Sep 20, 2011

Welcome bags

The wedding is 2 weeks away and I am at the end of my budget. If you're a bride in the same position, but still want your guests to feel taken care of, DIY Welcome bags might be a good option for you.

What's Involved in a Welcome bag?
A good welcome bag should alieve a few questions and problems that guests might run into while attending your event. If people are staying over, it's always a good idea to give them some of the basics to get them through their stay.  A welcome bag can have as many or as few things below as you want to include.  Below are some common things a welcome bag does:
  • It gives guests a little welcome note from the Bride & Groom
  • It provides guests with important phone numbers.
  • It gives an itenerary of what's going on, where and when.
  • It tells guests where they can go to do things in the area
  • It provides snacks so they don't have to pay for anything from their fridge
  • It helps fix pre & post event trama (hangovers, cuts, headaches, stomachaches)
Some brides know all guests are staying over and have their welcome bags go double duty and work as favors as well.  This is a nice thing to give, however I wanted this to be a separate thing for people staying over. Think of your bag as being ingredients to bake a cake.  What do you want that's special to you or matches your wedding theme that would work in the welcome bag?

My Nautical Themed Welcome / Out-of-Town bag Ingredients:
  • Paper lunch bags (yep, just the plain old brown ones you get in a grocery store)
  • A Printer
  • labels (optional)
  • A Welcome brochure - custom made by yours truly.
  • cheddar goldfish
  • swedish fish
  • lifesavers
  • treat bags
  • treat bag toppers
  • Water bottles
  • water bottle labels
  • Green Tea
  • Green Tea packages
  • Hot Cocoa packets
  • Hot Cocoa packet sleeves
  • Ribbon
I designed my own Monogram logo already and created a new file in Adobe Illustrator with the logo, a pretty font that says "Welcome" above the logo and our wedding date under the logo.  I created the artboard size to be the dimensions of a paper bag (I think around 5.25in x 9in).  Modify your working area to match your bag.

Do a test print.  If you printer refuses to take the paper bag and just eats it, move on to printing onto labels and just stick them on the outside of the bag.

Either purchase your own monogramed labels from a company that prints customized products or use printable labels and print them directly from your computer.  Remove the current labels on the bottle and stick these on your water bottles.

I will soon add a teabag template to this site so you can make your own teabag cases.  You could also simply purchase customized teabags to your bags.

Cocoa packet templates will also be available soon.  These are perfect for the fall or chilly winter months.  These can be purchased customized for your wedding as well.

I got my treat bags at Target.  You can get yours here if you need some.  These are little plastic bags perfect for fillings will candy, cookies and other treats.  I filled each bag with either cheddar goldfish, lifesavers or swedish fish.  I made little paper toppers to close up the bags with the title to match the ingredients.  The life savers said "Lifesavers.  Open in case of emergency"  The swedish fish said " Fresh caught Swedish Fish" and the Goldfish said "Goldfish Fish Bait".  You can attach with clear tape or staple the toppers to the bags.

I added my welcome brochure to the bags.  I had custom made these and included important phone numbers (hotel, taxi, hospitals, etc.), great local spots, a link to upload photos, a welcome message for guests and a Hangover helper guide for people recovering from a night of too much fun.  Check out my brochure here

Once you've got all your "ingredients" together, start assembling the bags with your goodies.  Each one of my bags has a welcome brochure, snacks, water, tea & cocoa.  You can also add things like local maps and a postcard.  Fold over the top of your bag and punch a hole.  Tie your ribbon through the hole.  Deliver your box to the hotel front desk and ask that your wedding guests receive their bags during check in.

 Really want guests to feel appreciated.  Provide some food for breakfast the next day or pamper them with a post-wedding bruch at a local restaurant.


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