Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Art of the Out of Towner's Gift Bag

I got a lot of compliments on my OOT bags, so I wanted to give them a little spotlight today. Many people do them for guests who are traveling to your wedding from out of town and are staying in a hotel. These guests many times do not have the luxury of getting online and mapquesting directions they forgot, nor did they remember to get water and Advil for the killer hangover they are going to have the day after your wedding. A gift bag is an attempt to make these guests feel thought of and make their stay a bit easier on them.

First of all, I urge you to be creative and keep your eye out well in advance. Gift bags will always do, but I found these straw beach style totes at the Bealls Outlet (found in most Florida cities) on sale from $20.00 down to $3.00 a piece! So now they have a beach bag or purse along with all the goodies inside!

Information: I went to Staples and bought white folders and put labels on them. Inside was a post card that I made with our welcome letter, directions to and from all wedding related events, important phone numbers, coupons, general city maps, and a great book from the visitors and tourism office (for free) on the history of the area.

Medicine: Go to Sam's and get your guests some Advil/Tylenol and Imodium! These cure the things you didn't quite plan on.

Water: To get those pills down! I made DIY water bottle labels with our monogram on it.

Something local: Treat your out of town guests to something local. In my case, I got them some Florida oranges and packaged them up. I admit my "slogan" is cheesy, but it went over really well! I got more comments on this one aspect of the OOT bag than anything else!

Goodies: I wanted to do something fun, so I got personalized margarita mixes, margarita glasses from JoAnn's for $.99 each, umbrella straws and travel sized tequila bottles. I tried to mainly put these in the younger crowd's bags. For guests that wouldn't appreciate this, I got personalized coffee pouches for the hotel in room coffee maker. Even if they don't use it, they will bring it home and think of you next time they want to make a pot of coffee. And lastly, buy some munchies in bulk. Everyone got chips from the variety packs they sell at Sam's Club.

Something this big isn't always needed, but it is a nice touch and let's guests know you are thinking about them. It also kind of kick starts the weekend's festivities because the moment they check in, they are being reminded of what a good time they are about to have celebrating your love!


Sarita&Pepe said...

You are the queen of OOT bags! WOW I am super impressed. =)

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