You finally have everything in order for your dream Tuscan wedding. The plans are set, the invitations are mailed… now you have a moment to think about the little touches that really make your guests feel welcome. Why not have a little something waiting on them after the long trek to Tuscany? A Welcome Bag can be just the thing to help them get settled in and ready for the festivities. There are as many ideas for Welcome Bags as there are stars in the sky, but here are some of our tried and true ideas to make your own.
Picture Perfect packaging FOR YOUR WELCOME BAG
These days it is all about reducing your environmental footprint, so don’t settle for any old bag; get creative! You cannot go wrong with brown, craft paper bags. They are environmentally responsible, recycled/ recyclable and easy to personalize. You can add ribbons, stamps or stickers with your names, even tie on a little olive branch if you want to add a little bit of Tuscany to your bags. Another option that is very popular is customize, reusable cloth bags or totes. Nowadays, there are so many customizable websites out there, you can upload your exact specifications and only print out the exact number you need. This makes a fun, reusable souvenir that packs down and is easy to transport.
Don’t forget the details
Since this is a “Welcome Bag”, after all, you will want to make sure to include a little welcome note to your guests thanking them for traveling to Tuscany and helping you celebrate. It is always a great idea to include an itinerary for events – especially if your celebration spans multiple days. This can help cut down on unneeded texts and phone calls from well-meaning friends and family trying to remember the agenda or details. Another great addition is a map of the villa or venue so everyone will be sure to be at the right place at the right time. Other items to include could be the phone number of a local taxi or the reception desk of the villa.
Here are some ideas for building your perfect Wedding Welcome Bags!
General Welcome bag
The General Welcome Bag is quite easy to arrange and pull together since it is usually filled with useful items that are readily available from most stores or easily ordered. You will want to have a mix of useful items, things your guests might not have remembered to pack and a little something personal from you two to really show your gratitude. Things to include: water and snack, candies, mints or gum, tissues, stain stick, relaxing eye mask, hand sanitizer or lotion, a hand fan, on-theme keepsake (little ceramics, bottle stopper, corkscrew, etc). If you would like to add a “touch of Tuscany”, consider adding: handmade soap, a local wine or beer, olive oil, limoncello or grappa or even some local honey or marmalade.
“Taste of Italy” bag
Looking for something even more fun? Unique Events in Tuscany has pioneered über-Italian welcome kits! What better way to welcome your family and friends than by having a fun ‘make-it-yourself’ Italian treat waiting on them when they arrive. Whether it is “deconstructed tiramisu”, vin santo and cantucci, a bruschetta snack or whatever your heart desires… we offer cute, fun and filling treats for those that have traveled a long way to be with you for your special celebration. We try to pack everything your guests might need in one cute, little bag and offer a hilarious “How to…” instruction kit for each one! Have another fun idea you would like to see? Let us know! We custom make everything and can get just about any ingredient you need. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Helpful Hangover Bag
The trusty Hangover bag has become very popular as of late, and for good reason. While it is never intended, sometimes these things are (somewhat) unavoidable. (But go ahead and blame it on jet-lag. We won’t tell! Haha) Odds are you and your guests will probably celebrate and dance until the wee hours of the night and may event greet the sun as it rises. This can make a long day-after a bit uncomfortable unless you plan accordingly. Often guests do not plan to pull an ‘all nighter” or pack accordingly. This can really save the day… especially if you have a pool party or brunch planned for the day after. Things to include: water or electrolytes, a snack, something for a headache*, mint/ gum, eye drops, antacid, lip balm, hand sanitizer and maybe even a little “hair of the dog”!
Perfect for the Pool Party
A growing trend we have seen is couples throwing a day-after pool party. Usually these are fun, relaxed and super casual events. Since everyone will have been up to all hours of the morning singing, dancing and drinking… a nice relaxing brunch by the pool may be just what the doctor ordered. However, packing pool essentials might not be at the forefront of everyone’s mind, plus, a lot of the items, don’t exactly pack well. Consider a souvenir “beach bag” with a personalized towel or bath sheet with the you wedding details embroidered or printed on it. Add a cheap pair of flip-flops or sunglasses, and of course… don’t forget the sunscreen! You’ve got you pool party bags ready to go! Other things to include: water or electrolytes, a snack, (did I mention…) sunscreen, SPF lip balm, aloe packets, a customized drink holder or sleeve (aka “coozie”). Don’t forget to ship your pool floats, rafts and beach balls ahead of your arrival – they are heavier than you think!
something special for the kids
If you are expecting little ones at your celebration, perhaps having special bags for them, with lots of little things to keep them occupied, just might be the thing! There are lots of options to create these bags on a budget. Nearly every kiddo I know, regardless of age, enjoys drawing, so consider a pad and markers for older kids or coloring books and crayons or pencils for the smaller ones. Throw in a set of bubbles, maybe a few sweet treats and even a small plush toy! Keeping little ones entertained through a long Italian dinner can be a challenge, so get creative! Things to include: Paper, puzzle books or coloring books, crayons, pencils/ pens or washable markers, bubbles, stickers, balloons, snack or candy and a plush toy.
These are just some rough ideas to get you started on this fun little project. They are the perfect way to welcome your guests and show them your gratitude for making the trip. Odds are, it will be a long trip for most to get to Tuscany, so take a moment to stop and think about what would make you feel welcome. Having friends and family willing and able to travel to a wedding is a true gift that not everyone is lucky enough to have. Welcome them warmly with open arms, raise a glass and let the festivities begin! If you need a hand creating your welcome bags or are interested in our custom “Taste of Italy” welcome bags, please contact us for more information!
*** Most of the above listed items are easy to find in most stores or can be delivered by an online retailer. However, over-the-counter medicines (think ibuprophen or acetaminophen individual packets) do not exist here and customs does not care for importing medicines – so plan and pack accordingly.