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A Guide to Hotel Welcome/Gift Bags for Your Wedding

You know we love giving you tips on how to make your guests feel more comfortable and welcome during your big day. Especially if you know you will not have time to greet many out of town guests before your big day, having welcome gift bags at the hotel is sure to put a smile on their face.



What is a hotel welcome bag?


A hotel welcome bag is a bag/gift filled with the items to make your guests’ expórtenles as comfortable and memorable as possible. It is a perfect way to welcome your guests to the area and thank them for attending your big day. They are most often given at destination weddings after someone has arranged flights and accommodations to attend your wedding. But are becoming very popular especially if you have a lot of out of town guests. Of course, you don’t have to make welcome bags for your guests, but it will definitely feel more welcome. If you do decide to give welcome bags, make sure to include everyone.


What to put in your bag?


There are tons of options, and no limits as to what you can include in your welcome bags. You can go as big or small as you want. We have seen so many great ideas, and think it’s best to include practical items and fun favors.



Welcome/Thank You Note

What is a welcome bag without a personal note?

Here, you can thank your friends and family for attending, and include any information you want or need them to know. Handwritten notes are definitely more personal, but printed notes are just as meaningful. Don’t forget to include your wedding hashtag or any other social media shout outs you wish to include.


Itinerary

An itinerary is one of the most important things you can provide your guests with. Where to go and when to be there can be confusing for an out of town guest. Keep your guests in the loop with a wedding weekend timeline. From the welcome party to the post/wedding brunch, at the very least provide your guests with the time and location of all your important events. An itinerary is also helpful if you plan on providing a shuttle or alternative form of transportation for your guests to and from your event.


Restaurants/Local Attractions

If you expect guests to have a lot of down time, it could be useful to recommend restaurants and local attractions. Maybe your guests are using this time for a mini vacation. Especially if you are having a local wedding, who knows your own town better than you? Guests will absolutely love your personal recommendations. Whether you go to dinner at the same spot every Friday night, or you absolutely love donuts from a cute local shop, share those recommendations with your guests. This information could be included at the bottom or back of your thank you/welcome note or itinerary.


Snacks

Everyone loves snacks, especially after a long day of wedding festivities. A fun way to introduce your guests to the city or state is with local snacks. Guests may not have heard of or tasted before some of the snacks local to your area. For example, in Kentucky we have seen people include Kentucky Hot Mix and Bourbon balls; in Tennessee we have seen people include moon pies and moonshine. We have also seen couples do a "his favorite" and "her favorite", which is a really sweet (no pun intended) way to introduce your guests to you all as a couple. You can get very creative with snacks. We always encourage including something sweet and something salty.


Something to Drink

Dropping a couple bottles of water into the welcome bag is such a nice touch. After a long day of travel all your guest wants to do is get to their destination and get comfortable. I am sure you can all relate to being parched and exhausted after travel. Your guests will save a few dollars and be very grateful. While water is always a necessity, you can add other drinks as well. We have seen people include small 1 shot liquors, sodas, Gatorade, etc. A Paducah specific idea could be to include a can of Purple Toad Black and Bruised wine, a crowd favorite, and a great way to introduce your guests to everyone’s favorite winery.


Hangover Helpers

A crowd favorite in wedding packages are hangover cures. After a long night of celebration, some hangover essentials could definitely be needed and appreciated. Things like pain medicine, liquid IV, tums, alka seltzer, etc are all great options.


Seasonal Essentials

Help your guests brave the elements during your day. During the winter including chapstick or lip balm could be a great addition. If you are having an outdoor ceremony or reception, bug spray and sunscreen are great ideas too.


Paducah & Kentucky Specific Welcome Bag/Gift Ideas


Photos via Facebook - Dough & Co; The Farmhouse of Paducah; Cookie Laboratory

  • Purple Toad Wine

  • Bourbon balls

  • Kentucky Hot Mix

  • Cookies/desserts from a local bakery (Like Artisan Kitchen, Kirchoff’s, Dough & Co, Cookie Laboratory, etc)

  • Soaps, Lotions, Candles from The Farmhouse Coffee and Gift Shop


Our Favorite Examples


Photos via marthastewart.com

1. Silvie Gill Photography; 2. Laura Ford Photography; 3. The Grovers Photography; 4. Elizabeth Messina Photography; 5. Sarah Corona Photography; 6. KT Merry


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