A wedding out-of-town bag is a fun and hospitable way to welcome guests to your wedding weekend festivities. They can be as simple as a bag with a homemade cookie and bottled water, or jam-packed and filled to the brim with your favorite goodies! (Don’t miss our past posts on what to include in a Washington DC wedding welcome bag, a Maryland wedding welcome bag, and a Virginia wedding welcome bag!) But, of course, there’s a little more to just throwing together some items—and we’ve got a little advice to share! Today, Meg, owner of Welcome To My Wedding, a wedding welcome bag packing service company here in the DC area, is here share some do’s and don’t for creating welcome bags! On that note, take it away, Meg…

Wedding Welcome Bags Dos and Donts

Photo courtesy of Welcome To My Wedding

Welcome bags can be a fun pre-wedding project to welcome your out-of-town guests; however, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with creating bags right before your big day and to end up with bags that aren’t exactly what you wanted. Here are some of my do’s and don’ts to make the process fun and easy!

DO include substantial snacks with protein instead of just sugary treats. Guests will always appreciate having something extra to eat whether it’s after a long day of travel or the day of the wedding itself.

DON’T forget water! Water is always a scarce commodity in hotel rooms and something that everyone appreciates so I recommend two bottles in every bag. If you want to make it fun, you can get personalized bottles with your names and wedding colors.

DO think about how you arrange items in the bag itself. It’s easy for smaller items to get lost if they aren’t attached to something else. For example, attach two packs of Advil to a water bottle with double-sided tape.

DON’T use cheap bags or other containers. Cheaper paper bags will rip and break easily once you add the weight of snacks and water. Nicer bags cost more but also ensure that the bag isn’t falling apart when your guest receives it and gives them the added bonus of having something to carry extra items in the day of the wedding. Check out Bag and Bows online for bags and tissue.

DO plan ahead about when you will make the bags and enlist the help of friends and family to make it fun and go more quickly. To make the process more efficient, try using an assembly line method!

DON’T forget to let the hotel know that you will be leaving welcome bags to be given out to your guests. Contact hotels ahead of time so they know they will need to store bags especially if there are several guests staying at one hotel. Also bring a list with each guest’s name who has booked a hotel room along with how many bags they get, especially if you want to give an extra bag to a room with a family or if a guest has booked more than one room. This will make it easier for hotels to hand out the bags correctly as your guests arrive.

DO have fun and unleash your creativity! Welcome bags can be fun to create but only when you are excited about them. If making the bags is just going to overwhelm you then skip them entirely or only make bags for guests staying at hotels where you have room blocks and don’t worry about dropping off single bags around the city. Welcome bags are a great extra but not an essential!


A big, big thank you to Meg for sharing all this great advice! If you need help in creating and putting together welcome bags for your DC-area wedding, be sure to check out Welcome To My Wedding.

Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? If you are in the mood for more projects, you can check out all of our Washington DC area DIY weddings right here! Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros.

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