Wedding Wednesday: Favors and Welcome Baskets

As destination weddings have become more and more popular of late, the traditional wedding basket/favor has become more intense as well. As if your wedding budget wasn’t strapped enough, now you have to give your guests a PRESENT? Umm no. The honor of the invite should be gift enough.

I’m kidding. Sort of. But if you are going to include a welcome basket/favor situation, I have a few tips. I think your guests and I can agree that while we love you, we don’t need another trinket in our lives, and a silver heart paper weight with YOUR monogram on it isn’t necessarily the most useful item to lug home.

Like your wedding, your welcome basket should reflect you and your groom,

These adorable favors are bursting with the Bride & Grooms personality

The destination and theme of the wedding,

And make your guests feel appreciated.

I am a huge fan of edible/drinkable items, there are few things that make me feel at home like wine/cheese/candy.

If you have the budget/desire to go all out with your welcome baskets, there are resources below to help you do just that. But for my money, I think the most welcoming gift would include either a split of wine/champagne or some sort of snack that has meaning to you or the destination/theme…

A note from the Bride & Groom thanking guests for coming, and a map/brochure of the area.


If you want to expand on that other thoughtful items would be sunscreen, fans, hats, flip flops for tropical spots.

Perhaps a guide book…

A hangover kit for rowdy fiestas…

Other fun idea would be a sort of newspaper with custom crosswords, articles about the couple written by friends/family, to help guests who may know one of you better than the other get to know you individually and as a couple before taking part in your wedding.

Basically I think you need to be realistic about your budget. The Welcome Basket is not going to make or break your wedding, decide what you want to spend on it and go for quality over quantity.

Gift baskets:

Navy & Lavender sells fantastic various ready made, themed, gift bags

Kate Parker also creates ready-made cute regional gift baskets

Made In Colorado

Nokomis Grove

I love this sweet presentation

Tote Bags:

Inexpensive tote bags from Pearl River, attach a custom label or stamp the bag with a logo, and fill with your favorite treats!

LLBean tote bags are cute, practical, and inexpensive

Goosberry Press makes these totes with cool maps of various US cities

I love these wine totes by BeauCoup

Food:Custom colored M&Ms can be printed with your photo, wedding date etc.

Peterbrooke has a great selection of sweet/salty treats

Martha Approved Macaroons


Key Lime Sables

Loveless cafe sells some of the best biscuit mix, grits, jams, and hams in super cute packaging!

BeauCoup sells a lot of different customizable treats!

Caramel & Fleur de Sal Popcorn

Create candy bags with your favorite treats by color at Sweet Life

Custom Labels/Maps/Stamps:

Miss Pickles Press Etsy Shop sells customizable labels, tags, bags and cards.

Toast Its creates custom labels for wine bottles, you can add your own design and message to your guests.Berkeley Rubber Stamps creates custom stamps that you can use to decorate totes, labels etc.

Trial by Cupcakes makes custom maps of your wedding destination.

What do you think of the whole Welcome Gift thing? What would you like to receive upon arrival as a guest? What did you do for favors at your wedding? Best welcome gift you have received?

Let’s give stressed Brides some fresh ideas!


  1. Annie Criner June 30, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Super cute entry, Bailey! Love all your ideas!

  2. The Neo-Traditionalist June 30, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Could you have come up with any more ideas?! My guests are going to wish they were so lucky! The map totes are my favorites…so freaking cute!

    xx Katie

  3. Terri June 30, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Our wedding favors were also part of the centerpieces during the reception – potted mums. We had a fall theme wedding and this fit perfectly. I also love the idea of some sort of food/beverage that relates to the area in which the wedding was held. You have some great ideas here!

  4. Helena - A Diary of Lovely June 30, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    give me some cookies and Kettle chips and I’ll be happy! But if you throw in your silver heart paper weight with YOUR monogram i’ll be in heaven (just kidding!)
    Give me food please!!!!

