More than likely the wedding weekend will be packed with to-do lists and last minute details, so brides and grooms may not be able to welcome all their guests as they arrive to town. If this is the case, then think about putting together welcome bags for those guests traveling in for the big day. I’ve put together a few of my hometown favorite welcome bags that will make guests feel at home.

LOCAL FLAIR

Southwestern Michigan has so many local treasures, so create a welcome bag that highlights some of the local favorites. Located in downtown St. Joe, Purely Michigan offers everything from food to handmade items from Michigan artisans. If food is your thing, then check out Jollay Orchard’s fresh fruit, Kilwins fudge, South Bend Chocolate Company’s popcorn, or olive oil from the Olive Cart. Of course, include a list of things to do and local attraction for your guests to enjoy during weekend downtime.

A BOTTLE OF WINE

Need I say more? A bottle of a local wine is a great way to welcome anyone into town. A few local favorites to try are 12 Corners Vineyards, Lazy Ballerina Winery, Dablon Winery & Vineyard, Tabor Hill Winery, and Round Barn Winery. Attach a thank you note and you have a wonderful welcome gift!

A SWEET TREAT

Keep it short and sweet and give guests a box of local chocolates or baked goods. Southbend Chocolate Factory and Kilwins are great go-to’s for a sweet treat.

BEACH BAG

One of the biggest draws to southwest Michigan is, of course, Lake Michigan. Throw together a welcome bag full of beach essentials, such as sunscreen, bottles of water, and sunglasses, even if your ceremony won’t be on the beach! The beach is a great activity for any down time during the weekend as well.

SURVIVAL KIT

It is going to be a long weekend, so make sure guests have everything they need. Water, snacks, ibuprofen, band aids, toothpicks, and granola bars come in handier than you think!

A LITTLE R&R

Pack a bag full of items for your guests to relax with. Include a “Do Not Disturb” sign to hang on their door, a candle, some bubbly, and chocolate. With such a busy weekend, everyone will appreciate a little comfort.

HONEYMOON SUITE

Create a welcome bag with specialties from the couples’ honeymoon destination. Whether it is Cape Cod potato chips and Nantucket Nectar or a couple of Florida oranges, guests will be able to feel like they are you (without actually being with you) long after the wedding weekend ends.

HIS & HER BAG

Fill a bag (or a box!) with a few of the happy couple’s favorite things. Whether they are local favorites or maybe an activity they like to do together, guests will appreciate anything that is special to the couple. Add a list of local spots the couple loves to visit as well!

Wedding welcome bags will make guests feel greeted and they are a nice thank you for sharing an unforgettable weekend. Whichever kind of welcome you choose, always be sure to include a thank you and an itinerary for the weekend’s activities.

Between the hair appointments, travel, and keeping to the timeline, mishaps can very well happen, so make sure you are prepared with these bridal suite essentials. Does anyone really want to run out to the store for hairspray? Doubtful.  One safety pin can save the day. Hopefully this handy little kit won’t be needed, but just in case it is, here are some bridal suite essentials to keep on hand throughout your big day.

WATER, WATER, WATER

It is so easy to forget to stay hydrated with all the excitement on your big day! Make sure to have plenty of water on hand throughout the day, so none of the gals (or guys!) get dehydrated. Encourage everyone to bring a water bottle with them, but have extras just in case. Small bottles are the perfect size for a quick drink.

SNACKS

Just like staying hydrated, make sure everyone has at least a little something to eat throughout the day. No one wants a sugar-low in the middle of the ceremony. Stock your suite with quick, no-mess snacks that people can grab and go.

FIRST AID KIT

Blisters are inevitable. Whether it is the shoes, dress, or a stray pin, it is always better to have Band-Aids, antiseptic, ibuprofen, tweezers, and antibiotic ointment on hand just in case.

SEWING KIT

Wardrobe malfunctions do happen and the last thing anyone wants is a stray bra strap sticking out or a pantyhose run. Keep basic sewing items on hand for when you need to make things work. Thread, needles, buttons, safety pins, clear nail polish, stain-remover, and fashion tape are essential.

HAIR ESSENTIALS

A little hairspray can fix almost anything (right?!), so put together a hair essentials kit and add bobby pins, clear hair elastics, a curling iron, and a brush. You can never have too many of these items.

EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS

Bring some of those everyday essentials that you may not think about until you are in a moment of need. Lint rollers, feminine products, baby powder, deodorant, lotion, and mints are items we really don’t give a second thought about, but are important things to always have.

PHONE CHARGERS

Phone batteries will run low early in the day, so bring a few extra chargers along for those important last-minute phone calls and must-have photo moments.

TISSUES

For, of course, those happy tears.

CATCH-ALL BAG

By the time everyone is ready, there (more than likely) won’t be much time to pick up the bridal suite and by the end of the night everyone is ready to head home (or to the after party), so pack a catch-all bag to throw everything in for a quick clean up.

LIGHT

The bridal suite is a wonderful place to take those must- have getting ready photos, so great lighting is essential.

Stock your suite with these ten bridal suite essentials and you will even find a bonus within the day- peace of mind!