Your guests have gone to great lengths to attend your wedding – enduring planes, trains, and automobiles, sorting out accommodations, taking time off from work, not to mention hours spent shopping for the right outfit. They have dropped more than a pretty penny to watch you say “I do” and should be welcomed appropriately. No one needs a bottle of water, a can of sunscreen and a bag of pretzels. And let’s be honest – any gifts that have your name and date on them will end up in a landfill.
It’s important to welcome your guests in a way that is personal and relevant to you as a couple. Sharing something you both love is always a good rule of thumb, and leaving a heartfelt note telling them how much you appreciate their attendance should never be overlooked. Setting the right tone for the weekend is crucial to ensuring everyone has a great time. My favorite welcome amenities are those that are fun, reflective of their host, interactive and that indicate that the party is just getting started. Without further ado, here are some examples of welcome gifts that will ensure your guests are excited about the celebration ahead!
1. Make your own Mojito Kit
– Our favorite recipe, courtesy of Community Table at Parade:
In a Collins glass, add the mint, lime juice, and simple syrup. Press down moderately on the mint leaves. The purpose of muddling is to bruise the mint to release the oils in the leaves. It is NOT to pulverize it into little pieces. Five to seven presses is sufficient.
Add the rum. Top with ice – the smaller the better. (Crushed or cracked ice is the best. You can easily make crushed and cracked ice by wrapping up ice cubes in a kitchen towel and giving it a few good whacks with your muddler. The purpose of using this type of ice is two-fold, 1) it dilutes the drink, chilling it very fast and 2) it acts as a sieve between your mouth and the muddled components.
2. Plate of fresh cookies and a bottle of milk in an ice bucket
Milk and cookies have an incredibly calming effect, so all the frustration and crankiness built up during arduous travel journeys is sure to melt away when your guests sit down and pop them in their mouth. Sharing cookies also allows strangers to bond, so you can be assured that guests from both sides will get along. Finally, there’s nothing like milk and cookies to put your guests to sleep, ensuring they will be well rested for the events and celebrations of the upcoming weekend.
3. Hot Pretzels with an array of dipping sauces
Warm pretzels are another way to get your guests settled and happy. There’s nothing quite like a hot snack to settle down hungry stomachs. Pretzels with an array of dipping sauces are a prime choice because they allow the guest to choose how they want to set the tone for arrival with their own sauce. Some potential sauces are mustard, spicy cheese, and caramel. The best part? Pretzels are associated with sports games and lots of energy, meaning that your guests will be pumped up for all of the noise!
4. Tequila Celebration Kit
Mojitos are not the only drink that screams party. Tequila shots are also reminiscent of wild and fun nights. To show your guests just how much you want them to enjoy, set them up with a small tequila kit, that is easily assembled. You will need:
– An array of salts in little dishes (some examples are smoked salt, habanero salt, and Himalayan salt)
Now, encourage everyone to go crazy, sit back, and high-five your fianceé for a job well-done.
5. Scones with clotted cream and fresh strawberry jam
Elegance and tea time are another route to take with the welcome gift. Setting out scones lets the guests know this is a very classy and relaxed affair. Plus, adding some tea to the mix makes the welcome heartfelt. The English were never wrong when they said: “Keep calm and drink tea.” Scones always go in hand and brighten up anyone’s day.
6. A bowl of fresh guacamole and chips and a bucket of cold beers on ice
If the tone you want to set is “fiesta,” look no further than the classic guac and chips with a beer. This is a great option because not only is it simple, it is also one of the easiest to customize. Consider using your own classic guacamole recipe, or even having a bar set out with various types of guacamole, chips, and beers. One of our favorite guacamole recipes is one with some cheeky cubes of mango, which tastes phenomenal paired with blue corn chips. Bottles of Corona are also sure to be a fan favorite.
7. Champagne and a bowl of fresh strawberries
Nothing says luxury or wedding like the classic combo of champagne and strawberries. Toasting all of your guests upon arrival sets the tone for a wedding weekend that everyone is invested in. This high-end combination also alerts your guests that you care about each and every one of them, and value their attendance in celebrating this incredible milestone.
8. A pair of flip-flops and sunglasses
If your wedding is on a beach, look no further for a great welcome gift. Some nice sunglasses and flip flops will give your guests the confirmation that you want them to have fun, and that you picked the beach as your venue for everyone to enjoy. This sets the tone as comfortable and casual, while still ringing bells of the wedding celebration.
9. A custom paddle ball set
If you or your fiancé is notorious for loving games, consider gifting a personalized paddle ball set. This is great because not only can you add each guest’s face onto a paddle ball, allowing them to feel like you’ve put in a great deal of effort into a gift, but also because your guests know that this gift represents a central part of your personality. Furthermore, the options for engraving are endless!
10. A fifth of Jägermeister and a pair of shot glasses
This weekend is all about the future and your new life with your fiancé ahead. However, your guests are the ones that have been with you through thick and thin in the past. So before moving ahead, do some shots of Jäger to reminisce about the good old days and friendship.
These welcome gifts are baseline suggestions that have been included because they set strikingly different tones, but also because they are easily customizable in hundreds of different ways. Keeping these two notes in mind, know that the welcome gift doesn’t have to be stressful, but is just another outlet for expressing your uniqueness as a couple!