Tip of the Day #47: Wow Guests with Wedding Welcome Baskets Although a wedding welcome basket is not necessary, it is a thoughtful gesture to get your guests in the mind set of celebrating your upcoming nuptials. Welcome baskets have evolved to include branded print materials like personalized "Do Not Disturb" door signs, local fare representative of regional food and thoughtful items to keep guests entertained and comfortable while resting before and after the big day.
If you are putting in the time, money and effort to create welcome baskets, make sure you have communicated with each hotel your guests are staying at to make sure the welcome baskets are delivered in a timely fashion and delivered to the right people. In addition, make sure you put together a sample bag before buying items in bulk. All of the items should fit well into the welcome bag or basket without overflow or an awkward gaping space. Take a photograph of exactly how you want the basket to look to make sure your host hotel fixes any baskets that get jostled during transport to the hotel. Here are a few of my helpful tips for making a welcome basket that puts Emmy swag bags to shame!
Personalization One of my favorite trends is personalized welcome basket items, particularly snacks that the bride and groom love. One of my best friends, Lesley, helped her sister put welcome baskets together for her sister's wedding. They included "Abbi's Favorite," "John's Favorite," and "Everyone's Favorite" snacks to satisfy pre-wedding snack cravings.
Regional Treats I also love baskets that revolve around the region the wedding is being held. If you are hosting a destination wedding, include items that are representative of the region to make your guests have a full experience of the city and its culture. A company called Map Tote makes amazing customized map bags that are perfect for eco-friendly gift bags. A regional gift bag should include a food or beverage that is manufactured or can only be found in the region as well as a local map and a metro or subway card to help guests get around easily.
Custom Paper Goods I have recently seen a lot of customized door hanger signs for hotel rooms included in welcome baskets. In addition to door hangers, a welcome letter as well as a printed itinerary with optional or suggested activities adds a nice personalized touch to a welcome basket. If you have a specific color scheme or theme for your wedding, coordinate the welcome basket to incorporate elements of your wedding design and decor.
It's in the Bag, Baby! I believe there are a few "must have" items that should be included in a welcome basket. To "wow" your guests, make sure each basket includes a variation of the following:
*Sweet & Salty Snacks *Water and/or Regional Beverages (juice, soda, wine, etc.) *Hangover Helpers (pain reliever, 5 hour energy) *Light Reading (local guide book, newspaper, magazine or small book about the region) *Map & Wedding Weekend Itinerary *Travel size sunscreen, tissues, mints and/or gum *Room spray and/or candle with matches for relaxation