10 Wedding Welcome Bag Ideas For Your Guests, Because Who Doesn't Love A Little Free Swag?

Hey there, wife-to-be. While you're super focused on making sure that the DJ avoids playing the chicken dance and trying not to totally wipe out while tripping over your giant dress, there's one aspect of your wedding planning that might not be at the front of your mind — the helpful, courteous wedding welcome bags that your guests will be getting upon arrival. Welcome bags are super common at weddings where out-of-town guests will likely be spending the night, and since everyone likes getting some free swag, they're always appreciated. Even if they simply contain things that you might just find at your local CVS. In short, people like them because they no longer have to worry about going out to buy a Tide pen.

Welcome bags (or "gift bags," as I called them throughout the process) are also super helpful if your ceremony and reception aren't happening back to back, or you're planning on having some time to kill before busting out the appetizers at your cocktail hour. They're also a great way to casually slip in an itinerary, so your guests know where they have to be, and what to expect of the night ahead. When you've got a hotel filled with guests, there's a great chance that a few of them will be so caught up in traveling that they have no idea when the party is starting. Despite having gone to a lot of weddings, I'll always be grateful towards the organized bride who understands that the wedding schedule ahead can be mighty confusing.

Regardless of your wedding itinerary, welcome bags make an amazing first impression. Here are some good ideas on what to include in yours.

1. Snaaaaaacks!

Even if it's a granola bar, your guests will be thankful. Seriously, no granola bar will ever be better than a wedding gift bag granola bar — simply because your guests won't have to fight with the vending machine to get it, after minutes of actually finding a functional vending machine three floors away from their assigned room. Don't forget about candy, which is the one gift that absolutely everyone can enjoy.

If throwing a Snickers in there seems a bit impersonal, consider decorating it with a bit of ribbon that matches your wedding colors. If your wedding location is known for a specific food, consider treating your guests with something small, delicious, and local.

2. Personalized lip balm

If you want people to remember your wedding for months to come, consider putting some lip balm in the bag that states your wedding date. Because weddings are when kissing happens! Right? Eh.

Seriously, nobody ever turns down a lip balm. Personally, I have about seven Dr. Pepper LipSmackers in my purse right now, and I regret nothing. This is a gift that'll get used, and Etsy has a bunch of vendors that'll make sure that your reception won't have any chapped lips ruining the party. I'll call your attention towards HeleniumBathBodyHome, who sells vegan lip balms in flavors that make me kind of hungry. I mean, she has a vanilla chocolate hybrid on there. All is right in the world when you have a vanilla chocolate lip balm.

3. Sunscreen

It's a must if you're having a wedding outdoors in the summer months. Chances are, your guests completely forgot to grab a tube of it on their way out. If your wedding is on the beach, it's even more appropriate. If your guest list gets burned, they won't be remembering the adorable vows you and your husband wrote to each other — they'll be focused on their painful sun souvenir.

4. Advil

If you have an open bar, there will be hangovers. If you have chatty relatives, there will be headaches. If you want to see everyone at breakfast the morning after, this will help everyone get out of bed. Make sure to double up for rooms that have more than one person in them.

5. Seeds

If you're having a spring wedding, this is a cute idea to tie into the season. Flower seeds are relatively cheap, and being able to share your favorite flowers with your guests is a sweet (and pretty!) gesture. Also, it might tempt them not to try and steal the table centerpieces. Those might belong to the hotel.

6. Personalized tissues

There might be crying. Hopefully if it's from you, it'll be happy tears. Prep your guests in advance with some tissues. I like these from WhiteCurtainDesign, since it's a clean design and only contains two tissues per pack. That means that guests won't have a gross ripped open wad of unused tissues hanging out at the bottom of their clutch after the ceremony. (Please tell me this problem happens to all women.)

7. Nail polish

In the wonderful world we live in, this can also be personalized. As someone who has pretty much only gotten manicures before school dances, I've gone to many weddings with bad nails, and did the whole song and dance of "Do I have enough time to run out and buy some polish?" every time. If you include some polish in there (of a wedding color), chances are you'll see a lot of matching fingers and grateful guests on the dance floor.

8. Temporary tattoos

Are they useful? Eh, not really. But they're fun! If you and your groom have your own tats, it's a fun nod to your own individuality. You're never too old for a temporary tattoo.

9. Mints

Again, this is something that can easily be personalized to represent your big day. Guests will appreciate the help when they need to freshen up. Plus, they're equally handy after the wedding, in case your guest forgets to bring them along to the reception.

10. A note to say "thank you!"

As a bride, you'll be writing thank you cards for like, six months after your actual wedding. And if you don't have a spreadsheet, it will be tedious and confusing (but the absolute right thing to do). However, make sure to easily give thanks to the guests willing to travel out and see your big day. You can even double up, and put a thank you card on the back of a card with necessary directions and instructions in case your guests will need to travel to and from the venues. It's the perfect way to make your guests feel appreciated, while also getting them to where they need to be.

Images: Fotolia; HeleniumBathBodyHome, WhiteCurtainDesign/Etsy; Giphy (5)