Destination Wedding Welcome Bags
Destination Wedding Welcome Bags – A great way to welcome your international guests
By Camilla Hassan
If you’re having a destination wedding with lots of guests travelling from overseas, a nice touch (if budget permits) is to provide welcome bags to help settle them in. After a long flight, what could be nicer than finding a thoughtfully made up bag of goodies from your hosts, showing their appreciation for your travels. Since many brides in the UAE will be inviting guests from their home countries, we have put together our list of ways to give your guests the warmest welcome, and items that will make their stay just that little bit more comfortable.
Airport welcome service:
Why not offer your guests an airport arrival service to welcome them the minute they touch down? Starting from 100aed, Marhaba Services meet, greet and escort guests swiftly through the terminal at Dubai Airport, dealing with any visa issues and immigration. You can even add porter services or a bouquet! This is well worth considering for aged, pregnant or disabled guests.
A cute bag:
The bag containing the goodies can double as a keepsake and carry all for your guests’ trip. A printed canvas bag personalised with your wedding date or a smart gift bag with ribbon, find something pretty that ties in with your theme. There are great bargains to be found at Dragonmart.
A welcome letter:
Print off a friendly welcoming letter thanking invitees for coming such a long way, hand-signed by the bride and groom. Get creative by tying up a scroll with a pretty ribbon or using postcards of the destination.
Avoid guests shelling out on costly international roaming by providing a local SIM card pre-loaded with credit. One per couple should suffice and enables everyone can stay in touch during the wedding weekend. Make sure to jot down the numbers of each SIM that goes into the gift bag and save them in your phone. You can even write everyone’s numbers in the contact sheet.
You want your wedding organisation to be a well-oiled machine not a scrambled mess of guests going AWOL or turning up to the wrong hotel. Create a sheet with key numbers on for the bride, groom and bridal party that guests can call for help or advice.
Something to nibble on:
If your guests’ last meal has been airplane food, they will love you for providing a little snack upon their arrival. Think bags of crisps, nuts, a small cake or fruit. Make sure the item is non-perishable, properly sealed and packaged against leaks, and is easy to eat (that’s no to the kiwi fruits then…)
Quench their travel-induced dehydration by providing a few small bottles of water or other drinks. Their hotel will most likely provide some too, but extra beverages will always be appreciated by guests who are experiencing their first UAE desert climes. You can even place personalised labels on the bottles.
Maps and tourist info:
Chances are your friends and family will combine their wedding attendance with a cheeky holiday. Provide leaflets and info about the local area, getting around, good restaurants and maps. The local tourist office will happily give you a stack of leaflets, and the local taxi number is always a good idea.
Getting married on the beach? Flip flops, small tubes of sun cream or some pretty shells will help guests get into the spirit of the wedding. Opting for a desert wedding? Sand jars with your guests’ names or a frankincense scented candle will evoke the Arabian theme.
It’s those little forgotten items that can make all the difference to your guests and saves them a trip to the overpriced hotel gift shop. A few plasters, a strip of painkillers, chewing gum, bug spray and mini fans are all great things to include.
Welcome your guests with something representative of the destination. In the UAE think small packets of dates, camel’s milk chocolate or Arabic pastries.
Let your guests take home a memento of your wedding and the country they’ve visited, whether that’s a fridge magnet, shisha tobacco, small gold trinkets or traditional ghutras.
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