WEDDINGS: GUEST ARRIVAL BAG SUGGESTIONS

MAKING GUESTS FEEL WELCOME FOR YOUR WEDDING WEEKEND...

You’ve received the RSVP’s and blocked off the rooms at the hotel. But to really make the friends and family who traveled from near and far to witness your vows feel warm and fuzzy upon arrival, welcome them with some special items in their room to make their stay in your city more fun and fulfilling:

A few of my favorite ideas for favors or for guest arrivals include Starbuck's cards, LL Bean or Lands End monogrammed totes, mini Champagne bottles, local transit cards, or local favorites like Garrett's Popcorn in my other hometown of Chicago or Peanut Depot roasted peanuts in my hometown of Birmingham.

A few of my favorite ideas for favors or for guest arrivals include Starbuck's cards, LL Bean or Lands End monogrammed totes, mini Champagne bottles, local transit cards, or local favorites like Garrett's Popcorn in my other hometown of Chicago or Peanut Depot roasted peanuts in my hometown of Birmingham.

A gift card for the coffee shop on the corner – who wants to go without their grande latte mochaccino fix on the morning of the nuptials?

A snack pack assortment of locally made items that you just can't get anywhere else. In my hometown of Birmingham, that would include Golden Flake potato chips and Milo's Sweet Tea along with some Good People Beer and maybe some fresh, hot peanuts from the Peanut Depot. In Chicago, of course that would include Garrett's Popcorn. Enough said.

Maps, coupons or recommendations to nearby shopping, family attractions, and restaurants of interest (tailor it for each guest for an extra touch!)

In larger cities like Chicago, public transit maps, tickets, and local parking permits for zoned areas make stays less hectic.

Bottled water, small bottles of champagne and healthy or homemade snacks like cookies, muffins, or granola.

Ibuprofen, Gatorade, and other hangover remedies for the morning after the party, especially if you opted for an extra hour of open bar at the reception!

Toys, puzzles, a DVD or something special for the kids.

A playlist for the weekend with some of your favorite song. If the wedding is in Mexico, get your guests going with “Tequila." If the nuptials are in Birmingham, add “Sweet Home Alabama!” Other ideas: your college fight song, “Going to the Chapel” or even the song you'll play for your first dance at the reception.

A personalized tote pulls it all together. Allow enough time to order from a company specializing in monogrammed totes like Lands’ End or LL Bean. Embroider the totes with initials or a quote that embodies the feeling of the weekend.  I like "I get by with a little help from my friends."

Whatever you greet your guests with upon their arrival, remember that information is crucial to an organized and enjoyable weekend. After all the trouble they’ve gone through to help you celebrate this milestone in your life, they deserve a few special extras to make them feel loved and appreciated.