Tropical Wedding Welcome Gift and DIY Treat Bags

By Kelli Hall, Minted Event Stylist

For my sister’s wedding in Panama, I crafted a tropical welcome gift for her guests: Complete with little details unique to the couple and paper goods to celebrate their beach destination. We included fun Latin-themed pieces like a Spanish phrase card, found creative ways to tackle the hurdle of stuffing all the boxes in my carry-on and even managed to add in a treat from their beloved dogs who stayed stateside. Check out my post for more on the process and a quick diy for mini treat bags…

Because this was an international destination wedding, I had to be thoughtful and realistic about the items to pack and carry. This is where paper became a big focus of the gift (It’s flat and perfect to carry). I looked for creative ways for paper goods to function in the set: Magnets as trip mementos, Invite add-ons as Spanish phrase cards and notebooks as a travel journal.

For the food, I kept things small and emphasized presentation with special packaging and luxe favor boxes.

To get all of these items on the airplane, I pre-assembled all mini food packages and packed them in the bottom of my suitcase with white paper shred. The outer boxes were collapsible, so I layered these, along with all printed items at the base of my suitcase. We got through one layover and customs with no problem. When I got to panama, I simply filled the boxes and delivered them to the concierge.

Minted destination wedding welcome gift, wildflower journal, shades save the date, palm invite The welcome gift contents were neatly layered and tucked in a modern glossy box. I used these folding collapsible containers with a magnetic closure flap and solid construction so they feel substantial, but unlike most rigid boxes, these will fold flat and pop up in seconds.

journals, magnets and treat bags For a box embellishment, I repurposed these Palm invitations and accessory cards as labels. I wrapped a ribbon around the box flap and affixed an “important numbers” card on the interior. The card contained contact info for the wedding coordinators and the resort’s concierge.

minted welcome box On the outside of the box, I used the Palm wedding invitation as a box tag. It has a beautiful palm tree illustration to greet guests in style (and it lays perfectly flat, so there’s no fussy or dangly items to get bent or torn).

shades invite, wildflower journal, hand delivered place cards

The contents included a brightly patterned notebook, styled with a spanish greeting on the front and a little note on the inner flap suggesting it could be used as a travel journal. Given our tropical locale, I desperately wanted to include sunglasses, but I knew they would be a nightmare to pack, so I found a creative alternative: I repurposed a save the date magnet with illustrated sunglasses, intended to be a keepsake reminder of the event (and a gift sure to get more use than plastic shades!)

Minibook as a weekend itinerary

A weekend itinerary is an absolute must for a destination wedding, especially when you’re out of the country. Since most of the guests couldn’t connect with a cell phone, we slipped one of these in each box. The mini book includes a welcome message from the couple, along with a schedule of weekend events, list of resort activities and restaurant details. For photos, I used some resort pics I snapped when we visited the property last summer.

Spanish phrase card for wedding welcome gifts

I love the idea of phrase card tucked in a welcome gift. Because this event was in Panama, I created a little card with some handy Spanish expressions for guests to use—But you don’t need an international destination incorporate this idea. It could work just as well for a travel themed wedding  (listing the words “love” or “cheers” in multiple languages), Or if you’re native tongue is Spanish, you could include it as a playful nod to your heritage.

Wedding favor from couple's dogs: edible gumball tennis balls

One of my absolute favorite details of the set were these tennis ball-shaped gumballs! Amanda and Justin adore their two boxers, and because they couldn’t be there, I devised a little treat as a gift from their beloved babies: A little box of tennis ball shaped goodies, complete with a pic and message from Maya and Zita (the gum balls even have a powdered coating, so they look felted). It was the next best thing to a slobbery game of catch with the girls! To create the message card, I ordered these Funfetti business cards, added a pic of the pooches and slipped them in the side of the gum ball box.

wedding welcome box To pack the boxes, I layered all of the paper items on the left (with the boldest prints and bright colors on the top of the stack). I tucked the treat bags on the right of the paper, and filled any spaces with white shred.

Wedding welcome gift treat bags with Minted hand delivered place cards

These Hand Delivered place cards are perfectly sized for mini treat bag labels. l. I ordered a total of 60 place cards, and using the name customizer, created 20 of each of the following styles: Jalapeño almonds, plantain Chips, and dark chocolate. Check out the steps below for a rundown on the simple assembly.

Place card treat bag diy

Step 1:  Start with any style Minted place cards and customize the wording for your contents. For these bags, I’ve used the flat place card version. You can also use a fold-over style too, but I prefer the less bulky look of the single layer tag.
Step 2: Measure out a pinch of the treat for your bag. For bigger items like plantains, I’ve used about 8-10 pieces. For the smaller items like chocolate chips or almonds, I’ve found that 2-2 1/2 tablespoons fills the bag well. Check out my tips below for some of the considerations I use in picking food for welcome gifts.
Step 3 and 4: Place the food in the cellophane bag. For these treat bags, I’ve used these 3×4 inch cello bags.
Step 5: Fold over the top quarter inch of the bag. You can use a small bit of adhesive tape if you like, but I just pinch the fold and hold it until its secured.
Step 6: Line up the place card with the top of the bag fold and pinch one side with your fingers.
Step 7: While holding the tag in place, add two staples at either side of the card. This will attach the card to the cello bag and seal the contents inside. One of the reasons I love this card design is that the decorative border acts as a placement guide to keep the staples in a single line.
Step 8: The treat bag is complete! Lay them on a flat surface or stack to store.

minted wildflower journal, shades invite, hand-delivered placecard

wedding welcome box contents

To create your own welcome box, use the following items:

Palm invitations for box labels Minted

Palm accessory cards Minted

Wildflower journal Minted

Shades save the date magnet Minted

Field Minibook Minted

Fiesta Folk Art accessory card Minted

Funfetti business cards Minted

Hand Delivered place cards Minted

Melon stripe washi tape Minted

Peach ribbon Minted

White collapsible box Freund

White paper shred Nashville Wraps

Clear cello bags Amazon

Tennis ball gumballs (a FIVE pound bag!) Amazon

Plantain chips Amazon

Almonds and chocolate Publix

• Get creative with the food. I like to find affordable treats and make them feel special by how they’re styled, not by what you spend. Look for grocery store candies, savory snacks, dried fruit and trail mix and repackage them to make them feel expensive.
• When planning your munchies, keep it small and simple. Also look for foods that will hold up in your packaging. Because panama is a humid destination, I looked for nuts, chocolates and plantains knowing they wouldn’t absorb moisture during the trip and become stale like a chip or cracker.

Find more of Kelli on her blog.

  1. Amanda

    so lucky to have you as my sister and, as always, you did an amazing job on our welcome boxes. everyone loved them!

  2. Amanda

    I love this!! Brilliant!

  3. Kate

    How have I only just discovered this blog! So many wonderful ideas – thank you for sharing!

    Kate xx