Do You Really Need to Give Guests Welcome Bags at Your Wedding?

Updated 10/20/19
Photo by Davy Whitener

Creating a memorable and enjoyable experience for your guests is essential to any successful wedding celebration, especially when attendees have traveled great distances to join in the revelry. However, is it really necessary to provide welcome bags for attendees checking into the local hotel? Our etiquette experts weigh in on whether or not a welcome bag is truly mandatory.

There is no nuptial dictum that states you must provide welcome bags for your guests if they choose to stay in a hotel. However, greeting guests with goodies that they may need for their visit is a wonderful way to welcome them to your wedding. Especially if you are hosting a more intimate ceremony, a welcome back is a nice gesture that will mimic your hopes for your entire celebration – and it's definitely doable if you have a smaller invite list.

To create a welcome bag that is utilitarian and fun, include a well-proportioned mixture of necessities and whimsical items that will ensure your guests have the time of their lives throughout your wedding weekend.

Many brides use the welcome bag as a chance to introduce their guests to the wedding locale, including great eats in the area, maps of the immediate vicinity, or items the region is known for producing. Offering up these kind of goodies can be cost-effective, and many cities have free magazines, maps, and other local guides that you can pick up for free and use to bulk up your welcome bag.

In addition, supplementing the pack with snacks and drinks is common practice in case guests become famished between events. You can stay on the local theme here and pick up treats from the area, or give out some of you and your fiance's favorites.

Toiletries and antihistamines or aspirin are also handy supplements for guests who may have forgotten such essentials in the dash to pack for the wedding. You can buy travel-sized products in bulk online, and you don't have to go over the top.

Finally, polish off the bag with a welcome note to encourage your guests to feel at home the minute they set foot in their hotel room. Here you can also include details on the best spots to eat and drink in the area – especially if you're a local – or just write a sweet note telling your guests how happy you are that they're celebrating with you.

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