Ok, so I think that probably the best (and only) way for me to start today’s post is with a confession: you guys, I’m a host addict.
I love to host and I love to be hosted. I love the big gestures of hospitality, the little details a host devotes attention to, the host that personalises, the host that thinks of everything. I LOVE IT ALL.
Ok, now that’s out in the open I feel we can continue! Today I’m gonna be get totally over excited over a trend that’s been brewing over in the US for a little while now, and is just starting to hit the UK: guest hospitality, a.k.a treating your guests like freakin’ gods.
Why? Because it’s cool to give a damn!
It has to be said, today we’re only looking at the tip of the vast (and surprising hospitable) iceberg that is guest hospitality. There are so many amazing ways to make sure your guests receive the warmest welcome, enjoy the best day and leave your wedding revelling in its glory, but today we’re talking Welcome Packs.
OMGSH even just saying it is getting my hosting gene all a-quiver (yes, it’s hereditary, I got mine from my mama!).
From catering solely for those guests who’ve travelled from afar, to those staying the night at your venue, to those who find themselves a little worse-for-wear following an all-night rave, we’re gonna look at a multitude of options! Working to a budget? No worries, bae, you can make this concept as luxurious and extensive, or as cute and simple as you like. It doesn’t have to be big-budget, it’s the gesture, the effort and the ingenuity that counts.
Let’s start with those guests that might need a little extra dose of care then, shall we?…
For the travellers
They’ve driven miles, maybe they’ve even flown to be with you on that special day.
Cue clapping hands emoji. Points for effort, guys!
Show them what it means to you that they’ve endured the M6 to be at your wedding by greeting them with a sweet basket full of goodies.
Ok, so here’s the deal: the vessel you choose to harbour your welcome pack is entirely at your discretion. We love kraft paper bags or cardboard lunch box style boxes for low cost options, but baskets or custom printed totes are so rad if your budget will stretch that far.
It’s also a super cute idea to get a motif stamp made, or print logo stickers to customise your welcome packs. Add a tag to the bag, or stickers to plain water bottles for a truly customised feel.
After those details though, the contents of the pack are completely up to you and the needs of your guest!
SNACKS – they’re pretty much a given for every welcome pack, but especially for those who’ve travelled. Driving/flying is exhausting and not always the most enjoyable, so simultaneously satisfy and give a little energy boost with some snacks. We recommend a salty and sweet treat – that way you’ll cater for all appetites!
SCHEDULE + MAP – no, no. I’m not talking an OS, unless that’s your style! I’m talking sweet custom designed maps showing your guests around the venue site or detailing a couple of places they should hit up while they’re in the area. As for the schedule, don’t leave your guests in the dark, let them know where and when everything’s happening!
H2O – another given for all welcome packs, hydrate your people! They’ll appreciate it!
BRIGHTENER – that’s right, a bottle of something cheeky. It says ‘welcome, now relax’, it says ‘thank you so much for coming’ and hello?! It says ‘time to get this party started!’ definitely a good shout to get your guests in the mood!
CARDS – guests staying at hotels might find themselves with a little time to kill over the weekend – make sure they’ve got something to keep them amused in those moments!
SOUVENIR – dependent upon your guests and the locale, it might be appropriate to include a little something that’s local to the area, or a cute postcard for them to pin to the fridge and remember the good times they had!
ESSENTIALS – include a few little basics, because let’s face it everyone forgets something when they travel! A mini toothpaste, a spare tooth brush, some mints, a sewing kit, lip balm… The possibilities are endless, and seriously useful!
Treat yo’ travelling guests good, my friends!
For the Early Risers
So, I mean, if your guests are staying at an inn or a hotel, this probably isn’t gonna be a necessity, although some carefully chosen tea bags or a bag of freshly ground coffee is still gonna beat the livin’ yoohoo out of anything a hotel’s gonna offer! #justsaying
If you’ve chosen glamping accommodation or a allowed your guests to pitch their own tents at your venue however, a breakfast bundle is an ingenious and totally sweet gesture!
Include fresh eggs, baked goods, maybe a preserve, some fresh fruit, the aforementioned tea/coffee making facilities and bonus points are awarded if you manage to source it all locally!
Now that’s how the morning after should be done!
For the Bridal Party
Guys, these good people are your TEAM. Look after your own, yah know?!
They’ve helped you out, they’ve stuck by you through those (inevitablely unavoidable) bride-zilla moments and they’re your nearest and dearest, treat ’em good!
For the girls, we’re thinking individual bottles of bubbles (with paper straws, of course!), a note pad and pen (great for those last minute lists), a bit of sparkly jewellery, maybe a disposable camera to capture all those ‘unseen’ moments, wedding co-ordinated nail polish, a handwritten note, a schedule of events and (surely it goes without saying) chocolate!
And for the boys, a suave gentleman’s box: a tipple of something strong and smokey, perhaps a bottle opener, a beard comb when necessary, a cigar for the after party and an energy boosting snack (come on, they’re boys!).
No doubt, by the time you hit your room at the end of the night, you’re gonna be hungry (trust us here, weddings are wonderfully exhausting things!), so having a pre-pared, somewhat luxurious midnight snack box is a seriously wise move.
For the Worse-of-Wear
Ha! So this one’s fairly self explanatory, but let’s just say a bottle of water, some refreshing eye drops, a high energy bar, a travel size mouthwash, some milk thistle tablets, plasters and a tube of vitamin C can go a heck of a long way for those guests who partied real hard!
Distribute as necessary!
We love that door tag too – great for those the ravers who don’t wish to be disturbed by hotel staff first thing in the morning!
We just love this idea, and if budget allows, why not create welcome bags or boxes for all of your guests?
You could distribute as guests arrive or, in true party bag style, let them pick one up as they leave. It’s the ultimate gesture of care and gratitude towards your guests and a wonderful memento of your amazing day!
We love the concept of including a ‘thank you’ note. I mean, it’s impossible to get round everyone and personally thank them during your wedding day, but writing a note in advance of the day to be included in their takeaway gift is such a sweet, resounding note to end your wedding on.
And hello?! How cool are these tote bags?…
Have fun with this you guys! Hosting is a great way to give something back to the people who care so much about you and a very cool way to say ‘I love and appreciate you’ without the mush!
Get creative with your welcome packs; there are no rules, and your guests will adore you for it!
And remember, it’s cool to give a damn!
Peace + Love