After a flight, an airport (or two) and a taxi ride, who doesn’t love a little pampering? You can kick off your guests’ WOW destination wedding experience in Mexico with these 11 essentials for your welcome bags!
1. A Bag.
This may seem obvious, but I’ll say it anyway. You need a bag, people. The other 10 essentials need a home, and the options are endless as you all know via a simple google search – personalized, canvas, paper, woven, recyclable. You get the picture.
My authentic Mexico pick: bright colorful market bags! They are inexpensive, come in different sizes and are perfect for carrying wet towels (and other goodies) to and from the pool. The first and most important of the 10 essentials!
2. Welcome Message + Itinerary.
Include important information about events, locations, transport times and even remind guests of dress code! Don’t forget contact information for you or your lead person so guests know who to contact in the event something important happens . . . like they lose their flip flops at the pool (Destination Wedding Travel Tyke Syndrome). Finally, don’t forget to include a little hi, welcome and Thank You for being here message!
3. Headache + Tummy Meds.
I may be stating the obvious, but I’d bet that more than a few guests will have a headache the day after your wedding bash. Give them some Tylenol so they can get to brunch. And let’s be honest, it doesn’t hurt to include supplies for the tummy.
The old stories of Montezuma’s revenge are SO out, but there’s a lot of quesadillas and cocktails goin’ down, and sometimes the stomach just needs some extra help when breaking out of its normal healthy habits. These meds tend to be more expensive in Mexico, so think about buying some travel packets at home and popping them in your suitcase to bring with you.
Even if you are staying at a round-the-clock all-inclusive resort, there will be a moment (most often at 2am) when you just need some snack supplies, and waiting for room service is just not gonna cut it.
Include an old favorite – a bag of Cheetos or some salted popcorn (whatever floats your boat) – and balance it with something new – maybe some chili-dusted dehydrated mango or Takis!
Just stay away from chocolate delights; they melt in the heat before they ever make it into the mouth!
My authentic Mexico pick: sweet roasted nuts (nueces garapinadas). So delicious and made locally!
5. Antibacterial gel.
Of the 11 essentials for welcome bags, this one is non-negotiable. Know that the bacteria in a foreign country is no better or worse than the everyday bacteria you face at home, but it IS different. Your immune system simply isn’t prepped for every little bug you may meet in Mexico, and if you’re planning to be snacking on chips and guac (which we all know you are), your hands need to be clean. Enough said.
Most of your guests may still question the water situation in Mexico, and let’s be honest. Bottled is best. Stick a bottle or two of water in the bag so they can refill and go!
I don’t think I have to remind you how important hydration is when spending lazy days in the Mexico sun! If you’re not picky about water, you can buy the bulk bottles at Costco. And if you want to be really cute, order customized labels and wrap them around the bottles for a total Wow.
7. Map and City Guide.
Always provide guests with a simple map and points of interest around town – restaurants, museums, clubs, tours – whatever works for your group. The easy way? Grab some maps and/or city guides from the tourist office of your destination. The creative way for the extra-achieving DIYers? Create your own with a designer!
8. Deck of Cards.
This very well may be a subjective pick. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do right now than lay around the pool with a cocktail kicking someone’s butt at a game of Scabby Queens.
Ok. Truth: I have no idea what Scabby Queens is, but I wanted to sound young and hip and a quick google search tells me that you cool, hip people are playing that. Is that true? Anyway, order customized decks of cards and scabby-queen-it-up around the pool! Its a fun, small item for guests to take home and keep on using as well!
9. Coin Satchels.
I LOVE these. Ever get home from a trip and find you have more pesos in your pockets than pennies? Help your guests keep their spare change separated and readily available as they peruse the market stalls! They are also great for stashing other supplies . . . like the headache meds just in case!
My authentic Mexico pick: embroidered coin clutches from Chiapas!
This really only applies to you if your Mexico wedding is scheduled from December through February when late-nights and early mornings can be chilly! I love including a neutral-toned pashmina in the ladies’ bags so they can wear those cute sundresses even when the temps dip low for Mexico!
I mean, really. Are you actually even in Mexico if the welcome committee doesn’t include this iconic beverage?
My authentic Mexico pick: Individual Don Julio bottles, and I just can’t think of a reason NOT to include them!
A couple extra notes.
Sunglasses and sunscreen are almost always at the top of my clients’ list of must-haves, but at the bottom of mine.
I suggest staying away from the gimmicky sunglasses because, aside from a fun Instaphoto moment, guests will wear their own designer shades, and your creative investment just won’t make the debut you were hoping for.
Honestly, any guest who plans to wear sunscreen will undoubtedly bring their own. I see so many travel size sunscreens tossed aside! Scrap the Banana Boat investment and focus on the 11 essentials for welcome bags listed here!
Mexican Fiesta Cookies
If you need a really special extra, why not try these amazing Mexican Fiesta cookies?! Guests love them, and they are a perfect way to set the fiesta mood! These cookies can be ordered simply by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org. They are sold by the dozen and cost $22usd/dozen.
Your guests will feel pampered and pumped for their destination wedding experience!