If you are planning a destination wedding or have an extensive guest list, leaving a welcome bag for your attendees is a thoughtful way of showcasing your appreciation for the effort your guests have made to see you and your betrothed on your big day. Your time in the hours before and during your wedding will be limited, so you may not have a moment to greet each guest individually. Wedding welcome bags help ensure that everyone feels as if they have had a personal interaction with the bride and groom, even if they couldn’t do that directly during the event.

image of a bride's and groom's shoes and the flower bouquet

The Essence of the Welcome Bag

Whether you are looking to provide a glamorous goodie bag with an assortment of schwag or just a touch of personality and convenience for your guests, the wedding welcome bag is a fun way to provide a personal touch while making your guests feel comfortable at your wedding. Wedding welcome bags don’t need to be expensive or have every detail customized, but they should consider the needs of your guests and make them feel like the honored attendees that they are.

Wedding Welcome Bag Basics

Welcome bags can go from simple to complex in a flash, but these are some of the basics:

  • A bag/box/basket that relates to your wedding: A wedding welcome bag is something of a misnomer; your welcome kit doesn’t need to be a bag, but it is nice if your container has your names or wedding date on it.
  • A map of the location: Especially for destination weddings, guests may not be familiar with the area. They will appreciate a map that gives them some insights!
  • Suggestions for places to eat or things to do: These can go on the map, if you would like. While the main event is your wedding, guests may also want to see what the destination has to offer.
  • Something representative of your location: If you are having an oceanfront wedding here in the Lowcountry, you could include a few local favorites such as pralines from the famous Charleston market or beers from one of our local breweries.
  • Something relating to you and your fiancé: This could be a short note of welcome, your favorite candies, or something that relates to a shared favorite memory. This can be anything, so get creative!

Themed Wedding Welcome Bags Ideas

You may decide that instead of having a food item or two relating to where your ceremony is being held, you want to have themed welcome bags that are all about the location of your destination wedding or what you anticipate your guests to be doing.

Colleen and Dan Seabrook Wedding

Beach Wedding Welcome Bag

Seabrook Island Club has seen quite a few beach-themed wedding welcome bags. These may include Southern wedding favorites like:

  • Canvas beach bags
  • Sunscreen
  • Saltwater taffy
  • Coconut water
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip balm

Wedding in the Mountains

A fall wedding in the mountains has so many opportunities for creative wedding welcome bags:

  • Rustic box or bag
  • Jerky snacks or trail mix
  • Hot cocoa or tea
  • Maple-flavored treats
  • Rock candy
  • Scented candles

Hangover Cure Wedding Welcome Bag

Your guests are going to be having fun at your wedding, especially if there’s an open bar involved If they indulge a little too much, they may need a pick me up after it’s over!

  • Water
  • Suggestions for brunch places
  • Mints
  • Water
  • Snack foods
  • Sunglasses
  • Painkillers
  • Emergen-C

Customized Wedding Welcome Bags

If you have the time and motivation, you can create highly customized wedding welcome bags.

Wedding Table Markers

  • Custom map: You can have a calligrapher or a graphic designer create a special map with the locations of your wedding festivities highlighted.
  • Mini bottles of alcohol with custom labels: You can order small bottles of wine, champagne, and liquors with wedding-specific details on the labels.
  • Handwritten note or a personalized note for each guest: Things that tell people you put in time and effort to make them feel special will always be well received. Although thoughtful, handwritten notes or custom ones are by no means necessary; guests know you have a lot on your plate!

Other Wedding Welcome Bag Tips

  • If you have a large bag, don’t pack it full: Especially with destination weddings, it’s important to keep in mind that guests have to bring everything they get at the location back to their own homes.
  • Make sure everything is carry-on appropriate: While a full bottle of wine could be a generous and wonderful gesture, it becomes a problem when going through TSA.
  • Let food items take up most of the space: Your guests will snack on these items throughout your day(s) of nuptials, which means they will have less to pack when they head home.

If you are considering putting together a welcome bag for your wedding guests, we hope this gave you a few ideas. For more information on beach-themed oceanfront weddings, feel free to contact Seabrook Island Weddings.