Post # 1
I’m trying to get a sense of what guests would actually like in Out of Town or welcome bags. If it helps, our wedding will be in sonoma/napa and most ppl will be staying for 2-4 nights. We’ll definitely include a welcome note and some kind of itinerary, but what else do you like & what do you think is unnecessary/wasted?
Do guests actually want things that are personalized to the wedding (the bag, mints, water bottle label, etc.) or does the personalization not really matter?
Post # 3
This is a good poll! I voted for: a personalized bag (my aunt had them for her Destination Wedding in Hawall and I use it all the time), snacks, something homemade, a local good, a bottle of water and maps and local info.
I don’t feel the tiny bottle of alcohol is necessary, as there will be plenty to drink at the rehearsal dinner and wedding. So I think they’re a waste of money.
I don’t think things need to be personalized, but it’s a nice touch. I would try to personalize something they’ll be keeping, such as the reusable bag instead of a bunch of water bottles they’ll just throw away.
Post # 4
Something to consider would be are guests flying or driving? If they’re driving, they can pack a lot more things into their cars. If they’re flying, they may not want to haul a ton of stuff back home. Since you’re in Napa/Sonoma, you may have guests that are allocating room for wine in their luggage! When we went to a Destination Wedding in Maui, we chucked the cute packaging the favor came in because we literally had no room left in our luggage. Just something to think about.
In addition, you can probably skip out on things the hotel/resort/motel will provide, including bandaids and some toiletries. In addition, if your guests are anything like me, I’ll have packed all my own toiletries/odds & ends (e.g. lipbalm) because that’s what I prefer to use. I usually don’t even use hotel shampoo/conditioner.
I vote for snacks, water, mints and other small edibles. I think the local information would be nice, especially on all the local vineyards, but I would skip the map if your guests are tech-savvy. For example, Darling Husband and I always travel with our GPS. I’m pretty sure anyone in Napa/Sonoma would get a rental car.
Post # 5
I think water & snacks are a must–I always find myself hungry/thirsty in a hotel and I don’t want to pay gift store prices.
I also think advil is a nice idea, especially if you’re serving alcohol at any of the wedding festivities.
I don’t think the alcohol bottle is necessary and I would leave it off. While I personally would love to receive that in my goody bag (woohoo!), if you’re inviting people with young kids, people under 21, or elderly, some might find it questionable. So I would leave it off for my family, but it may be different for you.
It sounds like your wedding is almost a Destination Wedding for most people, so I think the map/local info is a nice touch. If there is a beach nearby or if your wedding is outside in the summer, then suscreen/lip balm is a nice touch also, but if not I dont think it’s necessary.
I do not think a cloth bag is necessary – I would just get a plain gift bag. Personalization is nice, but unnecessary especially for throwaway items.
Post # 6
@lilbluebird: smart thinking. Over 90% of our guests will be flying in/out. & I have no clue when I last looked at a paper map.
@starz88962: what do you especially like about your aunt’s bag- the size? Color? I’m worried that ppl would just throw it away, so if I make/buy reusable bags, I’d want to give ones ppl would keep. Your alcohol comment also makes a lot of sense- those who want it will have good wine that weekend at wedding events and/or tastings, so no reason to overdo it.
Post # 7
@Shkragoldfish: I guess it was just a sentimental thing. I reuse it for groceries or to throw things in the car. Although PP makes a good point about having room for stuff in your guests luggage. Another good point to consider.
Post # 8
This is so helpful – thanks everybody! So far, for 100 bags for 120 guests, it looks like:
welcome letter w/itinerary, our favorite spots in the area, how to get around, etc.
