Wedding welcome bags shouldn't replace thank you notes, but going the extra mile to say, "I appreciate you being apart of my big day" will go a long way. Getting your guests stocked up on goodies for your wedding weekend will make them feel extra special for attending and a great way to welcome them to your wedding. "It's the perfect way to set the tone for your wedding weekend," says Tay Wall of Bixby + Pine. That being said, you’ve got to fill your bags with the right goods to reflect your wedding vibe.
When you’re looking to fill your welcome bags with items your guests will love, there are some definite staples. You can’t forget water for hydration, something sweet, something boozy, and an all-important hangover cure. Local finds, maps, and itineraries are special touches as well, but it’s important to think about the season as well as the location. "Staple items include water, custom cookies (or local cookies), honeys and jams, caramels, canned wine, popcorn/nuts, and chocolate," says Wall.
Easily switch up wedding bag staples with seasonally appropriate choices. As you stuff your bags, think about the refreshing drinks your guests might prefer in the spring and summer months, and the cozy cold-weather goodies they’ll appreciate come fall and winter.
In addition to the welcome bag essentials, you can also add in extra seasonal necessities to help your guests get through the weekend. Think about the sweltering heat you might be asking your guests to sit through at your outdoor summer soirée, or the chill that comes on a winter night. These special occasions call for extra-special welcome bag additions.
For destination weddings, throw in a few extra items. "If you're going somewhere tropical/warm, think of fun (and practical) things like shots of tequila, straws, hangover kits/packets of medicine, gatorade, lip balm, sunscreen, etc.," says Wall. Welcome bags are a great way to show your guests who traveled from near and far how much you appreciate them. Consider these seasonal welcome bag ideas for goodies that will keep the party going all weekend long.
Meet the Expert
- Tay Wall, along with Ash Aske and Jordan Wall, is one of the three founders and owners of Bixby + Pine, wedding planning and design team that's based out of the PNW.
Relaxing and Boozy for Fall
The air is crisp, the leaves are changing and it’s the perfect time to get hitched. Fill your fall wedding welcome bag with the seasonal favorite apples—but turn it boozy! A few bottles of hard cider will definitely get the weekend going. Throw in a koozie you can customize with your names, the wedding date, or even your hashtag. Back at the room, give them something to relax with like a candle in the scent of the season, and top it off with a sweet treat like a s’mores kit.
Solid Black Small Gift Bag, Container Store, $1.99
Wolffer Estate No. 139 Dry White Cider, Drizly, $15.99
Yippee Daisy I Do Me Too Let's Party Koozie, Etsy, from $5.10
NEST Pumpkin Chai Scented Candle, Amazon, $21
Nineteen 27 S'mores Gourmet S'mores Kit, Etsy, $18
Cozy Autumn Cabin
If fall in your neck of the woods is a little chillier, warm up your guests with some comforting cabin goodies. For guests of an outdoorsy couple's wedding, snag a comforting candle with quintessential warm fall scents. Look for cozy scents like warm vanilla sugar, cinnamon, or pumpkin. A thoughtfully crafted hot chocolate mason jar makes an adorable addition, especially with a cinnamon stick tied on with ribbon. Nothing says cabin life like a bottle of Baileys. Look for the miniature-sized boozy creamer to go with a cute custom mug.
Mountain Wedding Tote, Etsy, $10.95
Log Cabin Out-of-Doors Candle, United by Blue, $14
Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Candle, Bath & Body Works, $24.50
12-Pack Mason Jars, Amazon, $23.22
The Adventure Begins Mountain Wedding Mugs, Etsy, $20.98
Bailys Minis 3-Pack, Bailys, $9.99
Winter Immune Booster
Winter weddings can be beautiful, but the season is a breeding ground for wedding day hiccups. The weather can ruin travel plans, flu season can lead to sick guests, and the cold weather is generally hard to bear. You can warm guests up with a cozy hot chocolate waiting for them upon arrival—don't forget to pair your mix with a chic mug, so they have all the hot cocoa essentials right there. If they want to warm up another way, pack a celebratory bottle of champagne! As they are settling in, they can flip through the mini planner you’ve supplied them (winter weddings coincide with the start of the year, so a planner is a perfect addition). You can include the itinerary for the weekend ahead, and give them a keepsake they can carry all year.
Add something to your wedding welcome bag guests can take as a keepsake from the weekend. This could be a calendar, an artful weekend map, a Polaroid photo, or a preserved invitation.
Travel combined with the long days and fun late nights you have planned for your guests is enough to threaten anyone’s immune system. When you throw flu season on top of that, it’s nearly impossible to stay healthy. Keep your wedding guests strong with a vitamin C booster.
