5 Unique Ways to Welcome Guests to Your Wedding

Don't want to put together a welcome bag? Discover five alternative ideas!

We invite you to think outside the bag and consider some great alternatives that will communicate your thanks as well as your warmest welcome to loved ones.

Photo: Amelia Johnson Photography

It’s long been de rigueur to have welcome bags waiting for out-of-town wedding guests when they arrive at their hotels. They’re a thoughtful way to show appreciation for loved ones who have traveled to attend your nuptials, particularly if you’re hosting a destination wedding that requires a significant investment of time and money to attend. However, the typical contents of welcome bags – schedules of events, destination guides, and a selection of local delicacies – have become rather predictable.

We invite you to think outside the bag and consider some great alternatives that will communicate your thanks as well as your warmest welcome to loved ones.

1. Champagne

Veuve Clicquot champagne wedding gift

A bottle of bubbly ties neatly into the theme of weddings and celebrations – plus a drink may be just what your guests need after a day (or night!) of traveling. Simply call the hotel in advance and arrange for bottles of their finest to be left on ice in guests’ rooms (along with the appropriate stemware) either just before or immediately after their arrivals. For a more personal presentation, drop off bottles with personalized labels at the reception desk to be presented to guests as they check in. Photos courtesy of Veuve Clicquot

2. Confections 

Williams-Sonoma candy wedding gift

Rather than subject guests to whatever questionable snacks and candies your hometown or wedding destination may be known for, indulge them with high-quality chocolates or other top-brand confections that are guaranteed to be enjoyed. Boxes or baskets can be ordered online and delivered directly to the hotel in guests’ names, or you can leave them with reception for distribution upon check-in. Photos courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

3. Flowers

Flowers from The Hidden Garden wedding florist

While floral arrangements may seem extravagant, so does traveling across the country – or the world – to attend someone’s wedding. Plus, flowers are the gift that keeps on giving throughout your guests’ stay, brightening their rooms and giving them a taste of the celebration to come. You can have your florist handle the details, order flowers online to be hand-delivered to the hotel, or contact the property’s in-house florist to coordinate individual arrangements. Photos courtesy of The Hidden Garden

4. Fruit

Harry & David pears and fruit wedding gift

Healthy, decorative, and appreciated by pretty much everyone, fresh fruit makes a wonderful welcome gift for travelers who have been recently subjected to airplane food. Make sure the baskets feature fruit that’s in season, and arrange for personal notes to be included when you order. Photos courtesy of Harry & David

5. Pastries

Williams-Sonoma pastry wedding gift

Many a jet-lagged wedding guest has sacrificed breakfast in favor of sleep, so a platter of beautiful pastries will be a fabulous sight for early-morning eyes. You can make arrangements with hotel room service to deliver a selection on you, or order some lovely specialty baskets and ask the concierge to see that they make it into guests’ rooms. Photos courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

For more gift ideas, visit our Favors & Gifts photo gallery, which features hundreds of wedding ideas from real wedding events across the country!