Welcome bags have become one of the most popular trends for destination weddings, and many brides are now providing similar gift bags for hometown events with intimate guest lists, as well as pre-wedding gift bags for members of their bridal parties. Although it may seem like quite a task, creating the perfect gift bag can also be fun and easy. Simply choose a bag and stock it with your favorite goodies to thank guests (and bridesmaids) for celebrating your special day.
Choose a Bag:
Instead of placing trinkets, snacks, and a collection of your favorite items in a shopping bag, send your guests and bridesmaids home with totes that they’ll be able to use for years to come.
These bags by MIDORI are handcrafted in Los Angeles, embellished with the brand’s luxury ribbons, and designed with graphic, global-inspired prints that are hand-screen-printed with eco-friendly paints. Leather handles and brass hardware ensure this handbag will last for quite some time, as well as support heavy bridesmaid gifts including candles, Champagne, or coffee-table books. $160/each; midoriribbon.com/canvas-handbags.
Created by non-profit organization Invisible Children, Mend totes are made by women who are rebuilding their lives after enduring the effects of the LRA conflict in Uganda. Since the bags benefit humanity and appeal to both men and women, they are ideal welcome bags for destination-wedding attendees. Guests who wish to learn more about the inspiring women who created their individual totes can find the names and stories of their seamstresses on the interior pockets, with more information available online. $75/each; mend.co.
Fill Your Bridesmaids’ Bags:
As a bride, you can choose to give your bridesmaids a gift bag: a) when you ask them to be your bridesmaids; b) on the big day; or c) for both occasions. When selecting items for gift bags, be sure to consider products that will effectively thank your best girlfriends for taking the time (and spending the money) to be a part of your special day.
Unique gifts from Hattan Home are the perfect additions to bridesmaid gift bags. Cute macaron trinket boxes, a darling candle by Mrs. Darcy, fitting “I’m in Love” matches, and gold “Cheers” coasters will delight the women in your party. Finally, a card inscribed in gold foil with “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” asks the question they’ve been waiting for. Gifts shown above are $4.50-36; hattanhome.com.
LA Indulgence offers next-generation shower caps for modern women that serve as ideal bridesmaid gifts. After spending money on extensions, blowouts, or color treatments for the big day, the bouffant-sized styles allow bridesmaids to protect their hair following a day at the salon – and even flaunt their wedding-day 'dos for the day-after brunch. $19.95; laindulgence.com.
Choose Items for Welcome Bags:
Welcome bags can be provided for a destination wedding or an intimate event with a limited number of guests. Either way, selected items should make your invitees feel loved and appreciated, as well as be special to you as a couple. The most important thing to remember is to have as much fun choosing the items as your guests will have discovering them!
For a unique gift that will benefit guests long after the wedding, personalized cell phone cases from Cellairis are easy to design and provide a great addition to welcome bags. Available for a variety of cell phone models and tablets, Shout! cases can be customized with an assortment of prints, monograms, and personal photos. Cases for phones ($40/each) and iPads ($60/each); cellairis.com/shout.
Designing welcome bags is now an effortless task with the help of Gracious Goodies. With hand delivery available in Los Angeles and New York, as well as shipping options across the country, brides can utilize the specialty services for hometown and destination weddings. Goodies include a variety of sweet and salty treats, magazines, gift certificates, care kits, and more. Simply choose a bag, pick a few goodies, and quality gifts are on the way. Prices vary with bag type and gift selections; graciousgoodies.com.
Opening photograph by Chrisman Studios