Felt Fashion Tote, Everything Branded, from $2.35
Moet Mini Imperial Brut Champagne 187ML With Sipper, Wired For Wine, was $19.99 now $16.97
Godiva Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa Canister, Godiva, $14.95
Hot Drinks Glass, Crate & Barrel, $1.95
Probiotic Vitamin C Powder, The Vitamin Shoppe, $16.97
Mini 16 months undated monthly planner scheduler, Fall ‘n Design, $4.95
Outdoor Winter Activity Necessities
Don't let your wedding guests shrivel up in the dry, cold winter air. Pop a lip balm and moisturizer in their welcome bags if you'll be spending any significant time outside to prevent chapped lips and skin. Keep their fingers toasty with a set (or two) of hand warmers and a winter-themed candle. A tasty treat never hurts either, and macarons are an excellent seasonal choice.
Plaid Party Tote Bag, Etsy, $11.47
Aquaphor Lip Repair Stick 2-Pack, Amazon, $6.99
L'Occitane Hand Cream Minis, Sephora, $12
Winter in Narnia Soy Candle, Etsy, $22
Assorted Macaron Gift Box, Amazon, $30
Spring Tea and Cookies
A spring wedding is the ultimate way to start anew. Think light, airy, floral, and fresh when it comes to your spring wedding welcome bag. Swap the morning coffee option for a selection of herbal teas. Pair it with a tea-specific mug they can use well after your wedding day. Continue the floral trend with a few shortbread cookies by Lori Stern that are each pressed with hand-picked edible flowers. For a refreshing pre-ceremony drink or nightcap go for a spiked seltzer and finish off the bag with a mini succulent they can at least try to make last as long as your love will.
Lake of Life Straw Bag, Etsy, $30
Tea Forte Sipscriptions Single Steeps, Tea Forte, $20
Curve Mug with Infuser, Harney, $24.95
Loria Stern Cookies Original Flower Pressed Shortbread Cookies, Etsy, $48
2" Live Assorted Succulents, Set of 4, Urban Outfitters, $20.00
Spiked Seltzer Grapefruit 6-pk, Total Wine, $7.99
Spring Brunch Party
If your guests would rather sip on something stronger than tea at your spring wedding, go for a personalized mimosa kit. With a small bottle of champagne, custom flutes, and orange juice, all they have to do is pour and relax. When sourcing wedding gift bag items, Wall says to go local. "Think of some things that are local to your wedding location and use those to your advantage." Check your area for some local honey or jam to pair with fresh scones. Handmade lavender soap is also a great spring option and can likely be found locally.
Brunch Because Mimosas Bag, Etsy, $10.61
Happily Chic Designs Rose Gold Custom Champagne Flutes, Etsy, $6.39
24-Pack of Tropicana Orange Juice, Amazon, $22.49
Enjoy Worthy Earl Grey Lavender Peach Jam, Etsy, $6.16
Bees and Blossom Custom Honey Flavors, Etsy, from $3.25
Galinas Naturals UK Lavender Soap, Etsy, from $3.38
Cheers to Summertime
The sweet taste of summer will only be heightened by officially tying the knot with the love of your life. Start your summer wedding welcome bag with the season’s most desirable treat: ice cream! Kick the traditional pint up a notch with a boozy concoction from Tipsy Scoop. What goes great with alcohol? More alcohol! Throwing a bottle of rosé in the mix—the unofficial drink of summer—won’t hurt. Balance out the booze with a reusable water bottle to promote hydration all weekend long.
Summertime fun wouldn’t be complete without SPF protection. Round out your bag (and cover all your sun safety requirements) with sunscreen, sunglasses, and a mini parasol.
White Mall 100% Cotton Canvas Bag, Etsy, $12
Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion WetForce SPF 50+ Mini, Shiseido, $25
Tipsy Scoop Boozy Ice Cream- 4 pints, Goldbely, $99
ban.do Deluxe Cool It Glass Water Bottle, ban.do, $30
Grafton Round Sunglasses, Sunglass Warehouse, $12.95
Just Artifacts Mini Paper Parasol, Amazon, $8.98
Elizabeth Rose Rosé 2019, Wine.com, $22
The scent of bug spray, sunscreen, and gooey smores will likely take you right back to your summer camp days. Get your weekend of adventure started with a kit of essentials for roughing it in the outdoors. Pack your campers (or guests) some SPF lip balm, sunscreen, a flashlight, insect repellant, and a custom baseball cap. Throw in a mini fruit plant, like strawberries, to keep them refreshed and satiated.
"And if you wanna get funky," says Wall, "add in custom tattoos, either your faces, your wedding logo or funny sayings." We love this idea for a summer wedding—these months are all about the fun, after all.
Meredith Hayes Design S'more Favor Kit, Etsy, from $6
Repel 100 Pen-Size Insect Repellant, Amazon, $4.99
Supergoop! Lip Balm SPF 30 with Acai, Dermstore, $9.50
Event Gal Decals Wedding Sunscreen Favors, Etsy, from $19.98
WdtPro LED Mini Flashlights 6-Pack, Amazon, $9.99
Miller and Magnolia Hat Wedding Favors, Etsy, $17.99
Shop Tattitude Wedding Favor Tattoos, Etsy, $24.30