Ideas For a Destination Wedding Welcome Bag | Willow & Oak Events

Ideas For a Destination Wedding Welcome Bag

From thoughtfully curating the goodies to thinking about the wrap + presentation, there’s something wholeheartedly satisfying about the act of giving. And wedding welcome gifts provide a unique opportunity to employ creativity in the gifting space. Not to mention, they’re the first impression when your guests arrive in your dreamy locale and can set the tone for the entire wedding experience! If you feel lost on where to start and what to include, we’ve got your back. Today we’re sharing the essential ideas for a destination wedding welcome bag. Translation: your must-haves!

burlap tote with flowers, bath salts, champagne, chocolates and a modern weekend itinerary for a destination wedding welcome bag in Charleston, SC at Middleton Place; photography by The Happy Bloom and planning by Willow and Oak Events
Photo by The Happy Bloom with planning + design by Willow and Oak Events and paper goods by Paper Refinery

1. A personalized letter

More likely than not, if your guests are staying in a hotel for your wedding weekend, they traveled to be there. It’s such a special touch when couples will either handwrite or digitally print a personalized letter to their guests welcoming them to the area and thanking them for going the extra mile (literally). And it’s a touch that isn’t soon forgotten, trust us. 

2. A gift tag

If you aren’t creating a unique letter for each of your guests, here’s another area where customization can come in. We love seeing welcome bag tags printed with the couple’s wedding motif, crest, logo, monogram, date, etc. on one side and the guests’ names on the back – though you can always choose one or the other! 

3. A wedding itinerary or city guide

A lot of times, this will be your guests’ first opportunity to visit your wedding destination. Introduce them to the local culture with a city guide sharing your top recommendations of what to do, where to eat, where to drink, etc., or simply reiterate the itinerary of the wedding day on a details card here so they have a quick reference for timings one more time. Let’s be honest, it’s rare they bring their whole wedding invite with them when they travel, so this is a surefire way to keep everyone in the loop so they aren’t reaching out to you about these details. 

4. Petite treats

Whether you pair something salty with something sweet, or choose one snackable for the basket, mini treats are always a welcome sight after a long day of travel. This is one of the easiest ways to tie in the local culture of your wedding destination. A few go-to’s for Charleston for example include Callie’s Biscuit Mix, Geechie Boy Grits Mix, Benne Wafers, Sweet Pralines, Carolina Honey and Salt Water Taffy. 

handwritten calligraphy on sepia paper featuring personalized wedding vows
Photo by Julie Livingston Photography with planning + design by Willow and Oak Events and paper goods by House of Modern Letters

5. Something to drink

Water is always our first recommendation (being a crowd pleaser and life necessity, ya know), but feel free to add some upgrades to your basket too like alcoholic libations or local beverages. Are your guests cozying up in Highlands, NC during the winter time? Offering up some hot cocoa mix for them to indulge in during their cabin life will be an instant hit, for example. 

6. Something unique to you and your fiancé

If you know us, then you KNOW we love some good old personalization. Adding a subtle nod to your story, personalities, passions, lives together, etc. immediately deepens the connection with your guests, and it’s one of the best ways to nail the first impression for your wedding weekend. It shows them that this is a celebration that is SO YOU… it couldn’t belong to anyone else. And that’s the beauty of this thoughtfully designed fete! 

7. Something to represent local culture

If you feel like going beyond the edible treats in your nod to the culture of your wedding destination, think about small items your guests can return home with and cherish as a memory of the weekend. For weddings in Provence, maybe that means sachets of lavender or locally made tapenade. Maybe it’s a jasmine lei for them to wear to your welcome dinner in Thailand…. Think outside the box and embrace the uniqueness of this destination culture!  

8. Packing + Presentation

Great packaging is food for the soul. Think about how you can continue the the mood of your wedding weekend by letting the design details and destination inspire the presentation of these welcome gifts. After all, this is their first impression (beyond the invites), and it will set the tone of the events to come. We’ve seen French market totes, vintage hat boxes, tobacco baskets, jute totes, wooden cases tied up with silk ribbon and rattan picnic baskets to name a few! So the sky is the limit. Just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean that you can’t be a tastemaker yourself. 

rattan picnic basket with wine bottle holders for unique wedding welcome gift packaging, holding flowers, benne wafers, honey, Belvoir elderflower, linen napkins, handpainted glassware and a peony candle for a destination wedding in Charleston, SC at Middleton Place; photography by The Happy Bloom and planning by Willow and Oak Events
Photo by Jessica Gold Photography with planning + design by Willow and Oak Events

At the end of the day, your wedding welcome basket should be a reflection of you, your wedding destination and the design elements to come. So have fun with it! 

‘Til we meet again!

Xx,
Haley 

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