While the wedding is really about you and your beloved making a commitment to share a life together, it is also kind of about the guests in a lot of ways. You want to show them a good time as well as express your appreciation for sharing this day with you, which can be especially costly for out-of-town guests who are paying for transportation and lodging. Preparing a gift bag for such guests is a common practice and here are some tips for putting it together.
Choosing the Bag
The first thing you need to do when putting together a gift bag is choosing the actual bag. If you have some money to work with, you might consider getting personalized bags that welcome them to your wedding or have some other sort of personal message. You can easily order these bags online or work with a local store that offers monogram services. If you want to go all out, you could get fabric bags with your names and wedding date embroidered on them.
Re-usable fabric bags are also an option and you can choose colors to match your wedding; this is also a great option for anyone wanting to be more eco-friendly in their wedding planning. If you do not plan on personalizing them in any way, you can find bags for as low as 59 cents when buying in bulk.
For the tightest of budgets, your average paper gift bag is a great option; if you want to spruce it up, you can add your own decorations with stamps, markers and the like. Depending on whether you want handles or not, you can find these gift bags for as little as 10 cents a bag.
Regardless of the theme of your bags or what goodies you plan to include, there are a few practical things that they should include to ensure your guests have a good stay and can make their way around an unfamiliar area. First and foremost, you want to include a card that thanks your guests for coming to the wedding—it is important that they know you appreciate the effort. You want to include information about available transportation options; if there are buses or subways, provides route maps and schedules. Make sure to provide numbers for some local cab companies. If it is an area with some interesting attractions, provide information on them—the local visitor’s center can provide useful materials. Last and but not least, make sure you include the wedding itinerary, directions, and any important information that a particular guest may need to know such as photo times, and appointments for hair and make-up.
The Fun Stuff
Once you have the practical stuff out of the way, it is time to focus on the fun goodies to put in the bag. The possibilities are endless and here are just a few to get the creative juices flowing. You can include fun facts about the bride and groom, how you met or how he proposed. Personalized treats and trinkets are another option, such as candies, candles and other items personalized with your wedding information. If there is anything special about the location of your wedding, you can include items that reflect that, such as a food well-known in the area or shells for a beach wedding.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about all sorts of lifestyle topics, such as weddings.