Honestly, one of the best parts of traveling to witness the marriage of friends or family members is the wedding hotel welcome bags. After a long flight and the hassle of check in, it’s so nice to dig into a treat bag full of goodies! We especially love when these pre-wedding favors contain special items exclusive to the city we’re visiting. Locally-made snacks, fun facts about the town, and a list of the couple’s favorite hot spots are always appreciated. If you’re looking to welcome your guests in an extra special way while simultaneously giving them a small taste of the city, here are our favorite items for totally kick butt Pittsburgh wedding welcome bags!
- A note from the couple that welcomes them to Pittsburgh and thanks guests for coming
- The weekend’s itinerary, including major event start times and locations, as well as a shuttle departure schedule (PRO TIP: Pad the departure time by 5 minutes to ensure your guests aren’t late. In other words, if the shuttle needs to leave the hotel at 3:30 p.m., tell your guests it’s leaving at 3:25 p.m.)
- A contact phone number in case of emergencies. (PRO TIP: This should NOT be you or your fiance! Delegate this responsibility to a member of the wedding party or your wedding planner.)
- Bottled water. Bonus points for dressing them up with custom labels that coordinate with the rest of your wedding brand!
Made in Pittsburgh Snacks
- Clark bar
- Eat ‘n Park Smiley cookies
- Betsy Ann, Edward Marc, Tabbara, or Sarris chocolates
- Cold-pressed juice from Pittsburgh Juice Company
- Fresh fruit from a local farm or farmer’s market (check out Apple Castle for some surprise varieties of apples!)
- A519 truffles
- Gaby et Jules macarons
- Fresh roasted nuts from George J. Howe Company
- Chapel Valley Honey (we love the cacao honey!)
- Goodies from a well-loved local bakery like Oakmont Bakery or Bethel Bakery
- Bag of Nicholas coffee (PRO TIP: Their Market Square storefront sells small pillow packs that are perfect for the hotel room coffee maker!)
- Snyder of Berlin chips or pretzels
- Enrico’s biscotti
- Pittsburgh Popcorn popcorn (PRO TIP: Buy the bulk bags of popcorn and divvy it up into small cellophane bags for individual servings!)
- Locally brewed beer (just make sure there is a fridge in the hotel rooms!)
- Heinz pickle pin (a VERY inexpensive but SUPER cute inclusion!)
- Miniature bottle of Heinz ketchup
Other Fun Pittsburgh Ideas
- A list of your favorite Pittsburgh restaurants, activities, and attractions, including a description of what makes these places so special!
- A list and description of “Pittsburgh firsts,” or things that were invented or discovered in Pittsburgh, such as the Big Mac, the emoji, and the Polio vaccine!
- Pittsburghese-to-English Dictionary, or a list of words often spoken by native yinzers (slippy, nebby, dahntahn, etc.) and a translation to their actual meaning
Some Things to Keep in Mind!
To make things easier on yourself, only make welcome bags for guests staying at your preferred hotel(s). Otherwise, you would have to find out where every out-of-town guest is staying, which means you could be delivering bags all over town.
Typically, bags contain enough goodies for two guests and you only need to make one bag per room, family or couple. You definitely do not need one per person!
After the reservation cut-off date, ask the hotel to provide you with a list of guests in your room block. But keep in mind that some guests may have booked rooms at the hotel via means other than your room block, like Hotels.com, Travelocity.com, or by using credit card points. While these guests are staying at the hotel, they may not be reflected on the room block list the hotel will provide. If an out-of-town guest isn’t reflected on the list, you may need to reach out to them and find out where they are staying. If it’s at your preferred hotel, ask your contact to add their name to the room block list. They won’t get the room block rate (since they booked their reservation via alternative means), but they’ll at least be on the list to receive a welcome bag.
Many hotels charge a fee for delivering the bags to each room. Because of union regulations, these fees cannot be waived, and can range from $2 to $6+ per bag/room. There is typically no charge, however, to have the bags distributed to guests as they check in. Definitely go this route!
Be sure to discuss delivery of the bags to the hotel in advance. Some hotels will allow you to pull up to their main entrance, unload, and deliver bags to the front desk; others prefer you deliver the bags to the loading dock. It is best if you determine what is preferred ahead of time. You can also find out if the hotel has a dolly or cart that you can use to help unload and carry things.
Don’t forget to collect any extra or unclaimed bags from the hotel after the weekend is over!
Mix and match the above suggestions for a hotel welcome bag that is totally you and completely Pittsburgh! Are you making welcome bags for your guests? What will you include in them? Comment below and let us know!