  5. Johanna June 30, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Argh…you read my mind. Planning the hotel bags myself and I am freaking out about budget for these little gadgets. I want to throw in so much stuff!!

  6. betsy June 30, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    love food and wine as a favor! We live in chicago but our wedding was in the city where we grew up…I wanted to bring a little chicago to the wedding. We had wrigley gum, garretts popcorn, jays potao chips, tootsie rolls etc.. anything made in chicago.:)

  7. Carolyn June 30, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    People almost expect them now….but they are so fun to get and people LOVE them. Lots of people commented on mine…mostly that their husbands ate all of the pistachios, peanut M&Ms and drank the wine! I do think food is the way to go. My sister (a self-taught calligrapher) copied the map idea and we did my save the dates as that…I am a graphic designer and did ANOTHER map (more informative) for the baskets, stickers, labels…you name it. They can be A LOT of work…esp. for destination weddings where there are so many peeps in the hotel. I will offer my services on graphic design for real cheap if you need them…I am living in Austria without a job and learning blog design and dang German! Best of luck!

  8. Jennifer June 30, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Orrrrrrrr some cookies baked with love from Baked Sugar! Those are always a special treat and can even be customized with a cute label and message from the B&G. YAY!

  9. Calley June 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    We had lots of out-of-town guests at our wedding in Seattle. I put together gift bags for their hotel rooms with local food – Tim’s Cascade Potato Chips, Brown and Haley Mountain Bars, Talking Rain sparkling water, and Washington apples. None of the food was very expensive, and to keep costs down I just used kraft paper bags, tied with ribbon in my wedding colors, with a gift tag I made that had “Welcome” stamped on it. The gift tag was pretty large (at least 3×5) so I wrote a personalized note to each guest. For wedding favors we did fudge made in my hometown.

  10. my favorite and my best June 30, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    i didn’t have such things at my wedding. didn’t even cross my mind. but then again the internet was fairly new and no one knew what a blog was. besides..i was afraid no one would show anyway…
    you know how i feel about le macaron….but we both know how well those things hold up with jostling and travel.
    honest opinion? giant waste of time and money. you’re spending shit loads of money already on these fuckers…cake, food, booze….
    nope…take it from someone who’s been there….spend all that extra dough on the honeymoon….you will thank me later..

  11. ashlina July 1, 2010 at 12:53 am

    fun fun fun. wow you are super cool. i wanna be a guest and score a travel book. 😉 hope you are having a great week missy. XOXOXO

  12. Deborah July 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    love everything you’ve suggested above- and those totes!! I don’t think the welcome baskets/boxes need to be ridiculous …it’s just a thought — we did a welcome packet with a note thanking them for coming, an itinerary for the weekend, a map of the island, suggestions of sites to see and places to eat. -We included 3 little bagged treats -that had a meaning to the destination – along with bottled waters.

  13. Izzy July 1, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I love this idea. A wedding I went to recently in the Texas hill country had bags of bluebonnet seeds for each guest- thoughtful, inexpensive, and special! I also love a cheap coozy.. I still use mine from a wedding a year ago.. “To have and to hold, and to keep your beer cold!”

  14. Connie @ Sogni e Sorrisi July 1, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    I love the idea of a welcome basket for destination weddings or out of town guests! That hangover kit is amazing and I love ones that include food, useful items, things that are unique to the place where the wedding is happening or the bride and groom, as well as info about the city, etc.

  15. Ali July 2, 2010 at 8:21 am

    I love this post! This was one of my fav things to put together for the wedding was the out of town bag! we did navy,red and light blue beach pails with water, advil, cape cod potato chips, salt water taffy, lobser lollis, chocolate covered cranberries, shuttle schedule, map of falmouth and our fav restraunts, bars, beaches and activities in the area.

  16. Lynda July 3, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Such great ideas and you have a really fun blog! I’m going to subscribe! Have a happy 4th!

  17. mal July 6, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    love these and looking forward to the actual documentation of everything you’ve chosen for yours! congrats on moving into clifford!

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