The Importance of Welcome Bags for Iceland Weddings

Happy Tuesday Lovelies!

Topic of the week…. Destination Wedding Welcome Bags

When your guests receive that invitation to your epic destination wedding there is a level of excitement that continues to build until your wedding day.  So why not keep up the momentum with destination wedding welcome bags?

In our case, while planning our destination Iceland wedding at Seljalandsfoss, this idea was immediately put into our wedding budget.  We felt that our guests were traveling on average 1,000’s of miles to see us say, “I do” they needed a stunning and fun welcome bag that featured creature comforts, bare necessities, locale flare, and items that would emit positive feelings- like a great marriage!

Our Iceland Welcome Bags included the following items:

  • Gorgeously styled “Welcome to our Wedding” canvas tote bag by Kate Aspen
  • Icelandic tour book, adventure pamphlets, and local Icelandic maps
  • Love Notes Tablet – A small notepad that guests could jot down notes, directions, etc
  • Chapstick with SPF15 (which coined our color theme, wedding date, and wedding logo
  • Sewing Kit
  • An umbrella with a note attached, “In case You Encounter April Showers!”
  • Hot-Hands (2 packs) to ensure our guests would be comfortable during our outdoor ceremony (we were anticipating 40 degree temps)
  • Packets of Advil and Pepto-Bismol – just in case!
  • Tissues: They were wrapped in a tulle case with rhinestone beads in the back.  The front stated, “Tears of Love; Tears of Laughter; Tears of Happily Ever After!”
  • Icelandic Glacial Water with our wedding logo on them.
  • Volcano Wafer Chocolates
  • Draumurs – Icelandic milk chocolate with licorice straw inside
  • Hraunbitar – Lava Bites
  • Icelandic Mints
  • Coffee Singles
  • Rock Candy (to resemble glaciers!)
  • Time Line Card for wedding weekend (see more details below).
  • Pop Rocks and coloring books for the younger guests.
  • Fish Bites!
  • Icelandic Soda
  • Icelandic Chocolates
  • Iceland Hard Candy
  • Iceland Atlas
  • A special greeting and thank you to all of our guests.
  • Please see our Iceland Wedding Photos of our Welcome Bag below (Compliments of Photos by Miss Ann).

The Unique Thought:

Even if you are not holding a destination wedding in the Iceland countryside it is still nice to remember that being thoughtful goes a long way.  Guests appreciate that you have their interest in mind and that you are trying to make the trip flawlessly fun for them.  Give it a little thought as you choose your destination wedding location – what items your guests may need while traveling, find unique/helpful, or make it a more memorable trip!  Guests still tell me how super cute and helpful the canvas tote has been- even 6 months later!

How to Transport:

Since shipping and duties were pretty expensive from Plymouth, Michigan to Iceland we had decided to pack our welcome bag items.  We had put together some of the creature comforts ahead of time and packed them tightly in one of our 5 suitcases.  But bags for 40 guests became a bigger project that we anticipated.  To ensure those items made it to Iceland was an adventure in itself!  Our recommendation: Let a professional handle (had there been an Iceland Wedding Coordinator when we were planning I would have hired her!)  So let Photos by Miss Ann (aka: Iceland Wedding Planner) handle that detail and worry for you!

When to give them out?

Having the welcome bags handed out at the front desk of the hotel is fun so that upon arrival the guests get a piece of home, know what’s going on and when, and have an instant piece of Iceland to try!  But handing them out individually at our Icelandic “welcome dinner” was even more special and added a connection of appreciation to our guests.  PS- Do not forget your Iceland wedding photographer too!  I am sure he/she/they will be gracious enough to receive one and take a photo of your detailed thoughtfulness!

Partner with Wedding Bathroom Basket:

During our welcome dinner and actual wedding reception at Hotel Ranga we had several “Wedding Guest Survival Kits” strategically placed throughout the hotel.  We had things like floss, cold medication, bobby pins, Band-Aids, Hollywood Tape, Wisps, combs, and other esstiantial emergency items!   I think we spent ~ $36 USD per basket but it had a lasting impression on our guests that we managed to think of every last detail.

Do I need a Destination Wedding Timeline Card?

My personal vote is always, yes you do.  There is nothing worse than a guest  saying “I don’t know where to be or what’s going on when.”  The card itself can be simplistic or fancy – professionally printed or on your home printer.  I think they are more critical in a destination wedding weekend than a ceremony program so please do it!  It is better to hand out a message to your guests and a wedding timeline to keep the guests in the know rather than spelling out who is who in the ceremony.

Wedding Agenda How To (Photo example below- compliments of Photos by Miss Ann below):

  1. Card stock is important that weight to the paper allows easy finding by your guests and less chance of it being discarded.  We used Silver Metallic Card Stock 107# which shimmered in the light.  Gorgeous!
  2. Have a 2 sided card designed – the more information to your guests the better!
  3. Front can feature a “Welcome Message” and cutesy timeline for the actual wedding day with images above the times.
  4. Back can be the schedule for the other events or activities that may be planned, a heartfelt wedding thank you from the bride and groom, etc.
  5. Our Iceland Timeline Card provided a little snippet on our “Love Letter Ceremony” we were going to perform during the ceremony so guests would understand the uniqueness.
  6. Once you have thought out what you want contact Pixels to Paper for the actual execution!  Mindy the owner does amazing work – crisp, clean, and only the best materials.  Order 3 months before your wedding date- We ended up having to order more before and after the wedding (for a keepsake) and she got them right out to us!

Local Thoughts:

If your guests are traveling more than 100 miles to your wedding day it is proper etiquette to supply them with a welcome bag if they are staying overnight.  After all, you spent X number of days, weeks, months, or years planning your incredible destination wedding why skimp with the guest details?

The destination wedding photography and details of your day are items that you should never skimp on.  Wedding Planning Advice: Please hire a seasoned destination wedding photographer!  Experience in ever-changing outdoor lighting and attention to detail are traits that are near impossible to find in many and 100% critical in a place like Iceland where weather changes instantly.  In the end, those two things are the only items that will allow you to go back in time and relive your day over and over again and also have your guests list uttering, “That was the wedding of the year!”

I look forward to sharing my next post with you: Alternatives to Sand and Unity Ceremony’s…. The “Love Letter Ceremony”!

Until then, many smiles! – Miss Ann

Thriving on Adventure and Love…

For more information on Iceland wedding photography or Iceland wedding planning please contact me directly here or visit: Photos By Miss Ann.  PBMA is a local & destination wedding photographer located in Plymouth, Michigan but loves and experienced photographing love worldwide.

© 2002-2013, Photos by Miss Ann, All Rights Reserved

One thought on “The Importance of Welcome Bags for Iceland Weddings

  1. Pingback: 20 Tips for Planning Your Iceland Wedding (Part 2 of 2) | Iceland Wedding Planner

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