We know, we know, wedding days are all about the bride and groom, but today I'd like to take a moment to do a quick nod to our guests in particular those who trudge across town, state, country, oceans to be with you on your special day. Picture this: You've been invited to an event halfway around the world. You have to book a flight, arrange for a hotel, purchase an outfit maybe, and buy a gift. While our guests are for the most part very excited to share in your joyous occasion, we need to keep in mind that traveling is expensive and often difficult. It may not be in your budget to cover the travel expenses of your out-of-town guests, you can give them a much needed token of thanks through a hospitality or welcome basket!
First things first - find out where your guests are staying. If you've blocked rooms off at a hotel, this is easy. Often the person in charge of booking your guests can help you arrange to have a basket delivered to their room upon arrival.
Now we need to decide what to put into the basket. Keep in mind that sometimes the most important items are free. Here are some key free (or nearly free) items to make sure you add:
- A copy of the invitation in case they forgot theirs and can't remember the details of your day.
- A map of the area.
- Important numbers of a family contact person, travel companies, etc.
- A handwritten note from you thanking them for taking the trouble to be there!
- Travel sized portions of a medicine cabinet: tylenol, antacid, bandaids, etc.
After the essentials, let's add some personality with something more personal to you or reflecting a local favorite:
- A t-shirt, mug, bookmark, etc that has your name and wedding date on it.
- Local food - candies from Lagomarcinos? Boetjes hot mustard? Lavendar Crest wine?
- Pre-stamped postcards from the area so they can send a note home.
- A local newspaper
- Tickets to a local event if they aren't invited to the rehearsal dinner, for example - tickets to a River Bandits game, Figge Museum, or a gift card to your favorite local shop.
- If the out-of-towners include children, also include some fun things for them - crayons and coloring book, games, snacks, etc.