While I am not planning a beach wedding, I am currently in the throws of my own wedding in which the majority of guests are coming in from out of town. An essential piece of any wedding planning for destination weddings is the welcome bag.
It becomes a way to greet your guests in their hotels rooms when they arrive from traveling from home. It helps your guests know the plan of the wedding, listing out events, times and contact information for those who need it. And perhaps most importantly, it provides a few things your tired and road weary travelers will appreciate.
The welcome bag is an easy way to say thank you for being here and traveling all this way. In the case of beach weddings, many are destination affairs. Your guests must travel to your slice of sand in order to celebrate your wedding with you.
If you want to say thank you, provide your guests with items that they will need for your wedding weekend and stick to your wedding theme, you must compose a welcome bag with the beach in mind.
It’s in the Bag
The foundation for any welcome bag is the bag itself. While for most weddings this can be a paper bag of some sort, for a beach wedding, you can really have fun with the bag itself.
A canvas bag is always a classic choice, with some sort of wedding logo on the exterior. Since it is a beach wedding, you can go with classic beach icons for your logo such as waves, a beach umbrella or a sand castle with the wedding date listed above or below. The logo should capture the wedding and remind guests that they are at a beach wedding.
If you are feeling creative, you can go beyond the paper bags and canvas totes. You can gift your guests an actual beach bag that they could use on the beach. For a beach wedding, you could also get inventive and use a pail for the bag. This touch incorporates the theme of the wedding and also gives those guests with children something to always remember your wedding by in the end.
Travel Size Sunscreen
If you are getting married on the beach, you are exposing your guests to the sun. With many traveling for your wedding, those guests can sometimes forget a key beach wedding essential, sunscreen.
Just in case your guests do forget sunscreen, you should load up your welcome bags with tubes of travel size sunscreen. You don’t want your guests frying during the wedding or even during their free time on the beach.
Beach weddings can be dehydrating, just as traveling can be. For your guests traveling to a beach wedding, they are no doubt going to arrive to their accommodations a little parched.
Every beach wedding welcome bag should come with a few bottles of water. Guests will appreciate this touch either when they arrive or while out in the heat at your wedding on the beach. In addition to water, you can include a few bottles of a local beer or a bottle of wine as a gift to your guests to enjoy post-wedding.
Sea Salted Snacks
If you are hosting a wedding by the sea, your snacks in the welcome bag can even take on the beach theme. You want to give your guests something to munch on either before they head out for your wedding or after they have torn up the dance floor.
Sea salted snacks work for both scenarios. From nuts to potato chips, you can find sea-salted snacks almost anywhere. They carry the beach wedding theme to the welcome bag and provide guests something to eat rather than going down to the hotel gift shop to buy expensive and overpriced snacks.
If you do go with sea-salted snacks, you should think about getting locally made products. This adds a nice touch to your welcome bag and also introduces guests to the area and its flavors.
Especially if you are having your wedding when the sun might be in your guests’ eyes, it is always a good idea to provide them with a respite from the glare of the sun. You can often buy sunglasses in bulk and toss a pair or two into each welcome bag. They don’t have to be designer shades, but rather a simple gesture that you want your guests to stay cool in more ways than one.
In addition to sunscreen and maybe even sunglasses, your guests might forget an essential tool for the beach, a beach towel. You can have beach towels made with your wedding logo or even just the date printed on the towel. If you want to gift your guests a towel that they might use again, you can merely pick up beach towels with the wedding location printed on the towel. The beach towel makes for a nice keepsake as your guests can actually use it again in their daily lives.
Custom Drink Koozie
Spending a day on the beach is not complete without a cold beverage in hand. You can provide guests with a custom drink koozie, either with the bride and groom’s names and the date printed on them or again just your wedding logo. Even if you don't want to customize koozies, you can even just purchase them in your wedding colors for a special touch.
Like the beach towel, this is a keepsake that your guests can use at picnics down the road or on their own beach vacations. It also might come in handy on the wedding weekend when your guests have free time on the beach.
A Special Souvenir To Take Home
Not only should welcome bags be filled with items that guests can use on the actual wedding weekend, but you should also consider items that will help them remember their time on those sands that they traveled to for you.
From little bottles of the actual sands the wedding took place on, shells collected on the beach, refrigerator magnets of the destination to postcards of the beach destination, you should include something special that your guests can take home and remember that beach.
You might be having a beach wedding, but you shouldn’t forget the basics to any welcome bag for your guests. While you can add in all of those elements for the beach such as sunscreen, a beach towel or sunglasses, you must also include the basics.
Every welcome bag should come with a welcome letter, thanking your guests for traveling to your wedding. The letter should also include a schedule of the weekend’s events so that your guests have a source to look to if they have questions or concerns. You should also have a card with a map of the wedding events and also contact information.
While you might have the beach on the brain with your wedding welcome bags, you shouldn’t neglect the basics in the process.
Did you have a beach wedding with out of town guests? What did you put in your beach wedding welcome bags? Share your ideas with us in the comments below...