Should I Give Welcome Bags to Out-of-Town Guests Not Staying at Our Hotel?

Updated 01/28/14

Max Wanger

*If you're assembling welcome bags for out-of-town wedding guests, you'll need to drop them off at the various hotels a day or two before guests arrive. But if your guests are scattered among several hotels, do you need to give a bag to everyone (that'll take forever!)? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your wedding guest-related questions in our daily post. *

Do I need to give welcome bags to my out of town guests who aren't staying at our hotel?

More and more couples are getting creative with their welcome bags—they're such a thoughtful touch and an opportunity to give your out-of-town guests a taste of some local flavor. But as popular as they are, welcome bags are not required, in any way. And if your guests are scattered among several hotels—in addition to the ones where you have reserved room blocks—it can be a logistical nightmare. Not to mention the fact that many hotels change a per-welcome-bag porterage fee, which can quickly add up.

So if delivering welcome bags to all your out-of-town guests is just too much, then stick to your reserved hotels. And don't feel like you need to make the bags overly elaborate, keep 'em simple because truly, it's the thought that counts. Just include:

• Bottled water (because your guests will likely have just stepped off a plane and will be thirsty).

• A small snack (but make sure it's something that's easy to eat). And if you can splurge, include one for everybody staying in the room.

• A short list of recommended restaurants and sightseeing spots, with directions from the hotel.

• Reprints of any wedding-related maps and itineraries. Chances are your guests forgot to print them out beforehand.

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