Ask Leslie: Gift Bags

Welcome Gift Bag

I wouldn’t mind getting this welcome basket…

This is a regular series where we answer readers’ questions about their wedding day, the wedding process, and general etiquette. Have a question? Drop me an email!

Dear Leslie,

I’m doing a mostly destination wedding and I want to put gift bags together, but it seems so expensive and time consuming to do something nice. What is your advice?

Oh, reader, I feel you. I love gift bags because it shows your out-of-town guests how thankful you are that they’ve decided to spend your special weekend with you, despite distance and cost. And plus, who doesn’t love a little treat showing up on their bed when they check in?

I usually like to include the following things in gift bags:

•Custom printed Welcome Itinerary, with all weekend information needed

•Map of surrounding area, good restaurants, coffee shops, etc.

•Water (two bottles)

•Snacks (Costco Trail Mix, treats like cookies or brownies, etc.)

•Chapstick or sunscreen, depending on the time of year

•Tiny bottles of wine or champagne

•Tiny jams/honey and crackers

•Beef jerky (We’re in Montana, so this is a must!)

When you’re buying in bulk at a big box store, it’s pretty easy to get all of these things relatively inexpensively. The challenge is when you start customizing. Maybe you want to introduce your guests to your hometown with a cookie for your favorite bakery. This will be more expensive than Famous Amos cookies from Walmart.

I’d say pick ONE thing you really want to highlight (maybe it’s a package of jerky or a jar of jam from your favorite local preserve maker) and build your bag around that. Maybe include in your Welcome Itinerary a little note about your ONE THING, like where it’s from and why it’s special. Then, fill in with tiny treats that you can get in bulk.

To produce the bags, make a little assembly line in your living room and start with the heaviest item first (water, usually). After you’ve filled all the bags with water, go onto the next heaviest thing. Finish with your welcome note on top and a custom gift bag tag enclosure, and voila! You’re done!

Anticipated cost: Between $10 – $20 per bag, depending on your ingredients and the amount of bags.

What tips do you have for personalizing your gift bags? Leave me a comment below!



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