When your friends and family are travelling to your wedding and an overnight stay is involved, a welcome hamper is a nice touch for them to arrive to – plus it can set the tone for what’s to come!
I (destination wedding planner, Nicole Hellinger) recommend personalising your welcome bags where possible; not all hampers need to include the same items, some may be suited to some guests but not to others, so here are 15 ideas you could consider.
1. A Re-Hydrating Face Mask
If your guests have just spent a few hours on the plane the chances are they’ll be feeling that post flying dehydration. A re-hydrating face mask is the perfect skin pick-me-up to get your guests photo ready for the wedding day!
2. A Welcome Note
A handwritten, personalised welcome note is a simple, cost-effective addition to the hamper; all it needs is a quick note to let your loved ones know why you’re happy they could make it, that you appreciate their journey and what you’re looking forward to, specifically with them, over the next few days.
3. The Weekend Wedding Schedule
I always tell my couples that it doesn’t matter what you plan, how much you host and when you plan it for – the most important thing is the communication to your guests so they know what to expect and aren’t caught short.
A brief wedding schedule will let them know when they have spare time, when food will be provided vs. when they need to source it themselves, and where they need to be and when for the wedding day or any pre/post wedding events that you may have in store.
Just remember though, a rough timeline is great, but they don’t need to know all the details just yet; it’s nice to leave some surprises too!
4. Local Guide book
If your guests are staying for a few days and you’ve allowed free time within your wedding schedule then a local guidebook or suggestions of things to do in the area will help get your friends and family started with their exploring. Spare time may be limited so some useful hints and tips would surely be appreciated.
5. A Regional Specialty
An individual touch would be to include a small regional specialty, for example, a little bottle of Franschhoek wine or bubbly. If your budget allows you could personalise the label either with the guests’ names or your wedding date.
6. A Little Bottle of Fizz
What better way to get the party started, or for guests to relax into their first evening than to leave your friends and family a refreshing pick-me-up; a nice cold beer for the boys, a gin and tonic for the ladies or perhaps a bottle of prosecco or local wine?
7. Something to Entertain the Little Ones
For the little people within the group an entertainment pack is a great idea; whether it’s a colouring book, balloons or games an exciting surprise waiting for them in the room will keep them happy.
8. A Wedding Memory Card
Pop a personalised postcard into each hamper and ask guests to write their favourite wedding weekend memory on it before they leave. Collect them all at the end of your celebrations and relive all the memories with your new husband/wife whilst on your honeymoon.
General snacks are always handy; crisps, cookies, olives are all useful to have nearby. If your accommodation is self-catered or friends can’t pop to the shops easily then they’ll appreciate these little bits just to keep them ticking over between meals.
10. A Hand-held fan
If you’re getting married abroad then the chance are it’s going to be hot. There may be times when your guests are waiting around in the sun, for example during the ceremony, especially prior to your arrival.
It’s likely that they wouldn’t have thought of a fan, but they’ll be extremely grateful for it!
11. A Personalised Candle
A small, easy to carry home candle with a personalised scent or label will help guests to remember your wedding. This is even more effective if you have the same scent throughout your wedding. Smell is the most powerful memory trigger so guests can relive the laughs and the memories when they get home.
12. A Hanky
Weddings are emotional things and let’s be honest, you’re probably hoping your guests shed a few tears when they see you walking down the aisle?! Give them a little hanky that they can have to hand to avoid any unwanted make-up disasters from being all teary-eyed!
13. Holiday Essentials
Of course, this is your wedding, but it’s also a short holiday for your friends and family, provide them with some holiday essentials: insect repellent, sun cream, plasters, bite cream.
14. Fold Away Flip Flops
Some roll up, clutch bag sized, flip flops for the girls are a good idea for the wedding day; heels look fabulous but they’re not practical when you’ve been on your feet all day and want to hit the dancefloor.
15. Hangover Recovery Kit
We all know that a hangover is a sign of a good night, so some general recovery items will be appreciated for the morning after – paracetamol, Berocca and water.