wedding bag ideas alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Decided that you want to gift your guests with some kick-ass loot to welcome them to your wedding? Maybe it's an out-of-town wedding, and you want everyone to have a good handle on the area. Or maybe you're having a wedding outside in the summer, and you want to make sure everyone doesn't get sunburned. Either way, a wedding welcome gift bag can be a stellar way to give your guests some warm fuzzies right away. Let's talk about our favorite wedding welcome bag ideas.

The gift bag itself

You can easily choose some simple paper bags or treat boxes, maybe dressed up, DIY-style. If you want to take it up a notch, splurge on some customized reusable tote bags from places like Zazzle, Etsy, VistaPrint, or Minted.

For treats or smaller items, you can utilize some cellophane or paper gift bags.

Wedding welcome bag thank you note on @offbeatbride
Itinerary hang tag from Jones Street Press

Include a thank you card

Include a little thank you card for thankfulness reasons, of course, but also to include any contact information of your designated wedding wrangler, planner, or just someone you trust who can field any questions for you. That way you're not getting calls from every guest all day long.

This is also a good place to introduce your guests to your wedding hashtag, if you'll be rocking one.

Wedding welcome bag itinerary on @offbeatbride
Wedding itinerary from Wanderlust Weddings

Include a day/weekend program

Let your guests know what will be happening and when by including a day or weekend schedule in the welcome bag. Having a day-before, '80s-themed bar crawl and a day-after punch ‘n' pie brunch? Let your schedule be their guide.

Custom wedding map from BP Calligraphy

Give them a map and a list of things to do

If there will be any downtime during the wedding or wedding weekend, toss in a map of the area (handmade like the one above is awesome, but regular works great, too). Also include some of your favorite haunts that they can check out. If it's not your city, hit up the internet or a helpful concierge for ideas. Don't forget to include the scoop on cabs and public transit so everyone knows how to get around.

Wedding gift bag ideas from @offbeatbride
Popcorn favor bags from Mavora

Local nosh and souvenirs

You can inject a lot of personality (and delicious treats!) if you include some trinkets from your hometown or from where the wedding is happening. As a Chicagoan, if I didn't include some Garrett's Popcorn, the people might rise up. Think local sports teams, jams, magnets, and all kinds of snacks. Watch out for scented stuff since it can transfer to food items or bug folks with sensitivity to strong scents.

Star Wars cookie favors for welcome bags on @offbeatbride
Star Wars cookies from Magnificookies

Sustenance and hydration

Keep your loved ones full and peeing by supplying them with bottled water, healthy trail mix, some sweet and salty treats. Use your best judgment when including anything alcoholic in case anyone is in the recovery community.

Photo by Genevieve and James Nisly.

Watch the weather

These will vary based on your wedding location, but think about including some sunscreen, bug spray, a poncho, some socks, and clothing stain wipes. Save some time by doing this step when you create your “Oh shit” kit.

Hangover kit for a wedding on @offbeatbride

Soothe their hangovers and be their absentee nurse

Toss in some lip balm, a mini tube of acetaminophen, bandages, antacids, mints, and tissues.

Are you giving your guests an offbeat wedding welcome bag? What did we miss?

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Comments on 7 unique wedding welcome bag ideas

  1. This is such a great idea! Our wedding guests will be out-of-owners (some from 1 hour away, a chunk from 3 hours away, and about 25% from states away). How do we get them these guest bags? If it has itinerary stuff in it (and ideas on what to do, as many will arrive days before the wedding in order to explore the region), it makes sense to me to get it to them BEFORE the wedding. Send it in response to their RSVP? Wait until the rehearsal dinner (for those that will be there)? :/

    • I think when you book a block of rooms for the wedding it’s common to have the hotel leave them in the rooms for you. I’m not sure how to handle this if you don’t book rooms, or have guests staying in other hotels. I would be suspicious about someone asking me to leave something in someone’s room if I worked at a hotel. My sister had hers for just the guests who stayed in the hotel she did in their block of rooms, and then gave my parents and I our bags in person because we stayed at the cheaper place across the street.

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