No one in our family lives here in Arizona, a sad fact that I still haven’t accepted despite moving here more than a decade ago. Not only does this make me sad on a basic level, but it meant that quite a few people had to travel to come watch us get married. The fact that people actually fly across the country, book hotel rooms, rent cars and pay for extra food for at least part of a day is a huge deal. I was surprised that people were actually willing to travel so far to celebrate with us, and I was extremely grateful and encouraged. Not only do people give you gifts at your wedding, but they make a significant time and expense sacrifice to come watch you marry your best friend!

I wanted to make sure that I acknowledged our travelers and welcomed them to Arizona. I decided to make welcome bags for each person who traveled to be with us, so off Mom and I went to complete the project.

First, we went to the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau to pick up brochures and pamphlets for each visitor. But once we got there, parked and went inside, we were told that we needed to order the brochures, for free, over the phone or e-mail. I just went to the site and they now have a simple link to fill out and submit. Much simpler.

Next, we went to Target and picked up some basic travel toiletries and snacks. After adding those to some brown paper bags we bought at Hobby Lobby, we made our printables. We layered a thank you print over a color coordinated cardstock sheet and glued one to the front of each bag. We printed directions to the rehearsal dinner and venue, general information, telephone numbers and airport/rental car information. All of our printables were blue, green and yellow and I used the same graphics from our Save the Dates. Mom clipped some of the papers with these adorable little blue and green clothespins. It was really cute.

We also decided to reserve a block of rooms for guests and that was an ordeal in and of itself. My main piece of advice: don’t trust the internet. Call every place that you’re interested in ahead of time and discuss your wedding, the reservations, timing and cost. We looked up several hotels that listed special reservation prices online, made through Priceline or a similar site. But when we got there, many of the managers refused to comply with the prices that the websites promised. So that was disappointing. Call first and make sure the price is right before you commit time to go look at the rooms, if that’s something you plan to do.

Were there any special accommodations or gifts you gave to your traveling guests?

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