FILED IN: Education, Wedding Welcome Gifts
Posted By: Jamie Kutchman Wynne
With the so-called wedding boom of 2021 well underway, we are getting more questions related to wedding welcome bags than ever before, and even seeing some post-Covid trends emerge. That's why today I'm taking some time to answer the questions we are receiving most often in hopes that it will help couples make informed decisions about their welcome boxes and welcome bags and, in turn, avoid stress that can often accompany gifting for this occasion.
Do I need to give one gift per couple or one per person?
Most of our clients do one gift per couple. The exception is when you have guests attending without a "plus one" and in that case, these guests get their own gift box. A smaller percentage of our clients really want each guest to have their own in and in this case, we intentionally design them to be one per guest rather than designing the gifts with items that are meant to be shared.
What to do if guests book outside of our hotel rooming blocks - how do we distribute gifts?
If you have a way of collecting lodging information from your guests, you can make sure the welcome gifts get delivered to wherever they are staying if they book outside of the traditional hotel room block. If you have a decent percentage of guests staying in Airbnb's or at hotels not in your block, you can also arrange to distribute your welcome gifts at the welcome dinner. You can create a beautiful display at the welcome reception and present guests with one on their way out once the evening is over. Lastly, you can make the decision that ONLY guests booking inside your rooming blocks will receive a welcome gift. (For our advice on avoiding logistical mistakes associated with wedding welcome gifts, visit here.)
What should I include in our wedding welcome bags?
We've also done a whole separate post on this topic too! You can check it out here if you haven't already. But as an overview, we really like to strike the perfect balance between sweet treats, savory snacks, waters, locally-inspired keepsakes, hangover kits, and welcome letters.
What if someone has a food allergy?
If someone has a food allergy, especially a peanut allergy which can lead to serious symptoms, you can opt to design your gifts without items containing the particular allergen. However, if you have your heart set on containing particular food items that contain these allergens, you can simply remove this item from the gift destined for the recipient with the allergy. Instead of doing a universal "welcome" gift tag, you can arrange to do this particular recipient's gift tag with their first and last name and then instruct the hotel to make sure they get their own version of the gift. In general, guests who have these types of allergies are aware of them and are very accustomed to avoiding foods with these allergens. However, upon arrival, it would such a nice surprise for them to open up their gift box and find contents that they can fully enjoy instead of having to avoid certain ones.
Should I have the hotel distribute the gifts from the front desk as guests check-in or should the hotel put them in the hotel rooms ahead of the guests checking in?
Having your gifts placed in the guests rooms ahead of your guests' arrival is a really nice touch! However, it is logistically far more complex than if each guest receives a welcome gift at the front desk as they check in. From our experience, most all hotels and resorts charge a fee to place the gifts in the guests rooms ahead of the guests' arrival so we highly recommend checking with your venue coordinator and/or wedding planner for more specifics. Most of our clients have us deliver the gifts to the hotel for them to be kept at the front desk, which the hotels generally do not charge for, in our experience.
What info should I include in our wedding welcome letters?
Of all of our frequently asked questions, this one is definitely one of the most popular! In fact, we did a whole post on the topic here as you might recall. But in general, our couples include a heartfelt welcome message, full itinerary for the wedding weekend, transportation details, things to do the in area, a map of the area, contact information in case of questions or emergencies, and even visual timelines.
What can we include for kids to enjoy?
If you have enough children attending your wedding weekend, you might consider doing a kids-only version of the wedding welcome bags. For example, including kid-friendly snacks like goldfish crackers or healthy fruit snacks along with juice boxes or other such kid-friendly drinks are easy options that are sure to put smiles on their faces. Also consider including an activity such as crayons and coloring books to keep kids occupied during any downtime they might experience during the weekend. You can also do a mini scavenger hunt for them to work on throughout the weekend.
How many extra gifts do we order for last minute RSVPs?
The number of extra depends on the size of the guest list. In general, we recommend ordering 5-10 extras for late rsvp's you might receive after the welcome gift contents have already been finalized and ordered. If you don't end up using them for last minute rsvp's, you can instead opt to give them to your favorite wedding vendors or even give an additional gift to guests who may be sharing a gift with their significant other. In other words, they'll never go to waste!
What should I budget for wedding welcome gifts?
This question is a tough one to answer because welcome gifts can range from a simple paper bag with two waters and a granola bar from Costco assembled by your wedding party the day before the wedding (aka low cost) all the way to custom linen hat boxes with monogrammed contents and lavish finishing touches (aka high cost). I think the important thing here is to figure out what you're willing to spend on your gifts and earmark these funds in the very beginning of the financial discussions. If left to the very end, you're almost always going to be at-budget or over-budget so if gifting is important to you, reserve the funds up-front and plan accordingly. If you're looking to outsource your gifting, I cannot speak for other gifting businesses but our Custom Gift Design Service for wedding welcome gifts begins at $60 per gift plus shipping and goes up from there. For specific examples of what you can expect to see across various price ranges, visit here to inquire.
How can I make my welcome gifts as eco-friendly as possible?
One of the easiest ways to make earth friendly welcome gifts is to opt for packaging this fully reusable rather than packaging guests will throw away. Great examples of these include pine wood boxes, woven baskets, and tote bags. Guests can easily repurpose these at home! If you have a lot of guests flying in from out of town and you're concerned they won't have room in their luggage to carry anything extra home with them, the reusable tote is the best option because it easily folds down to nicely to fit in luggage without adding bulk. You can take it a step further and include contents from vendors who are committed to using recycled packaging materials as well as being biodegradable.
We hope these answers have helped you on your way to making decisions about your own wedding welcome gifts. If you decide you'd like to outsource the entire process from design and product sourcing all the way to gift assembly and delivery, you can inquire here to get details about our Signature Custom Gift Design Service. We'd love to gift with you and take the entire process completely off of your shoulders so you can do nothing but relax and enjoy your wedding weekend! For examples of our custom wedding welcome gifts we've designed, visit here!