It’s always a pleasant surprise when you check into a hotel for a wedding weekend and find a thoughtful, little welcome bag awaiting you. While not an absolute necessity (if you have a tight budget, don’t feel bad about skipping them!), curated welcome kits are becoming more and more popular. Not only are they a lovely, extra detail to give to your guests, it’s also a great opportunity to inform those out-of-town visitors about a wedding’s destination and the weekend of events ahead. For those considering a welcome bag, but unsure of where to begin, we spoke to Lindsay Marko and Emily Slater of A Signature Welcome, a gifting company that specializes in these particular kits, for some guidance. Below, they identify the essentials every welcome bag should have, the items they’ve noticed are the biggest hits, and the one thing you should never forget to include.
What are some of the basics that couples should have in mind when putting together a welcome kit?
First, make sure your welcome gift aesthetic coincides with your wedding design. For example, if you’re hosting a modern, black tie affair, a rustic jute tote bag is probably not the best route for your outer packaging. We always take the wedding destination and venue into consideration when we begin a gift design. It’s important to set the tone for the weekend with a gift that’s representative of the whole experience.
Second, be thoughtful! Whether that’s sourcing the best locally made gourmet goodies for your guests to sample or simply providing water bottles and a hangover/amenity kit if you know Friday night might get a little rowdy, guests will appreciate that you took the time to provide them with items they’ll enjoy in the comfort of their hotel rooms.
What’s the one item you would suggest couples should always include in a welcome bag?
Welcome notes and weekend itineraries. This is such an easy, helpful item to include to help your guests navigate the weekend. Don’t leave them out!
What have been some of the most popular welcome bags you’ve put together?
All of our orders are completely custom, but we do see some favorite packaging trends with our clients. Our Signature white boxes are probably our most popular packaging request—pretty white boxes with attached silk ribbon closure. We had these custom made so they’re available exclusively through A Signature Welcome.
What’s a surefire crowdpleaser item in a welcome bag?
Hands down, our trademarked Revelry + Remedy hangover/amenity kits. People always end up needing Advil, chapstick, Pepto, sunscreen, mints, etc., when traveling and the muslin bags fit nicely in coat pockets or a clutch.
How does A Signature Welcome work? Do couples give you an idea of what they want or do you handle the whole curating process for them?
Both! Sometimes couples come to us with a “wish list” or general idea for the gift design and others leave the process completely in our hands. Before we begin our phone consult and custom proposals, we ask each client to complete a questionnaire that helps us get to know them better. Through the questionnaire, we learn everything from hometowns to pets names, and try to incorporate personal details in the gifts when it makes sense! We’re also inspired by couple’s design boards, color palettes, etc. to keep the gift cohesive with the rest of the wedding design.
What has been one of the funniest items you’ve ever included in a welcome bag?
Oxygen! No really, we included Boost Oxygen cans for a Jackson Hole, WY wedding last year to help guests alleviate altitude sickness.