Your travel-weary guests will absolutely love and appreciate a welcome basket. This sets the tone for your entire event, so if you present guests with something unique when they first walk in the door, they’ll never forget your party. Just make sure that your welcome basket is in line with your theme! Below is a list of practical and simple welcome basket ideas.
Welcome Basket Ideas: Alternative Containers
Not all welcome baskets have to look the same. Here are some creative ways to spruce up the exterior into something fun and exciting.
1. Personalized Gift Bags
Customize each bag with the name of the guest receiving it and thank them or welcome them to your event.
2. Wooden Crates
For a rustic or country look, use wooden crates. You can even personalize the crate with the date of your event or something unique for each guest.
3. Beach Bags
What says beach more than a beach bag? This is a practical option that will get much usage from your guests.
4. Sand Pails
This is great for a beach-themed event and is inexpensive and fun, especially for your younger guests.
5. Picnic Baskets
Encourage your guests to picnic more often by supplying them with their welcome goodies in a picnic basket. This is an excellent option for any outdoor event.
6. Reusable Fabric Bags
Today, many people are concerned about our effect on the environment, so give your guests something reusable. This practical gift is useful for guests and can be used elsewhere as well.
For a garden party or environmental party, give your guests’ gifts in a flowerpot. They can be used later on by the guests too. Find these in bulk at your local garden store or for plastic ones, your local craft store.
This is another practical gift that is useful for your guests, especially if they are going to have time to wander around the town.
9. Ice Buckets
For something unique, stuff goodies into an ice bucket. An ice bucket makes a terrific holder for Champagne or a bottle of wine and glasses for an elegant event.
10. Ceramic Vases
If you are crafty, you can even paint your own vases and give each guest a handmade, personalized vase. Use different colors or patterns to match the event.
A mug full of small items is convenient for people who are short on luggage space. These are easy to fit in a backpack and super useful for those who enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning.
Common Welcome Basket Ideas
Fuel those midnight munchies by giving your guests a few packages of snacks that they can munch on between meals. These can be fun snacks like candy or sweets, but be sure to include other options like granola bars or dried fruit.
13. Wine or Champagne with (plastic) glasses
Include a full bottle of wine or Champagne along with a set of glasses. Depending on the venue, you should use plastic cup options if there is a pool area.
14. Area Information
Are most of the guests unfamiliar with the surrounding area? Include a fun facts sheet or an informational pamphlet about all the local places to explore.
15. Dining Menus
If most of your guests are from out of town, include a variety of different dining menus from local restaurants. If you’ve eaten at the place before, circle your personal recommendations. Include recommendations for restaurants that deliver, casual restaurants, and more upscale restaurants in the area to cover everyone’s preferences.
Give your guests coupons or discounts to local attractions or tours to take in all the location has to offer. Look online or ask the hotel if they have any special deals.
17. Travel Guide
These are free from Visitors Bureaus or Chamber of Commerce. This provides your guests with ideas of extra-local activities they can enjoy. Include a highlighted list and descriptions of your favorite places around the area. Compile a range of different activities that would appeal to all people and age groups.
Practical Welcome Basket Ideas
Guests commonly forget essential toiletry items at home. Set up a little basic toiletries package, such as toothpaste, dental floss, water bottles, razors, shaving cream, nail polish remover, or cotton swabs.
Include practical attire items related to the location of your event. If you’re holding your event in the winter, including gloves, scarves, hand warmers, and thick socks. If you’re planning an event in a warmer climate, including sunglasses, beach hats, and towels.
20. Universal Charger
When going away either on vacation or to an event, people sometimes forget their phone charger at home. Find a universal charger that will charge any device and throw that in the welcome basket.
Activities to include for Adults/Families
21. Crossword Puzzles
Oldie, but a goodie! These puzzles will help pass the time as your guests try to figure out the clues. It offers a relaxing activity that can be done individually or with the help of others.
22. Movie Gift Cards
If your event includes free time for your attendees, provide them with a movie gift card to a large chain in the area. That way, if they don’t use the whole gift card, they can take it home.
