After a long journey, guests may be itching for some comforts of home as they check into their hotels. A few ideas for tokens of appreciation:

By Real Simple
Updated December 22, 2009
fandango and ticket stub
Credit: Don Penny
  • A handsome tin of tea in an inexpensive teacup and saucer and a handwritten note are thoughtful during the chilly months.
  • Gift certificates to a local theater or a movie cineplex if there are no wedding-related events planned for the evening before the wedding. Go to,, or to order gift cards or download certificates you can print out.
  • A paperback book written by a local author and a bottle of sunscreen arranged in a straw hat for sitting by the pool.
  • A small gift bag filled with items that represent highlights of the couple’s courtship. For example, one New York City bride marrying a Brit tucked an apple, Wrigleys gum, water, and nuts into a bag with a key describing what each item represented: A body of water had separated them for decades, until they met in the Big Apple and realized they were nuts about each other. They wed in Chicago, home of Wrigley Field.
  • On a similar note, turn the welcome-basket into a fun activity and challenge guests to identify the significance of the items in the box. You can even throw in a personalized couple-themed crossword puzzle for guests who might have plenty of pre-wedding downtime (or a long flight back home).
  • Record a humorous welcome video and burn it on discs for each guest.
  • Include local delicacies (pralines in New Orleans, for example) and tchotchkes (an “I Do” doll as opposed to a VooDoo doll), along with (free) pamphlets from your local Chamber of Commerce noting sites to check out in the area.
  • Create a playful genealogy-inspired chart noting who’s who at your wedding. Guests will have fun studying up before the big event. (Check out for inspiration.)
  • No, you may not be getting hitched in Vegas, but why not create a “We’re so LUCKY to have you here” package that includes a lottery ticket? Or replace the word “LUCKY” with “FORTUNATE” and include a few fortune cookies in a plastic takeout box that reflects your color scheme.
  • Skip the basket idea and instead greet guests with a simple bottle of local wine with a playful note tied around the neck. Try “Here’s to a grape weekend.”