome basket for your guest you should consider including these basics:
- A container of some sort, whether it’s a reusable bag, gable box, a tote, a basket, or whatever else that will work for you
- Basic information about the wedding, so they know where to be and when
- Water or another beverage, since everyone has a thirst after traveling
- Some food or snacks to snack on in the hotel room
image (and DIY project): Kim Piper Werker
From there, you can personalize to your taste. Having a wedding in the summer in Annapolis or on the beach? Consider a nautical theme: use a small boat style tote, include some personalized bottles of water and popcorn or taffy, and throw in a free visitor’s guide from the local tourist office.
Getting married in DC? Add a metro farecard pre-loaded with a few dollars for your guests to use while touring around town.
For a wedding in Alexandria or elsewhere in Virginia, you could include some local treats- a “Virginia is for Lovers” postcard or bumper sticker, a sample size of local jam, or a small package of Virginia peanuts.
When shopping for the items for your welcome basket (or bag, or tote), think about what you can get for free or cheap that would make life a little easier for your guests. This is a great time to use that Costco or other price club membership- hundreds of packets of pretzels or other snacks can be purchased for minimal cost in bulk. For a winter wedding, you could stock up on packages of hot chocolate mix. If there will be alcohol at the wedding, you also might pick up a bunch of small packages of tylenol for the guests who will appreciate your thoughtfulness the day after the wedding!
If you have room in the budget and want to make your welcome basket a bit bigger and more helpful, you might add things that are hard to travel with, with the new airline restrictions. Perhaps a small can of hairspray or even a bottle of local wine or some bottles of beer.
In addition to a wedding itinerary, you could include a door hanger for your guests to hang up the night of the wedding warning hotel staff to let them sleep- it’s an easy DIY but looks super cute in the welcome basket, and later on the doors at the hotel! A stamped postcard is a great add-on item for guests to truly feel like they are on vacation, and share it with a friend!
image: Lovely and Gracious Design Studio blog
Do you have a question, but don’t have the time to find the answer- or don’t even know where to start looking? Send your wedding research and planning questions to Digital Crinoline and let me do the legwork for you!