Over the 10-plus months it took to plan my wedding, my then fiancé (now husband!) and I kept a very detailed spreadsheet. Those carefully labeled, alphabetized, and color-coded (I’m not kidding) rows and lines were the only way we could ensure we hit every single to-do on our list. We had a tab for guests and their addresses and RSVPs, a tab for all our vendors and when payments were processed or due, and a tab of monthly deadlines for ourselves: get dress tailored, finalize floral arrangements, write vows, etc.
The one to-do we kept managing not to do, though, was put together welcome bags for guests staying at the hotel where we had a block of discounted rooms. At first, it seemed like an extra that wasn’t worth our effort—especially considering our hotel charged a fee to simply pass bags out to guests at check-in. But we quickly realized, the bags aren’t just fun for your family and friends to dive into after a long day of travel, they’re one of the only details of your wedding that are all about the guests, not you and your partner. And for people who shill out hundreds—sometimes thousands—on flights, hotel rooms, new outfits, and a present, it’s more than a nice touch. It’s one you should never skip, even on a tight budget.
We chose to fill our bags (a cheap but sturdy kraft paper option found on Amazon) with some of our favorite things that would meet our guests every need: something to drink, something to snack on, something to help with that morning-after hangover. We stuffed everything, plus a note welcoming guests and reminding them where they were wanted and when, in each bag and left them with the front desk of the hotel who dropped the bags off in everyone’s room upon their arrival.
Now, I don’t want to oversell a paper bag stuffed with food…but the welcome bags were, well, incredibly welcome. Couples fought over packets of dried mango (word to this wise: pack doubles of the good stuff) and more than a handful of friends joined our cult of Perfect Bar obsessives. And during a weekend we’d made all about us, it felt good to spark a little bit of joy for our guests—the kind that didn’t have anything to do with watching a disgustingly in love couple flaunt their disgusting love.
Want to make your own? Here’s a little inspiration in the form of exactly what we put in our bags. You might consider checking Amazon or big box stores (like Target and Costco) for bulk packages.