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Welcome Bag Tips

August 26, 2010
We’re up to our ears in welcome bags for this weekend’s Los Angeles wedding. The entire clan is coming in from the East Coast which is always a blast for me to see out of towners enjoy my amazing city that gets such a bad wrap…really, I promise, it’s a wonderful city! Anyway, here are a few pointers as you’re working on your own welcome bags:

CONTENTS
While I love a well designed welcome bag with local, fresh from the market items, I also think it truly is the thought that counts, especially when thinking about your welcome bag. If it’s not in the budget to give everyone a bottle of wine from the local winery, for instance, don’t stress yourself out. From my experience, guests just like to know they were thought of. A simple, but well done bag, filled with items like bottled water, salty and sweet snacks, fresh fruit and a list of activities is all you really need. Guests will be happy that they can reach for the water you gave them instead of having to dig into their mini bar, trust me.

THE HOTEL
If you set up a room block with your hotel and haven’t done so already, look into their policy on delivering welcome bags. Most hotels DO charge for this and I find most of the couples I work with are surprised by this expense, soooo, look into your agreement early to avoid surprises.

THE DELIVERY
With the above being said, most hotels charge one rate to hand them out at the front desk and a little bit more if you want them waiting in the guest’s rooms. I think it’s lovely to have a bag waiting in my room when I check in, personally, but this fee can add up, so just know your options going in.

LABELING THE BAGS
You might incur a third upcharge if you decide the bags have to be personal. I’m all about personal, don’t get me wrong, but please check with your hotel if they charge more to handle that additional level of coordination. If so, believe me, your guests won’t feel slighted if they get a bag that doesn’t have their name written somewhere on it.

THE DROP
You should be able to drop all of your bags for the entire week off on one day. As long as your instructions include the date of delivery (see next tip), you should be all set.

THE LIST
When delivering the bags to the hotels, be sure to provide them a distribution list for the bags. Don’t assume because you have a room block that they will have the right information. On the list be sure to include the name of the guest as they have registered at the hotel. This will take a bit more legwork upfront on your part, but if you give them Sally’s name and the room is under Becky’s, then Sally nor Becky will receive their bag. Also, on this list include the date of check in and if you want more than one bag delivered to the room, indicate it as such.

FOLLOWING UP
It’s more than appropriate to assign a bridesmaid or someone else to call the hotel each morning to remind them of the bags to be delivered that day. Hotels are big places and logistical errors can happen so if it’s of vital concern, just give the front desk a quick call to remind them of the bags.

ONE LAST TIP

If I could give you one last pointer, it would be once you deliver the bags, let it go. Either assign someone to do the follow up as mentioned above or trust the hotel to work out the details. I’ve had many a brides work themselves into a frenzy because Uncle Mark received 2 bags and not 3 and so on. Not only does asking around to all of your guests draw unnecessary attention to an error, but it will call you an added level of stress you don’t need the week of your wedding.

There you have it…my tips on making the welcome bag process as smooth as silk…Do any of you out there have tips to share or suggestions for welcome bag contents? We would love to hear your tricks!

OH, btw, the super fun welcome tote at the top, is by everyone’s favorite map designer, Laura Hooper. So much talent!