Post # 1
Here’s the situation. My mother thinks welcome bags are absolutely necessary and we’re being rude if we don’t do them.
Our wedding is “half” destination. We are getting married in his hometown In Ireland but my family is from the states.
Here is the layout.
International guests are all arriving somewhere between sometime between 22nd and 27th for our Aug 30th wedding.
We have suggested they spend Tues and Wed in one city (where our provided transportation will start to bring them to and from tourist destinations). There is no designated hotel here.
Thursday we have suggested a hotel near the ceremony site (our provided bus will be bringing guests to that town)
Friday – wedding night at a different hotel where the reception is taking place.
Saturday – bus is bringing back to airport.
Now, if it were purely a destination wedding where everyone was coming from far away and staying in ONE designated hotel for a week, I would love to do a welcome bag with places to see and a bottle of wine and some food. However, people will be moving from place to place. Also, while I have suggested a hotel for Thursday and Friday night – I have no guarantees that is where people are actually staying. I feel like the bus itself is the welcome bag because it will take people to see toursity things and also get them where they need to be. I think it is a waste of money, because what are people going to do with these items while they are lugging around suitcases and traveling? I also don’t think its fair when all the local people on his side wouldn’t be getting these “Welcome bags” because they aren’t staying in hotels.
Anyhow, my mom wants me to track down where everyone is staying in that first city so she can go to each place and drop them off while we are there. The wedding is a month away and I am so stressed about finishing up stuff – that I really don’t have time to call each guest and make a list of where they are staying. Nor do I want to spend the week before my wedding driving around to all these places dropping off these “bags”.
She insists it is rude not to do it though and that it a common tradition even in local weddings and that people will expect it. Is that true?? Is it really faux pas not to give guests a “Welcome bag?” or is she just worried about details no one else does?
Post # 3
@HappinessIsInDaisies: I think it’s a nice gesture, but since everyone is not staying in the same hotel it sounds like more hassle than it is worth. I would maybe compromise with your mom and mention that maybe you could put a basket with goodie bags for each guest at the reception and include some things in there?
Make a sign for the basket like something along the lines of, “Because you traveled all this way to celebrate our day, please take a bag and enjoy!”
Post # 4
If they were all staying at the same hotel I would say you should probably try and make it work. If they’re staying all over, forget it. MAYBE something on the bus day of but if you don’t have a room block people are using the hotel probably won’t tell you who’s staying either. We’re hopefully going to do a little something but only for people staying at the preferred hotel.
Post # 5
I would maybe try to do them on the bus, especially since you have international guests. We went to a wedding a few weeks ago, and I was shocked when my Darling Husband was like, “Uh, where are the welcome bags?” He was kind of a groomzilla, so I’m not sure everyone would notice, but some people would.
Post # 6
@PacificMrs: +1, these are great ideas!
To OP, we did welcome bags for our guests, but had everyone staying in the same hotel. Also, some hotels might charge for delivering Out of Town bags (the highest number I came across was $3/bag).
Post # 7
I really don’t think they are necessary. I had never heard of them until joining the bee.
Post # 8
A welcome bag is the first impression and I think a very nice touch to have a few thoughtful items enclosed. Given the challenges of various hotels perhaps you could arrange to have a welcome card in each room, and perhaps a small bag to be picked up later, maybe at the hotel near the ceremony venue? Or as PP suggested, on the bus?
Post # 9
Really? 3 people voted that an item that didn’t even exist more than a few years ago is required? You’re providing food, drinks, and entertainment for the evening. That’s more than enough! These are never necessary, and nobody will even miss them.
Post # 10
I could see if you had a big hotel block somewhere or something…but chasing down where everyone is staying…I wouldn’t bother. If people are travelling that far anyway they’re probably going to have most of the necessities, and I wouldn’t want to be lugging a bottle of wine (or whatever) from hotel to hotel.
Post # 11
@crayfish: my sister had welcome bags for her wedding 15 years ago. I don’t think they are “new”
Post # 12
The thing I find funny about this post is when I was planning my first wedding it was a destination wedding and welcome bags didn’t even really exist back then! I way wayyy more into planning the little details for that wedding than this one and I had still only heard of a couple of brides do this. I got married the first time in 2007 so it’s not like it was decades ago.
I don’t think they’re necessary so if you don’t have the time/money for it don’t worry about it.
Post # 13
I think they’re very unnecessary. I’d never heard of them until I joined here, never received one, etc.
Post # 14
I would try to do something. The idea of giving something on the bus is a good compromise. Don’t worry about this being unfair to the locals… they didn’t have to spend obscene amounts of time and money on flights, etc., so it’s reasonable to do something extra for those who did have to go through that.
Post # 15
I’ve never heard of a welcome bag before this site. Seems frivolous to me. I feel like guests come to your wedding to celebrate your marriage, not to get a bunch of free stuff.
I’m not all that familar with what generally goes into them, but if it’s lists of suggested sites to see, I would imagine most people are resourceful enough on their own if they’re that interested in touring around.
Post # 16
Although welcome bags/packets/gifts are very common for registrants at business conferences, and many couples do choose to provide them for their out-of-town wedding guests, they absolutely are not required and should neither be missed nor expected.