Somewhere between 107 days until the wedding and today (83 days) I fell slightly off track from my wedding projects to transition in to a new management position at work. The last couple of months are crucial to my DIY projects so I got back to it on my first day off. My next project is assembling our out-of-town Welcome Bags. Hooray! We are both pretty excited for these. Chuck & I are hosting a welcome party two days prior to the ceremony and will give out similar tote bags (like the one seen below from Craft Buds) filled with goodies for our friends and family. More than half of the items, including the fabric for the tote bags were free or donated.
Picking the Bag– Stay within your budget and use any perks, discounts, or coupons you may have. I have a generous work allowance of fabric and with my Mom’s sewing guidance and Chuck's straight sewing skills we’ll create custom reusable, reversible tote bags to showcase the gifts. We will have a total of 30-40 bags to make. If you want to make your own out-of-town bags for less than the cost of fabric ($3-$15/yard), use paper gift bags or boxes. My Mom also had quite a few empty baskets which I believe we shall use in another area of the wedding, but baskets would be very cute in place of bags or if you only had a handful of welcome bags to make.
Individually Packaged Items– Single size Tylenol, ear plugs, sunscreen, lotion, and handcrafted soaps are great to include in your bags. They are light and more compact which make it easy for your guests to use in the interim. My Mom is in the process of moving and generously donated a number of individual size items to compliment our theme. Also, one day at work the gift shop next door gave away boxes of handcrafted soaps that no longer had labels and considered ‘damaged'. I’m sure I can find a way to jazz these up and make them cute again.
Destination Map & Wedding Brochure– We wanted a destination full of lights and glitter, a place many of our family & friends have yet to experience. We plan to include a map of the Las Vegas area and a map of the Las Vegas strip as well. I will design and print simple tri-fold brochures for discounts, shows and a list of ‘need to know’ places for free activities. Once we arrive to our hotel the Consierge will provide additional coupon books for us to give to our guests. These printed materials are only costing me a small portion of ink in my current cartridge.
Replace the Mini Bar– We bought in bulk so our guests do not need to immediately destroy their room’s mini bar. What I mean are snack size bags of chips, pretzels and bottles of water with personalized labels will be in each bag. Our favorite salt water taffy from here on the west coast will complete the snack profile. That is if I do not eat it all now… For guests who drink, I scored big using promotional gift cards for Nakedwines.com and one order had free shipping around Christmas. Including tax and all shipping charges I paid $2.05 per bottle for 30 bottles of California’s best independent wines. And no need to purchase wine keys because each bottle is twist off. Double Score! I also really liked that Nakedwines.com tells you about who their winemakers are. One bottle we are excited to taste is called At Large and came from a fun loving husband and wife team.
What are you using in your out-of-town Welcome Bags? Should they be considered proper etiquette for destination weddings? Any other suggestions you’d offer us?
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.