A lot of folks from my family’s side will be coming to Washington, DC from out of town and staying in hotels, so I really like the idea of a welcome bag to be waiting for them at the hotel room when they arrive. I think it’s a nice way to demonstrate our appreciation for traveling to celebrate our wedding day.
But, I’ve been trying to figure out what to include in it. Here are some initial thoughts.
- Road Map of Metropolitan DC Area – I can get these free from the local AAA office since I’m a member. I realize road maps are a bit old-fashioned at this point, but it’s a nice touch!
- Printed Driving Directions from the hotel to locations they might want to visit
- Lots of brochures (DC, Northern Virginia, etc.) – These would be free from the local tourism offices.
- Metro Map – including what stops to use for key landmarks and a list of metro fares
- List of nearby restaurants and their price ranges
- List of contact information in case they get lost on the way to the wedding. I’m not sure who’s contact information I would provide though.
- A reminder of the wedding day events and start time!
- A highlights page, pointing out some things they may want to check out in the DC area, going beyond the basics of the National Mall, including pointing out lesser-known areas they may want to visit, such as Old Town Alexandria, Mt. Vernon, etc.
- Some sort of welcome snack, TBD. Maybe a small baggie of variety snack-size candy bars, a small bag of chips, and an apple or orange. I realize there are a lot of “local” type candies you can buy, but I don’t want to spend that much. For instance, there are candies in the shape of like the White House and Washington Monument, but they’re close to $4.00 each! Although I do feel a little bad saying that considering the fact that the guests have to spend money to get to the wedding.
- One or two bottles of water
- A quick thank you note telling our guests that we’re excited they could come and can’t wait to see them at the wedding. Maybe this could just be a gift-tag type note attached to the welcome bag handle
All of the paper items could go in an inexpensive folder. I think I would print things out on heavier cardstock paper so that it would look a little nicer
And then we would need just a plain canvas bag to put everything in. Most of the items would be fee, but I’d have to figure out the average per-bag cost if we included some candy, fruit, and bottled water, plus the cost of folders and cardstock.
What do you think? Anything I’m missing?
I think you have a pretty good list of goodies. And I also thank you for putting the welcome bag into perspective. I’ve seen so many that include expensive stuff so I honestly just nixed the whole idea. I didn’t even think of the simple things, like a map and list of things to see.
We have a decent amount of guests coming from out of town too, but at our last check almost no one had booked a room at the hotel we blocked off. We had 5 booked and I think most of them were my friends. I guess that would make the whole project easier since I’m not running around to every hotel on Long Island to drop these things off for people. With two weeks left, I might have to just add it to the “Things I should have done” list, but thanks for the advice!
Yes!! You can go to your local CVB (Convention and Visitor’s Bureau) and get *free* visitor guides, restaurant guides, etc. to include in your welcome bags. They have lots of area maps and some have coupons to sights and attractions. Great that you mentioned that, Melissa!
Instead of a bunch of different snacks, take the pressure off yourself and offer just *one* that represents your area. One bride from the Hampton Roads Virginia area (southern Virginia) had a bottle of water and a bag of Chesapeake Bay Potato Chips (from Lay’s I think) in her welcome bags.
To make it more personal, you might include a note to your guests of your favorite sights you and your fiance like to see or places you like to dine. It’s great for guests who are new to the area and aren’t really sure where to go for dinner.
Have your Wedding Coordinator or a designated person drop off your welcome bags for you the morning of your guests’ check-in. Provide them a list of names and he/she can run to the hotel(s) for you. No need for YOU to run around…you’ll have enough on your plate!
Great job on your welcome bags!
[…] on January 9, 2012 Several months before our wedding, I gave an overview of what I intended to include in our wedding welcome bags. I’m pleased to report that our wedding welcome bags were a success at our November 11 […]