23. Delivery Service Gift Cards
A gift card to a local delivery service such as Grubhub or DoorDash would be perfect to include in a gift basket. Not everyone has the time or luxury of going out or making food themselves. A gift card for a delivery service will give them so many options to choose from.
Activities for Kids
24. Travel (magnetic) Games
For kids, it’s all about keeping them preoccupied. These small travel games are great because the pieces magnetize to the board in case you hit a rough patch in the road. There are so many choices like checkers, tic-tac-toe, and more. Find a pack of 12 on Amazon.
25. Coloring Books and Crayons
Give kids a coloring book, which can be found at local craft or general stores that appeals to their age and gender. This is an excellent activity for kids to do while stuck in the hotel room while their parents get ready.
Get a kid-friendly puzzle of the local area to keep them occupied. Consider the ages of the kids and decide on the type of puzzle for them, for example, giving a younger child fewer pieces to put together. For family reunions, you can even get puzzles made from a photograph of the family.
Personalizing the Basket
Now that you’ve addressed some of the necessary items that can be put into a welcome basket, adding a personal touch will help these gifts feel even more special. Guests will feel even more appreciated by the thoughtfulness you added.
27. Representative of You
Fill the welcome basket with items that are meaningful to the celebrant. If you have an outspoken love for cheesy popcorn, throw in a bag of your favorite brand for everyone to try. Additionally, throw in something that your partner loves too to go along with the event.
28. Personalized Gifts
If you are worried about making welcome baskets similar, you can personalize each basket with gifts for that specific person. Don’t be afraid to make baskets entirely different because they can reflect each person’s tastes. Each guest will love how tailored it is.
For family members or friends you may not have seen in a long time, provide some past pictures as a great throwback. Additionally, provide some current pictures of people going to be at the wedding to start the introductions early.
30. Thank You Note
It’s always great to include a personally written note to thank each guest for attending your wedding. This is especially important if the guests had to take time off or fly from far away.
For events taking place in a tourist destination, save your guests some time and hassle of finding souvenirs by picking up some generic ones and placing them in their welcome basket. Suggestions: t-shirts, postcards, magnets, key chains or pens. These all serve as a fun way to introduce them to the event and venue.
Welcome Basket Ideas: COVID-19 Additions
Nowadays, it’s such an undertaking to travel now: Fewer options for leisure, travel restrictions, and more. Adding some COVID-conscious favors in your welcome basket is not only responsible but eases travel-related stress for your guests.
32. Hand Sanitizer or Sanitary Wipes
Filling the basket with hand sanitizer or wipes is not only appropriate but also helps ease the minds of your guests. If your guests stay at a hotel or local bed & breakfast, adding wipes to the baskets comes in handy when staying at a shared space. A fun idea is to customize the container or scent of the sanitizer to match the event!
33. Custom Masks
A daily necessity for the wellbeing of your guests and yourself! Many online retailers are now selling customs masks. You could either print the names of your guest or maybe relevant images. Creating a custom design will not only create unique favors but also keep your guest safe.
34. COVID-19 Guide/Info
If your guests are coming from out of town, making a COVID-friendly guide will help them navigate. This guide could include the policies and COVID-related restrictions in the area, places to eat, what to do, and what should be avoided. This favor is both informative and encourages safety.
35. Gift Cards or Coupons
Due to current events, many outdoor activities, local restaurants, and eateries are closed. Gift Cards or Coupons to some of your favorite places is a convenient favor for the guests. Besides food-related gift cards, you could also share streaming or video gift cards and have a movie night.
Figuring out the best places for your guests to stay is an integral part of creating a fabulous wedding. The welcome baskets will also provide guests with an immediate introduction to the surrounding area, the wedding, and some entertainment. With guests happy and entertained, the party is sure to be a hit. Hopefully these welcome basket ideas have helped you prepare for future guests!
Written by Kasey Dolezal and Brittany Schmidt/CoWritten by Caitlin Connell