When your friends and family fly in from around the country, it is always nice to have something to welcome them and let them know how grateful you are they came! This is especially important for destination weddings since most of your guests traveled further to attend. You want to introduce your guests to the city and let them know all of the fantastic sights and places to eat during their down time. Another great idea is to include an itinerary for the long weekend. This will let them feel more connected with the activities and able to plan their weekend out around the wedding.
When deciding what to put in your welcome packet you have so many options. First, deciding what works with your budget and what you want your guests to remember is important. Depending on how many guests you have, you might restrict the size and variety of your gifts. Begin by thinking what you would want when exploring the city, water bottles and snacks are always nice when you check in after a long trip. If it is a beach location possibly add sunscreen, beach towels, or flip flops. Collecting maps, brochures and recommendations is a great way to provide your friends with information on where to begin sightseeing! I think personalizing these packets is key. Whether it is personalized to your wedding and you tie in your wedding colors or personalized to the city and you fill the packets with famous food or items from the city. Adding a disposable camera is a great way to let your guests take pictures of their experiences while attending your wedding.
You can either have the welcome packets given to your guests upon arrival by the front desk, have them pre-dropped in their assigned rooms or create a door hanger for them as they arrive. Handing the packets out at the front desk will ensure they get them, but if they aren't going directly to their room it might just add clutter to what they have to carry. Having them pre-set in the guestroom is another option that might cost you $2-4 per packet, depending what you can negotiate with the hotel. Finally, a cheap but DIY idea would be creating a door hanger and getting a list of your guests assigned rooms. You can gather your bridesmaids and groomsmen to go around the hotel and place one on each door.
No matter how you choose to welcome your guests it is always important to let them know you are glad they made the trip to celebrate with you! I would suggest to at least have a hand-written note waiting for them with a phone number to call in case they have any questions on where to go! (Don't give out your phone number, as you have enough to worry about, designate a father or mother to be the go-to person). Get creative with these packets, let them represent you and your fiance's personality. There is no right or wrong to what can go in them!
What out-of-the-box idea have you had for your welcome gifts to your guests?