Wednesday, November 3, 2010

“I Do” Ideas: Out of Town Bags

This week I thought we could shed some light on how to put together your out of town bags! Where do you get OOT bags? What goes in them? Who gets them?

The first step is to choose the bag or container, and remember to think outside of the box!

You can use traditional bags or boxes, like these found here and here:

image gable boxes, oot box, gift basket for out of town wedding guests

Or you can get creative; really anything goes! Here are some fun ideas:

- Tote bags that you can personalize with stencils or iron-on’s

Image of the Harriton M915 Contrast Handle Tote Bag - Blank / Plain

- Pails or buckets (perfect for that beach or destination theme!)


- Personalized woven bags for eco-friendly brides

Tiny Woven Handle Bags, eco friendly favor pouches, green wedding, recycled favor bag

- Personalized CITY tote bags (LOVE these by the way!)

city oot bags, out of town hotel gift bags, canvas totes

The next step, of course, is filling the bag!

Here are some ideas:

A Welcome Note; welcoming your guests to town, thanking them for traveling and telling them you’re looking forward to celebrating with them at the wedding!

Regional-themed items; handmade items- perhaps some locally bottled wine from Sakonett Vineyards, distinctive local snacks- like Del’s lemonade packets and more favorites from your towns!

Area Maps are especially helpful for out of towners who need to get to a few different spots

Entertainment Guides including restaurant or activity suggestions would be nice for those who may be arriving a day or two early and are looking for places to eat or things to do

Water and Snacks; because your guests may be first finding their bags between the ceremony and the reception and may be hungry or just need something little to hold them over before dinner at the reception! You can do personalized water labels like these:

Personalized Water Bottle Labels, monogrammed stickers for water bottles

Special Details; like a map to the reception, a timeline of the day/or weekend, information on shuttle services available, directions, list of phone numbers of family members that are available to help if needed

Travel-size sundries are always appreciated in case anything is forgotten or to make your guests feel more at home (soaps, toothpaste, aspirin)

Fun items for those guests traveling with children, including crayons & a coloring book or some mini travel games

Personalized Items for your guests to remember the day by (t-shirts, pens and coffee mugs are fun ideas!) Check out these personalized koozies

Personalized Koozie, insulated beer hugger, bridesmaids groomsmen gifts

Finally, here are some examples from a few local brides!

Heather’s out of town bags

“I wrote a little note welcoming the guests on the RI postcard. Inside the bag I had water, snacks (cheddar bunnies, Cape Cod potato chips, trail mix, etc.), a tiny bottle of wine from a local winery, maps of Narragansett (with things to do) and directions to the rehearsal dinner and wedding. I bought the bags at Target and got the postcard at the Christmas Tree Shop.”


Shanna’s out of town bags

“We had four out of towners, all on my in-laws side. We sent them a brown box filled with a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card, mug, a Mesa 21 gift card (our favorite restaurant) and some of the essentials – like water, chips and sweets. We also included some sweet bread and muffins from my family bakery. I tied it pretty with a gold ribbon and card.”

Holly's out of town bags

Holly’s OOT bags included local favorites like Autocrat Coffee Syrup and Cape Cod potato chips and were packaged in reusable bags from Whole Foods.

holly1 holly2 holly3

Jennifer’s out of town bags

“The big grey envelope has pamphlets I made with info about local restaurants, things to do (museums, zoo, etc.) and also DIRECTIONS. One whole page was directions to and from the two hotels where the room blocks were, directions from both hotels to the church, from the church to the Casino, and from the Casino back to both hotels. I will say this - no one got lost!

As far as what went in the bags, we got the tourist magazines, some hot chocolate packets, lemonade packets, organic lollipops, water bottles, postcards, and a postcard with info on the After Party brunch at my ILs' house.”

Jennifer’s OOT bag pictures courtesy of Melissa Robotti.

jennifer2 jennifer4 jennifer6

Tana's out of town bags

Tana’s OOT bags included some local treats, waters & snacks, local restaurant guides as well as a welcome booklet!

tana1tana4 tana5tana3 tana6 tana9

Last but not least, my out of town bags!

We chose to use traditional beach pails (shovel included!) to go with our Rhode Island theme. On the front of the pail, I attached a note that said “Welcome to our Wedding Weekend Love, Jay & Jen” with little pictures of a whale and a lobster. Inside the buckets were an issue of the magazine Rhode Island Monthly, 2 bottles of water, an “I Love Rhode Island” shot glass, Rhode Island postcard, a toothbrush & toothpaste, a packet of tissues and a handful of snacks (including some local favorites)


I’d love to hear what you did for out of town bags; please share!