Post # 1
Almost all of our wedding guests will be staying at hotels for the weekend and plan on handing out Out of Town (OOT) Welcome bags to everyone. What I can’t wrap my head around is the best way to distribute them to everyone.
People will be staying at a minimum of 4 different hotels…possibly 5 or 6. That fact alone makes my head spin at the thought of figuring out how many bags go to each hotel, dropping them off, and then trusting that the front desk staff is actually handing them out.
Having attended several Out of Town weddings, I have had varying levels of sucess actually getting the welcome bag that my hosts have provided at the hotel check-in. At the most recent wedding I went to, I specifically asked the front desk if there was a welcome bag – was told ‘No’. Later on in the night, talking to friends, I found out that there was a bag – had to go back to the front desk to retrieve.
How have other Hive members handled this?
Post # 3
@lmoss78: I had this same dilemma for my Out of Town gift bags. If I had it to do over I would go with appointing people at each hotel to make sure that each guest gets their bag. I would give them a guest list, arrival times, and gift bags for each person and have them make sure everyone gets one. Or, you could go the happy our mixer route and hand out the bags there.
I left mine with the front desk with a list of guest names and it was a nightmare. Between guests checking in at different times, the front desk people overlooking notes, and losing track of where the gift bags were stored – well, there was alot of confusion and some of my guests didn’t end up getting their welcome bags until a day or so after they arrived. It was a new layer of stress that I defintely didn’t need.
Post # 4
Just an FYI – some hotels won’t give out your goodie bags, or will charge you a fee to do so. If you are planning on having the hotel do it, make sure you know their terms ahead of time.
Post # 5
I left them with the hotel clerk at one hotel and the other was my venue so I gave them to the venue coordinator to distribute. I had no problems with guests at either hotel getting their bags. I think this is becoming so common, most are use to doing it.
Post # 6
My hotel charges $3 a bag which makes the bags pretty costly IMO.
Someone is going to go door to door to distribute my bags. We should all be in the same hallway.
btw how would guests be at 5 different hotels?! Did you have that many blocks? This was our purpose in creating a guest room block so we didn’t have to track down people.
Post # 7
The front desk staff are usually too busy to handle giving Out of Town bags to guests as they check in.
I have done this for conventions. I met with the head bellman, gave him the list of guests’ names and the bags. he got the room numbers that were assigned to these guests and a bellman distributed them to the rooms after the rooms were made up by housekeeping. Naturally there was a good tip associated with this. Some hotels charge a flat fee.
Contact guest services at the hotels and find out what the best procedure will be for each specific hotel.
Post # 8
My hotel charged $1 per bag which wasn’t that big a concern for us but in hindsight I wish I had given them out myself or asked someone else to do this for me. Several people did not receive their bags and had to go back to the front desk an specifically ask for them.
Post # 9
@PinkMagnolia: We will have at least 60 rooms reserved for our wedding, most hotels would not let me set aside more than 10-15 rooms…so that is why we have so many. Also, some people have gone off on their own and found other hotels than the ones that we recommended. $3 per bag does start to add up quickly, I’d imagine…this is trickier than I thought.
Post # 10
I’m inviting all the Out of Town guests to the rehearsal dinner, and will be handing out bags there. For those who aren’t coming until the day of the wedding… then one of the side favors (not so directly advertised as favors) will be a hangover kit. It will have some water, asprin, pepto, and a small snack like a granola bar.
I’m only ‘participating’ with one hotel for Out of Town guests, but they are charging $5 a bag delivery charge because they won’t keep them at the desk. So this was my plan b.
Post # 11
@LGenz: That has been my experience at many weddings where I was a guest.
In general, I don’t want to be stressed out about people getting their bags, so I think the idea to hand them out at the Happy Hour might be the best since it seems to me that figuring out and abiding by gift bag policies at 6 hotels will be stressful in itself. I never even thought that they would charge – but it makes sense now that I’m thinking about it.
I can probably ask a friend or family member to make sure that everyone receives one. I like the idea of the hangover bags too – it always comes in handy!
Post # 12
My hotels charge a fee so I think I’m going to ask my younger sister and nephew to actually hand them out door to door. The hotel will provide me a list of folks and their rooms. As for people who chose a different hotel outside of the block, they won’t be getting one.
Post # 13
UPDATE: I actually decided to scrap the welcome bags. Hotels started booking up really quickly the weekend of our wedding, so we now have guests staying at 7 different hotels and we are still 3 months out! As much as I wanted to offer a little welcome bag, we are having a cocktail welcome party the night before the wedding – so that will have to suffice!