Treat your guests and support the local economy with local-style "welcome to Maui" guest bags

By on Jul. 19th

It's always nice to provide "welcome bags" for your out of town wedding guests. But what if your having a destination wedding and ALL your wedding guests are coming from out of town? That's the position I found myself in when I was planning my Maui wedding. So it was welcome bags for all!

When putting my welcome bags together, my goal was to use as many local Hawaiian products as possible, because Aaron and I strongly believe in supporting the local economy of our favorite place on Earth.

Here is my guide to the shop-local Maui welcome bags:

1. The bag is from AilanaKai.com, with all products made on the Big Island of Hawaii.

2. A map of Maui — these can be gained for free at the airport. We just picked up a bunch the day we arrived on the island.

3. Sun protection. I love Maui Babe SPF 30. Ideally I would have loved to give everyone a large bottle, but they're very expensive. So I contacted the sellers (located on Maui, of course) and they hooked me up with their smaller sampler size.

4. Something to munch on. Wow-Wee Maui chocolate bars — These are made on-island and come in eight different flavors! And all of them sound insanely delicious.

5. Just in case. A mini first aid kit from Johnson & Johnson. Admittedly, this is not a local buy, but, you know, accidents do happen while you're on vacation.

6. Something to drink. Hawaiian Springs water from the Big Island.

7. More snacks. Maui Chips — These my favorite snack on Earth. I have been known to have them shipped from Maui to my apartment in West Hollywood. I don't care, there's nothing like them. Now that they've been bought by Lays, if you'd like to have a more local-style snack, check out Maui Cook Kwees — local-made cookies.

8. Island air-conditioning. Pretty sandlewood fans from Koyal Wholesale.

9. A special local-made treat. I provided "Kisses from Maui" lip balms — by far my favorite local product that I've found — but, sadly, the company has stopped making them. (My local-style lip balm replacement is now these Oils of Aloha lip balms, made on the Big Island.) Gifts from the Hana Lima Soaps Co. are hand-made on Maui and come in tons of different scents and colors to match your wedding.

Are you planning a wedding in Hawaii? What are you putting in YOUR welcome bags?

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About Megan Finley

Megan Finley is the Associate Publisher for the Offbeat Empire. When she's not slaving away for the Empire, she's sharing her dork side on her own blog, Twitter @meganfinley, and Instagram @meggyfin.