The Best Food Ideas for Wedding Welcome Bags

How to create a welcome gift that speaks your style and will sustain your guests all weekend long.

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June 23, 2022
Close-up view of an open plastic bag of candy on a white background. Unhealthy food. Ideal product to give as a gift at a birthday party.


Close-up view of an open plastic bag of candy on a white background. Unhealthy food. Ideal product to give as a gift at a birthday party.

Photo by: Israel Sebastian/Getty Images

Israel Sebastian/Getty Images

Meet your expert, a gal who got married a month ago and who’s been to more than 30 weddings all over the globe. I have a hot take: food-filled wedding welcome bags are the best kind of welcome bags. Rations for enhancing your guests’ experience all weekend long > the seashell, keychain, bottle opener or mug that’s monogrammed with your wedding date. Plus, food treats are often less expensive and take up more space in welcome bags, making them feel brimming and luxurious. Here, a roundup of different ideas for stuffing.

1. Personalized Sweet and Salty Snacks

If you’re getting married at a destination, it will feel special to include treats from local businesses. Maybe the region is known for a specific type of cookie, salt water taffy, maple syrup, brittle, chocolate, popcorn, etc. Go to some local stores/bakeries and scope out the treats they sell, then stuff them in your welcome bags to give guests a taste of local flavor. Another idea? Creating snack or candy bags that include with each of your favorite treats — and a note letting your guests know! Salty and sweet nibbles are great for people to nosh on late night when the drinks have set in. When in doubt? I’ve found that people go crazy for regular old drugstore sour candy, especially when it’s nostalgic — from the era when all of your friends grew up. Buy some inexpensive individual packets, stuff them in and call it a day.

2. An Energizer

People will be tired, especially if they’ve traveled to your wedding and have participated in late nights and lots of merriment. Ensure everyone is wide awake by stashing cold brew cans or clean energy drinks in their welcome bags.

3. Fresh Fruit

After a few days of drinking and heavy eating, fresh produce will feel like pure wellness and luxury. This is one of those categories that you will need to customize based on where you’re getting married and the season. To find the local good stuff, head to any local market and scoop up one or two pieces of ripe (and easy to eat) fruit for your guests. You even could buy gourmet fruit from a retailer like Harry & David, which makes each piece of fruit feel special by wrapping it in colored foil – or you could totally DIY with your own fruit and colored foil (we’ll never tell).

4. A Hangover Helper

Many of your guests won’t have the foresight to pack hangover cures like recovery drinks or Advil, and they may or may not have time to go out and buy some in pinch. This category is functional and thoughtful; everyone will have more fun when they’re feeling their best.

5. A (Possibly Homemade) Snack Bar

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Snack bars are a practical way to make sure people never feel hungry. Trader Joe’s has many tasty options, as does Amazon, obviously. Feel free to even add a whole made touch by baking and packaging a batch of snack bars. People say to never bake your wedding cake, but I’m pretty sure this age-old wisdom does not apply to snack bars, which are a low-lift and can be made in advance (a win-win way to flex your baking muscles for everyone to see). Check out Food Network Kitchen’s Fully-Loaded Snack Bars, No-Bake Healthy Strawberry-Almond Cereal Bars and Apricot Sesame Energy Bars (pictured above) for inspiration.

6. The Stationery

In addition to the food, you’ll want to remember to slide a printed copy of the weekend’s schedule in each bag for guests to reference quickly. There are many beautifully designed, polished, inexpensive options for purchase online, especially on Etsy. And if you really want to go above and beyond? Write a quick hand-written welcome note for each bag on custom stationary.

7. The Bags

Yep, you could shell out on personalized tote bags. But there are other creative options that could save money and be more useful to your guests, whom, let’s face it, might not actually want to carry a tote bag with your names on it to the grocery store. Instead, consider using handmade paper bags, which are lightweight and bougie and might just tempt your guests to repurpose them for gifting. We love the ones from Etsy, below, which come with dried flowers pinned on the side. Or lean into the food theme of your welcome bags and pack them in cotton fishnet market totes, perfect for future trips to the farmer’s market (and so European-chic).

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