Can I just say I love wedding welcome bags? As a wedding planner based in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, I love spoiling my clients with unexpected gifts throughout their time with me. So it's no surprise that I love designing wedding welcome bags, boxes, and other gifts. Welcome gifts are a warm and gracious way to greet your guests after their long and weary travels to your destination wedding.
I love working with companies that put together curated welcome boxes. My #1 go-to is Lavendar & Pine. She produces all my client welcome gifts and gave us TONS of help on this topic in this podcast episode.
But if you prefer to make them on your own, this post is going to be a gold mine! I've spent a lot of time putting together welcome bags and boxes for various weddings and events and these are always crowd-pleasers. If there's something you love that's not on the list, please email me as I'd love to add it.
For our couples getting married in New York, I've made sure to include some local small businesses that I love to support. A lot of the snacks here would also make great wedding favors as you want something useful that EVERYONE will enjoy (which is hard to find) or food, which is almost never wasted.
Not ready yet to put your wedding welcome bags together? Save this post so you can come back to it later!
Wedding Welcome Bags + Boxes
First, you need good packaging. I put this in the beginning to help you think about what kind of presentation you want to make, but it's a good idea to put this towards the end of your shopping once you decide what you're going to include inside and how much space you're going to need.
Bottled water is almost expected these days. After a long journey to your destination (or a night of partying), guests always welcome bottles of water that have become a staple in many welcome bags. You could even take it up a notch and give them custom water bottles with your wedding logo or date from Swell.
But if that's not what you're looking for, I have tons of still or sparkling options below.
Snacks + Local Specialties
The snacks you include are a great way to show off your personalities and what you love about your destination. Whether it's peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies that you love, or chocolate-covered pretzels that your partner loves, don't be afraid to have fun with these and add some personal flavor (see what I did there?).
Don't be afraid to mix these with some economical options to help fill up the bag or box.
(or another locally sourced cookie)
Wedding Weekend Survival Kit
A lot of times guests forget small items that they'll be happy to find when they open your welcome bag, including lip balm, facial wipes, mints, and sewing kits. These show you went the extra step to give them something they'll use.
Small gifts are also appreciated. During this odd time for our country, many couples are choosing to include their wedding favors in their welcome bags instead of at the wedding reception. I'm a BIG scented candle fan and have included below links to 2 local options for my New York friends, as well as a set from Magnolia Home (love Joanna Gaines!) that you can buy on Amazon. They all smell wonderful!
Weather-Related Wedding Welcome Gifts
And if your wedding is taking place during the summer when it can be sunny, or during the winter or fall when temperatures can plummet with little notice, it's a good idea to include some fun weather-related gifts in your wedding welcome bag. The first set of aviators are a mix, while the next two are able to be customized, which I think is super fun. Finally, when I had a November wedding in New York City last year, the old Cathedral was FREEZING, so everyone used the hand warmers linked below, not just during photos, but also during the ceremony. Pro tip: The bride and bridesmaids can stuff them down the backs of their gowns to help stay warm! Groomsmen can just keep them in their pockets (lucky ducks).
Health & Safety for Wedding Welcome Bags
No welcome bag is complete without some health and sanitation supplies! Even if there wasn't a pandemic, you would be surprised how many people will happily take free hand sanitizer (airplane head rests, anyone?) or an extra face mask.
Want more help for your wedding gifting, listen to my interview with Alexandra from Lavender & Pine Gifting!
Wedding Welcome Bag Ideas
Wedding welcome bags are a popular way to give your guests a virtual hug as soon as they arrive. It shows that you're thinking of them and that you appreciate their attendance. Whether you work with a gifting company or you make them yourself, your guests will appreciate the time and effort you put into them.
If you liked this post, check out more ideas in my curated Kit.Co wedding welcome bag shop.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. That means I get a small commission if you purchase through this link. However, I promise to only share tools and products I truly love and would use for myself or recommend to my clients.