“What do I put in them?” They ask.
For starters, a walking map, subway and bus maps, a shopping and dining guide, event listings, tickets for a trolley tour, an exhibit or show, water, snacks, a weekend itinerary or you can purchase them ready-made and let someone else worry about what goes into them.
However, I’ve seen many wedding guests who do not have the time to fully use or enjoy their welcome bags that have caused the bride so much angst and time (not to mention money). Don’t lose faith yet, there are many ways in which you can show your guests hospitality without a welcome bag or basket. One of my favorites is the pillow gift.
Recently, I was searching for pillow gifts (again). I am always on the hunt for small amenities that I can have sent to event guests’ hotel rooms during the evening while the event is underway, that they will discover upon returning to their rooms. I am over wine, water, fruit, cheese, chocolates, although I LOVE finding these items in my room upon returning after a long, long evening. But I’m paid to be creative, so I have to think outside of the wine bottle. Recently, I welcomed a group of female spouses to Washington, DC with a Michelle Obama shopping bag stuffed with a booklet of shopping coupons and a bottle of water. Below are a few more of my favorites to give and receive.
Lavender travel candles. At home, I sprinkle lavender oil on my bedroom rugs. I do the same in hotel rooms too (shh…don’t tell management), so if the event is long and agenda-heavy, I tend to lean toward aromatherapy gifts.
Slippers – many hotel rooms are switching to hardwood flooring (they must have heard about my lavender oil aromatherapy). I don’t mind hardwood floors though, until I realize that I forgot to pack my slippers. Footzy Rolls are fun and innovative and sure to be appreciated by your female guests. Find more budget-friendly (and unisex) options at Filene’s Basement or your local oriental trading mart if your crowd is larger than a few.
Solid perfume or anything Lush sells.
I love giving and receiving books. A book on the city is an easy choice. A romantic novel, mystery, book of puzzles, even a copy of the original publishing of The Richest Man in Babylon can also make great gifts.
Milk and cookies – Monogrammed or photo cookies marking the occasion (and carrying over the wedding theme).
And last, but not least, GUMMY BEARS! I heart Haribo gummy bears. They're my favorite late-night snack attack food. If you know your guests favorite snacks or foods, make it a gift just for them.
Finish off your gifts with some DIY packaging and a note from the happy couple.