A welcome idea

Are you planning a spa visit before the wedding?

I love the idea of a welcome or hospitality basket which as especially great for out-of-town guests. This is becoming popular and I find it thoughtful and, well, welcoming!

Imagine arriving for a wedding weekend, checking into your hotel room, and finding a basket or more likely, a nice bag of some kind. It is filled with little useful items and tips for your stay. What should be in such a welcome bag?

Number one: include directions to the wedding, a map, and itinerary. If there’s a spa or golf event planned you certainly have to include those details. All the events of the weekend as well as suggestions for free time can be listed in many ways. A booklet or simply a piece of paper; be as creative or simple as you wish.

If there is golf involved – some tees or golf balls could go in the bag, if there is a spa involved, flip-flops for those pedicures are perfect.

Books or magazines are useful. Publications about the local area, local history, or guidebooks are perfect. In our area we have Local Flair, This Week in the Poconos, and this very newspaper, of course, which puts out seasonal guides. Puzzle books or humorous books are great to have during inevitable down time.

Throw in a few snacks, again especially if they have a local twist. In our community we have candy and pretzel makers. If its summer, it makes sense to include sunscreen. And any local souvenir makes a great keepsake, such as a baseball cap or t-shirt. For adult couples a scented candle for the room, or even a bottle of wine, sets a romantic tone.

I don’t recommend giving anything with your initials, name or the date of your wedding. Honestly, this isn’t something people probably will want to use again. I know when you are caught up in the details of your big day its easy to forget that. Rather than a cap that says ‘The Smith Wedding,’ try ‘The Lost Weekend in the Poconos,’ or a nice design of some kind.

If welcome bags aren’t in the works, what about morning-after gift bags? These need not be limited to out-of-towners – it works for everyone. You could put together aspirin or other painkiller, a power bar or muffin, sunglasses or eye-mask, water bottle, and a coffee gift certificate. Instead of the itinerary include a list of local coffee shops and breakfast places.

The little personal touches help make your wedding a memorable and fun experience for your guests.

Thank you Lisa Rhinehart for the wonderful photograph

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An appropriate puzzle book for your welcome bag.

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