One item that has been working its way up on my destination wedding to-do
list are the welcome bags. We are planning on giving one bag to each party
(or hotel room), filled with different items that will be useful while down
in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I'm excited to get started on them, but I
want to make sure that every single thing that I include will actually
be useful to our guests. For instance, I've seen several couples in the
past give away embroidered tote bags with their own names on them, and
I always think, "Why would anyone want to carry around a tote bag with
someone else's names on them?" Sure, it's a cute item to use at the wedding,
but then those bags will just make their way to the back of your guests'
closets, never to be seen or heard from again.
My advice? Customize the reusable tote bags with each of your guest's names, or maybe an inside joke, an interesting design or a little something that relates to your wedding location. That way, your guests will get more use out of them after the wedding is over, and it shows them that you put some additional thought into them! If you're not into totes, I think a disposable gift bag works just fine, as well; customized or not.
Some other items that I'm contemplating are:
"Survival Kits" including hand sanitizer, aspirin, tums, band-aids, aloe vera (for sunburns) and lip balm (don't forget the SPF!).
Playing cards, sodoku, crossword and other word puzzles
Pashminas or beach towels
Personalized shot glasses or travel cups (it is Mexico, after all)
Sunscreen and insect repellant
Custom luggage tags and brightly colored pieces of fabric or ribbon to tie onto suitcases for easy spotting at the airport's luggage terminal.
Maps of the area, local travel and activity guides
Welcome packet that includes a schedule of wedding events, guest list (with fun facts to help your guests get to know one another), resort map and contact information. If you're all staying in the same area, you may choose to include a "Where's Waldo?" themed schedule, which invites your guests to come meet you and your fiance at certain places at certain times. i.e. "Come find us poolside between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.!"