- Before departure
- Upon Check-in
- At the Welcome Reception
Now that you have written your Welcome Letter, filled your welcome packet or bag, now how are you going to deliver them to your guests???
In our last post we talked about writing & delivering your Welcome Letter (link), in this post we will talk about delivering your whole welcome bag. There are two main options – to send the packet to your guests before they leave for their trip or give it to them when they arrive:
Before you leave for your wedding – mailing their packet to them at home before departure. This is not the best choice since your guests would have to also pack these items for the trip. But if there are items you want your guests to have in advance this might be the only option.
When your guests arrive to their destination. This is the best option so they have a nice “Welcome” gift when they arrive. We talk about what to include in <this post>. There are three main options of how to delivery your bags to your guests. No matter which option you choose we always recommend to Tag Your Bags.
Tagging your bag ensures that everyone gets their bag and allows you to put special things in certain bags. For instance, you want to put kids toys or things to do in the bags for families, or an extra tequila bottle for your best friend from college or flipside of that give grandma some local honey instead of local liquor. This tag will include the name of the people getting the tag (starting with the last name so the hotel receptionist can find their reservation) and the date of their arrival to their destination.
Now that your bags are filled and tagged, here are the options for delivery:
- Upon Check in to the hotel – Some hotels are happy to help, others charge a fee. Contact your groups reservation department of the hotel to see what your hotel policies are. If it is free or affordable, I recommend only bringing down that days check-ins each morning (instead of handing over all 100 bags at one time), but the manager can help you with this as well. Some hotels will give the bags out during check-in and some will put the bags in each room before check-in. Whichever way, just follow up with the afternoon crew (usually after 3pm check-in time) to ensure they know what is going on and have everything they need to hand out your bags. Side note: We advise to make friends with the front desk staff of all shifts. The nicer you are to them, the more they will want to help you and your guests. If your group likes to party then you will definitely want to get on the good side of the night shift.
<PHOTO of a bag on a hotel bed or dresser?>
If the hotel doesn’t offer bag delivery (or the cost is cost prohibitive) or if you have many guests coming that are not staying at your hotel, then the next two options are best:
- In-Person – This might take a lot of planning and coordination but if you know most guests are arriving around the same time on a certain day, then hanging out in the hotel lobby (hopefully there is a bar within eye shot of the front desk) as most guests are arriving allows you to personally welcome each couple and hand deliver your Welcome Bag. For those getting married on Isla Mujeres, you might want to hang out at the ferry dock bar in order to welcome guests as they arrive on the ferry. Of course you will want the itineraries (arrival time) of your guests to ensure you are not waiting there for no reason. You can also delegate this task to a friend or family member that personally knows the guests arriving so you don’t have to spend your afternoon waiting for people.
- At the Welcome Reception – This is another option if many guests are not staying at your hotel. Schedule Welcome Drinks Cocktail Hour in a non-hotel location on the evening that 90% of your guests are arriving. This will allow everyone to mingle to get to know each other and a chance for you to hand out any extra bags that couldn’t be delivered in the above options. The only potential issue here is that if people are going to go bar hoping or dinner afterwards they don’t really want to carry the bag around with them all night. Maybe delegate someone who is not joining you to being the bags back to their hotel for them.
For those super late comers, we have delivered welcome bags AT the wedding. It is not ideal but at least they were not left out.
As always, talk through the options with your wedding planner to ensure it is all smooth and stress-free. Your planner might have more ideas depending on your plans and destination.