When you’re having a wedding, you want to be able to celebrate with family and friends, which means they’re going to have to travel to meet you at your venue. Traveling is hard for anyone, even those who do it for a living. That’s why brides have started the trend of putting together hotel wedding gift bags for their guests.
Hotel wedding gift bags help guests get settled, stay nourished and thank them for their attendance. These welcome bags provide contact information, ideas for things to do, snacks, small gifts and directions to the wedding. They’re a warm way to say thank you and make their hotel room feel a little more like home.
Before you decide on what goes in your guests’ gift bags, you need to decide on budget, delivery and if you’ll use a theme. Plan to budget about $10 to $15 a bag, and ask the hotel if they include delivery of wedding gift bags with rate negotiations. You can ask for free delivery, but tip well if possible.
It’s a good idea to incorporate items that are personal and closely relate to the theme of the wedding. Need help figuring out what to put in your gift bags? Here are 10 things to include in your hotel wedding gift bags.
A genuine thank you goes a long way, especially for those guests who have taken time away from their busy schedules to come and celebrate you. Include a thank-you note to the guests in the hotel wedding gift bags. It can be as simple as a photo of you two and a handwritten note on the back, or you can enclose a card with your signature. Consider writing the note by hand to make it more personalized, and mention why you’re so glad they were able to come.
Look for a small gift that highlights something popular or historic in the area. What about sugar cookies baked in a historic settlement or a chocolate bar from an area factory? Perhaps adorable stationery or a small art print from a nearby gallery, especially if you as a couple are artistic. A local gift helps guests feel at home and get acquainted with the area.
One of the biggest issues guests often face at weddings is that they arrive hungry. No matter what time your ceremony begins, everyone is going to be looking forward to your reception meal. Anticipate guests will be ready to eat when they arrive by including snacks in their gift bags.
They’ll receive their bags when they check in at the hotel and most likely snack on the items you include before they leave for your wedding. Consider adding a bottle of water or gift card to a local coffee shop to add a nice touch in the hotel wedding gift bags. Set aside bags for people with dietary restrictions so you can customize as needed. They will appreciate the gesture and that you took the time to think about their needs.
An easy way to stuff gift bags even more is to include necessities like aspirin and antacids. Guests also may find themselves forgetting some essentials at home, which is why you can include travel-sized toothbrushes, toothpaste and chewing gum. Consider what other convenience items guests may need or like, such as a lint roller or slipper socks. Think about items that are convenient and commonly forgotten to stay one step ahead of your guests’ needs.
Having a destination wedding? Include sunscreen and a beach towel, because guests are likely to forget one or both items. Sunscreen is an excellent weather-focused gift, since guests will be able to use it at any destination wedding that takes place outdoors or near outdoor entertainment activities.
Similarly, if your wedding is somewhere rainy, slip a mini-umbrella or poncho in the bag. Guests who fly in will probably leave their umbrella at home, and they shouldn’t have to get a new one just for a short trip. Rain gear is a great gift for your local folks, too. Pay attention to the weather forecast just before guests start to arrive, so you can add rain gear or sunscreen to the gift bags as needed.
Have fun with your gift bags by filling them with unexpected fun. Adult coloring books are a relatively new trend plenty of grown-ups are falling in love with. They’re fun and easy for everyone to do! Look for coloring books that relate to your wedding motif through the venue, florals or even a locally themed coloring book.
At the end of wedding planning, you may even need an escape yourself. Buy yourself a coloring book to de-stress from last-minute planning. Look around online to find an artist who can create a humorous coloring book designed around the love story you share with your partner.
Hosting a child-friendly wedding? Include coloring books for the kids too. Add two packs of crayons for families instead of one, so families can have backup coloring supplies ready in case they get lost or broken. Coloring books are a fun and unexpected gift idea for people of all ages, so consider adding them to your hotel gift bags.
See if you can round up coupons for appetizers or meals from local restaurants. Don’t want to do all that wandering? Some city chambers of commerce create a guide and coupon book of only local businesses so you can avoid chains. Try there, and don’t forget to check to see what the hotel already supplies for guests as far as information and recommendations.
Include a few personal recommendations and roundups of specials in the hotel wedding gift bags. Is there a little bar around the corner with a whiskey or wine Wednesday? What about lunch sub specials? Some of your guests may not have been to your city before, so let them know you’d like to help make them feel more at home.
If possible, include a sticky note on the camera that says “Make memories.” There’s something mindful and rewarding about the click-whirr of a disposable camera because you develop the film later and enjoy the present moment more. Guests will love being able to hold their memories in their hand once the film gets processed, making it easier for everyone to hang the pictures around their home.
So helpful, right? In all seriousness — and silliness — include a totally random object in your gift to surprise and delight your guests. Make it suit you as a couple. Include bubbles to blow or glow sticks for guests to let their inner children out to play. Turn it into a riddle to find a local hot spot to try.
People are human, and human beings forget important things even when they don’t mean to. They remembered to arrive, but they forgot the itinerary. That’s why you need to include a copy of the itinerary and directions to the wedding and associated events.
Include the thank you and itinerary with directions attached to the bag as a front-and-back card. Punch a hole in the card and attach it with a ribbon so guests can hang it off the bathroom door as a reminder. It’s not only creative, but it’s also easy for guests to place right in front of their noses, more or less.
You and your partner built it, and now your loved ones will come. But sometimes they need a few reminders. So, welcome your guests with a few items to make them feel at home and cover their bases. Provide them with ideas for fun things to do while they’re in town for the wedding and get everyone excited to share in your big day.