Monday, April 1, 2013

{make it your own} MONDAY :: welcome bags

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Happy Monday, ladies & gentlemen! 

I hope you all had a great Easter weekend with family and loved ones. Did anyone else eat approximately eight thousand Reese's Eggs? Just me? {I know, I know - I'm supposed to be all healthy & such. Holidays are a tad bit of an exception, y'all. C'mon.} Well, boo.

In any case, our lovely Nicole is here to deliver another fabulous "Make It Your Own" post! I couldn't resist adding in a bit of my own commentary here and there - forgive me. I just love welcome bags! "Many couples forget that the guest experience begins before he or she even steps foot toward the actual ceremony or reception site. From the engagement announcements to your registry, you show your personality, style, and your consideration for your guests. One pre-celebration element is the welcome bag, something that is invaluable for destination weddings. A welcome bag allows you to give your out-of-town guests a special surprise from upon arrival to their hotel, helping them to feel welcome and appreciated. It also gives you an opportunity to acquaint them with the itinerary and timeline for all of your wedding events, which is an integral part of any destination wedding with guests who are not familiar with the area!"

{1} something to quench thirst, preferably a bottle of water {sparkling if you dare!} or even a bottle of wine.

{2} something mint-y to freshen breath. gum, mints - whatever makes your skirt fly up! 
{3-5} little hygiene items are always appreciated - aspirin is also an excellent addition;)
{6} a local magazine with a list of things to do, points of interest, restaurants, et cetera
{7} a savory snack - perhaps a local cheese? 
{8} a sweet snack - maybe pralines? byrd's cookies? 
{9} a comprehensive welcome letter, including an itinerary with timeline and addresses for each venue {a blown-up area map is always helpful, too!}
{10} caffeine is wonderful. choose a locally-roasted coffee or boutique tea for extra cool points!
{11} a filling snack {like trail mix} is a nice touch - mix some up yourself from the bulk bins at your local grocery store to create a truly personal blend. scoop portions into glassine bags, slap on a custom label, and you have yourself an extra-special addition to your welcome bags! 
Don't forget about the kids!
If you've invited guests' children to your wedding, help them stay occupied by providing each child with their own special welcome bag. Include small games, a little coloring book, crayons or colored pencils, and a couple types of snacks to ensure they make it through your ceremony & reception {or reserved babysitter room - just sayin'} tantrum-free. 


Above are just a few options for packaging all of the goodies you've compiled. A little lunchbox full of personalized gifts is adorable and screams unique, while a tote bag screen printed with a map of your destination is a souvenir your guests will surely use long after your wedding. A straw beach tote for a beach wedding {on Tybee Island, perhaps?} is practical and the perfect accessory for your guests' weekend. And finally, a paper bag customized with a cute little map ribbon is affordable without sacrificing an ounce of style!

"These bags can be delivered to the hotel ahead of time by your wedding planner, or handed out personally if you are planning on greeting your guests when they arrive to town. These bags can include local snacks and beverages, maps and itineraries for things to do in the area, small gifts that complement the theme of your wedding, as well as medicine or hygienic
items your guests may have forgotten. For an extra special touch, create smaller welcome bags for any children travelling to your wedding. Both they and their parents will appreciate the extra effort. These items can all be packaged into a basket, tote, or decorative bag for a lovely arrival gift and presents itself as a gracious gesture from you and your beloved."


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