Q: Am I obligated to leave Welcome Baskets in all of my guests hotel rooms? Only a few guests are staying in a hotel and I don't want to give them something that the other guests aren't getting because we appreciate them coming an equal amount.
A: There are no rules about giving guests Welcome Baskets. Most guests won't enter their hotel rooms and immediately search for a gift from you, but it's certainly a nice surprise that will make them feel appreciated. The theory behind a Welcome Basket is to thank those guests who traveled and put in the extra effort and expense to get to your wedding. They generally spend and sacrifice more than your local guests. Some have to take extra days off of work, drive long distances, or pay for airfare.
Destination Weddings are a whole different ball game. All of your guests are making huge sacrifices to get to your wedding, so you should make them feel extra special and appreciated when they arrive. Some "must haves" for a destination welcome basket: itinerary of any activities that the hotel is offering and local attractions, itinerary of any activities that you have set up for your guests, a map of the area, important phone numbers, and some special local items. Getting married in Hawaii? Include some Kona Coffee or Macadamia Nuts. Getting Married in Ireland? Include miniature umbrellas. Getting married in the islands? Include sunscreen and flip flops. Getting married in Napa? Include wine from a local vineyard.
A Welcome Basket doesn't need to be something that breaks your budget. It can be as simple or elaborate as you'd like. It's important to theme the basket in some way. It doesn't need to be an exact replica of your reception, but it should tie into your big day or you as a couple in some way. Remember to include a personal note from you and your fiance thanking your guests once again.
A new twist on this idea? Have some comfort food delivered to guest rooms during your wedding, so it's waiting for them when they come back. Some ideas we're loving? Milk and cookies. Hot cider and donuts. Warm robes and bubble bath.
Get creative! Your guests will absolutely appreciate the extra effort you put forth to thank them.