Friday, July 6, 2007

Guests: Welcome Basket Ideas

Welcome baskets really are a great treat for your out-of-towners and they don’t have to be extravagant or expensive. Some things that are useful and universally appreciated by your guests:
  • Local maps
  • Entertainment section of the local paper
  • List of phone numbers/addresses/email of anyone they may need to contact during their stay.
  • Schedule of events and directions to the meeting places if you’re coordinating any activities for them.
  • Recommendations for local pubs, restaurants, and sights.
  • Bottle of water for each person, or juice boxes for kids.
  • For anyone with wine makers in the family, add a small bottle of wine and a couple plastic champagne cups.
  • Snack for each person (cookies, chocolates, local specialties, Cheese and Crackers snacks, granola bars)
  • Menus from local restaurants
  • A list of taxi and car services, including phone numbers
  • Brochures for local amusements
  • Directions to the nearest same-day dry cleaners (accidents happen)
  • Local sources for fax, email, and FedEx (work doesn't always stop because you get married)
  • Driving instructions from hotel to wedding location and back again
  • Something for any children expected to be in the room.
  • Something special to your region. Is there anything made in your host town or something particular to it? Include that as a little token/souvenir. Check your local tourist booth or city hall for any promotional items from the region.
Instead of a basket, you could put these into a simple gift bag, tie it with ribbon, and enclose a personal note of welcome.
For coffee lovers (make sure the hotel includes coffee makers in the rooms) gather small coffee samples, biscotti (or something) and flavored cream in a basket. Include some mints and the map and you have a great welcome basket.
Another idea for chocolate lovers is to gather some Hersey kisses and wrap in a cello bags with coordinating ribbon. Then add some homemade brownies or chocolate chip cookies. Tie bag / basket with ribbon or add a bow.