How to Build a Better Wedding Welcome Bag

Favors & Gifts
New York Wedding Welcome Bag

Photo: Jarren Vink; Getty Images

Nothing kicks off a wedding weekend quite like a welcome bag full of goodies. They can help get the party started, even days before the ceremony! Plus, a few sweet treats and thoughtful essentials can go a long way in making your out-of-town guests feel right at home. In our October/November 2015 issue (on newsstands now!), six of our favorite tastemakers crafted totally gorg guest gifts, inspired by their fave wedding destinations. Your friends and family may have come a long way to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime event with you, so make them feel welcome with a stylish tote full of treats!

New York (Above)
"Nothing says New York like a picnic and ride in Central Park. Stock bike baskets with local munchies, like fresh bread, cheese, and charcuterie. Then add an item that has meaning to you and your partner. I chose pralines. My family's recipe is out of this world (I used it for my own wedding!), but Aunt Sally's Original Pralines are as close as they come. Finally, throw in a drink that looks as great as it tastes, and wrap it all up in a fun gingham place mat." —Lela Rose, Creative Director of Lela Rose

Bike Basket, $15, Sunlite; Rose Lemonade, $8.50 for four, Fentimans; Cotton Vichy Place Mat, $38 for 12, My Drap; Rosé and Prosecco Salami, $5.49 each, Volpi, available at World Market; Pralines, $15 for six, Aunt Sally's.

Austin Wedding Welcome Bag

Photo: Courtesy of Zazzle; Jarren Vink

"Austin is full of energy and vitality. Give guests a sense of place with a cowboy hat, a bandanna, and Texas-made treats like Tito's handmade vodka and Texas Oil licorice drops. Be sure to include some day-after hangover relief and a couple of take-home mementos like monogrammed matches." —Susan Feldman, Cofounder of One Kings Lane

Ache & Pain Relief To-Go, $2.39, Urgent Rx; Hat "Barndance," $5.25, U.S. Toy, available on Amazon; Bandanna "Cowboy," $12 for 12, Kaiser, available on Amazon; Vodka, $2, Tito's; Soap, $25 for five, Panier Des Sens, available at One Kings Lane; Bee Votive Candle, $16 for three, One Kings Lane; Custom Matchbox, $195 for 100, Regas Studio; Jelly Beans, $4.75, Texas Oil Drops.

Las Vegas Wedding Welcome Bag

Photo: Courtesy of Zazzle; Jarren Vink

Las Vegas
"Vegas weddings are unconventional and a little devil-may-care. Put guests in a party mood with fun extras, like sparkly nail polish and pool-ready Elvis glasses. Your friends will appreciate an eye mask to help them sleep late after a big night out." —Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador of Barneys New York

Tote Bag, $5.48, Gift House, available on Amazon; Tab Soda, $19 for 12, available on Amazon; Sleep Mask "Closed Eyes Eyelashes," $3.50, Eye Mask, available on Amazon; Pop Rocks, $18 for 15, available on Amazon; Sunglasses "Elvis Aviator Rock Star Glasses," $8, Rhode Island Novelty, available on Amazon; Nail Lacquer "Rose Gold," $5, Flower Beauty, available at Walmart. Dice Lollipops, $40 for 24, Destination Wedding Favors.

See More: How Much Time It Really Takes to DIY Wedding Favors

Montana Wedding Welcome Bag

Photo: Courtesy of Zazzle; Jarren Vink

"When I think of Montana, I think open meadows, rustic lodges, and homemade treats. Biscuits are even better with jam, and toffee and cherry soda (a regional favorite) are perfect late-night snacks. Cowboy-boot cookie cutters let guests relive the mountain magic at home." —Mindy Weiss, Event Planner

Tote Bag, $12, Seeker of Happiness; Hand Cream, $2, Udderly Smooth; Cherry Soda, $2, Cheerwine; Boot Cookie Cutter, $1.25, Sur La Table; Mini Preserves, $7.99 for 12, Bonne Maman, available at English Tea Store; Toffee, $11 for six ounces, B. Toffee.

Dominican Republic Wedding Welcome Bag

Photo: Courtesy of Zazzle; Jarren Vink

Dominican Republic
"The Dominican Republic is known for its beaches, so sun protection and hydration are key! Arm guests with sunscreen, SPF lip balm, and a water bottle. Include island munchies, like plantain chips, then pack it in a bright tote." — Nicole Gibbons, Interior Designer and Host of OWN's "Home Made Simple"

Mesh Purse, $18 for four, Direct From Mexico; Plantain Chips, $30 for 24, Lam's; Water Bottle, $10, Contigo, available at Target; Sunscreen, $12, Alba; Coffee, $8.50, Café Santo Domingo; Lip balm, $3.29, EOS.

Bermuda Wedding Welcome Bags

Photo: Courtesy of Zazzle; Jarren Vink

"Bermudans are famous for their shorts, but my favorite way to play up the island's preppy style is with bold socks. A Dark 'n Stormy helps get the party started, and hot sauce is a Bermudan staple. Add a towel and everyone will be ready for the pink-sand beaches." —Marcus Samuelsson, Chef and Restaurateur

Bucket, $14, Tubtrugs; Beach Towel, $4.99, Essential Home, available at Kmart; Map, price upon request, Sincerely Me; Dark 'n Stormy, $10 for four, Goslings; Pepper Sauces, from $6.95, Outerbridge's Original; Emergen-C, $8.54 for 30, available on Amazon. Socks, $12, Happy Socks.

Want more genius planning tips? For the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES October/November 2015 issue on newsstands now and available for download.

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