Friday, October 22, 2010

Welcome Bags Set The Stage For Your Event!

Photo Courtesy of Favors and Flowers
Welcome bags a/k/a hospitality bags are a lovely way to embrace family and friends who have traveled from afar, to attend your celebration. They set the tone for the fabulous festivities you have planned for your guests. So, it's important to put some creativity into the design. 

Photo Courtesy of Southern Weddings

Yes, it's true. There's just no way around it. Welcome bags do make an impact, but I wouldn't stress about them. I see the eyes rolling! Easier said than done, right? Wrong! Simply plan in advance by using my guide for success.

3 - 4 Months Prior

Choose the Style, Color, Theme, Etc. of Welcome Bags and Tissue Paper
Searching for canvas totes? I suggest Lands' End. For beautiful paper bags in all shapes and sizes and tissue paper in every hue you can imagine,  I love shopping online at  Nashville Wraps!

Photo Courtesy of Unbeatable Sale
Create a List of  Perishable and NonPerishable Items 
I usually include Bottled Water, Individual Bags of Chips, Pretzels, Cookies,Chocolates, Peanuts, Bananas, Apples, Granola Bars, Breath Mints (A must when I'm shopping for client's and always a hit!), Theme Items, Etc.

Having a beach themed event? Why not add suntan lotion, a bright beach towel, inflatable ball,  flip flops, etc. Expecting guests with young children? How about supplying  Uno game cards, crayons or colored pencils, coloring books, Mad Libs and puzzles.
2 - 3 Months Prior

Order Bags and Tissue Paper
Estimate and count anyone that might attend...then add a few to the final number, in case of that last minute addition or a bag  ruined in transit.

Order Custom Gift Tags/Labels
Customizing is a popular way to make a chic statement, without spending a ton of money. Remember to use good quality paper if printing these yourself. Check out wiskergraphics. This company allows you to format your text with their graphics and then print your gorgeous creations at home or the office!

Order Custom Water Bottle Labels
This is a personal preference, but one I feel is worth the money. Search for vendors offering a multitude of shapes, sizes and styles.

Photo Courtesy of Mitzvah-licious

1-2 Months Prior

Compose  A Short Welcome Letter
It's customary to include a short note welcoming and thanking people for taking the time out of their busy schedules to attend your event.

Create A Weekend Itinerary
Guests want to know where and when they have to be someplace. When prepared in advance, it alerts the host to any potential scheduling  issues and gives them ample opportunity to make changes. See the adorable example below for inspiration.

Photo Courtesy of Lori Decter Wright and Project Wedding
Visit Your Local AAA Office
If the schedule allots for guests to have time to themselves during their stay, maps and brochures for popular city sites are a must. AAA offices around the country make them available to members free of charge.

Purchase Labels and/or Gift Tags
If printing these yourself, make sure to order more than you think you'll need. If a mistake happens, they'll be no need to worry. 

Photo Courtesy of tinyprints
3 - 4 Weeks Prior

Purchase Paper For Welcome Letter
Order online or find a specialty paper store in your area. Once again, always order more than you think is needed...just in case! The Paper Mill Store or paper and more! offer huge selections at great prices.

Print Labels and/or Tags
If printing them yourself, give enough time for mishaps. If you find you've taken on more than you can handle, there's still time to hire a printing professional in your area to take the pressure off your hands.

Shop for NonPerishable Items
Set aside anything you buy together in a cool, dry place away from pets, small children and direct sunlight. 

Request Help for Delivery of Hospitality Bags
The week leading up to an event is hectic. Ask a trustworthy friend or relative to deliver hospitality bags to the hotel.

Photo Courtesy of Project Wedding
2 Weeks Prior

Finalize Welcome Letter to Guests 
Print letter, sign each one and set aside with the nonperishable items. Why? Trust me, I've heard horror stories of letters being misplaced by people. Keep everything together!

Assemble Hospitality Bags
If fashioning a large number of bags, why not invite a few friends over for an "Stuffing Soiree?" Gab with the girls, sip a glass of wine, while organizing welcome bags! Once completed, set the bags if possible in the same area the non-perishables were stored. Have your designated friend or family member deliver the bags to the hotel the night before your guests arrive.

The Week of The Event

Shop for Perishable Items
No one enjoys spoiled fruit! Choose fruits that stay fresh longer, like apples, bananas and oranges. Place them in the hospitality bags no earlier than the day they are to be delivered to the hotel. 

Confirm Procedure with Hotel for the Delivery and Distribution of  the Welcome Bags
Find out which staff member will be responsible for accepting and storing the hospitality bags once they arrive at the hotel. Bags should be clearly marked with the individual, family or couple's name. This provides the hotel's staff guidance at check-in. A host can also stop by the front desk to view who hasn't arrived and/or didn't receive their treats upon arrival.
Photo Courtesy of Project Wedding and Navy and Lavender

Happy Entertaining!


1 comment:

  1. I love that you suggested a timeline for the creation process to role smoothly. Thank you!