- = $19-$64 (bags I like are $.19-$.64 each)
- I’ll stamp it or use ribbon or something simple to make them cute & more specific to our wedding
some inexpensive snacks
- = under $10 (I’ll print myself)
- = under $280 ($25 for 120 cheese/pb crackers, $70 for 120 frito lay assorted, $70 for 120 for sunchips assorted, $75 for 120 quaker chewy granola bars, $40 for 200 biscoff cookies) most prices are from staples.com
- =$35 (200 bottles from staples)
- = free (we’ll either get free brochures or just print a list of things from online & make free copies)
TOTAL: under $389 for 100 bags
Additional potential items:
- Certs mints= $80 (for 100 from staples)
- Single doses of advil= $80 (for 120 from walmart)
TOTAL with both extra items: under $549
I’ll do a test run w/the same size bag to make sure it fits all the items. Then I’ll get the bags delivered to me so I can stamp & put the paper printed items in them & take them w/me to the destination. Staples will deliver for free, so I’ll get them to send the snacks and water to the hotel or the local coordinator. Nothing needs to be packaged & we’ll assemble the bags a few days before the wedding. To save on time & money, I won’t put any wedding-specific stamps or labels on anything but the bag.
Post # 9
@Shkragoldfish: I think Out of Town bags have gotten really over-the-top and a lot of things are just unnecessary. You *can* do personalized bags and such.. it’s cute, but not necessary if you’re crunched for time. If I were doing a wedding in wine country, I’d probably include a map or just list of my favorite wineries (maybe even a line about what you like there, be it a particular vintage or the beautiful sceanery or the dog that roams around) and maybe some wine-friendly snacks like cheese, nuts, crackers… I also really like stamped postcards, but I’m a huge fan of snail mail, so I don’t know if that’s a popular one.
Post # 10
@MexiPino: unfortunately, you’re the only postcard vote so far , so I think I’ll skip it. and, agreed, I’m not going to do almost any personailzation to any items. At most, I’ll add 1 simple sticker or stamp on the paper/plastic bags, no big deal. Even at that, I’ll probably only do it if I’m also getting use out of the sticker/stamp for multiple other things (like on the invites or something else)
Post # 11
We are also going to do welcome bags, so this poll was helpful to me too – Thanks! We are getting paper bags and using a personalized stamp to make the bag personalized. We are also getting water bottles with labels of our wedding date. Some specialty popcorn that is made in our state, mini pouches of advil, and a welcome letter/itinerary for the weekend and list of our favorite spots.
Post # 12
We are doing welcome baskets, hopefully we’ll be able to have them waiting in their hotel room, if this isn’t doable, we’ll leave them at the front desks for when they check in. We won’t be doing quite as many, because we’re only doing them for family/friends who are booking overnight [most of fi’s side are traveling 2,000 miles – while mine live within driving distance].
We plan to include :
– a thank you card
– itinerary/rehearsal dinner info
– snacks [chips, nuts, granola bars, cookies]
– water with flavor packets
– small toiletries including shampoos, conditioners, deoderant, tissues, floss
– mints & gum
– bottle of wine or sparkling cider
– breakfast items [donuts, danishes]
We also might include some micowaveable food [popcorn, desserts, tea] and coffee with cream & sugar.
Post # 13
Definitely water bottles. People will be thirsty in the hotel room and there is nothing more annoying than paying $5 for the bottle from the hotel.
I got a toothbrush in an Out of Town bag once and had forgotten mine so that was awesome. Even if I hadn’t, I could have taken it home for future house guests. Also aspirin if they will be drinking all that wine!
Our welcome bags are a little too pharmaceutical, but I had FSA money to burn through so I went on drugstore.com spree. We are including: reusuable tote (in retrospect probably a waste of $) without our names so people might actually reuse them, aspirin, tums, mini first aid kit, bottle of sunscreen, chap stick, a post card and pen, deck of cards and ear plugs. I’ll also throw in a thank you note and schedule of events. I spent about $5 per bag x 50 bags, but that doesn’t count the FSA money ($400) that was about to expire anyway which I used for the sunscreen, chapstick and first aid kits.
I would have added water and snacks but it’s at an all inclusive and those things would be difficult to pack. Also instead of ordering everyone a deck of cards I wish I had mixed that up and given a variety of cheap games (uno, normal cards, Left Right Center dice sets, etc.)
Post # 15
I’m not a fan of personalization myself so *I* wouldn’t spend money on doing that or getting that done but I have seen some nice personalized bags/treats.
We made Out of Town bags for our guests that were flying in for our wedding in Hawaii. We found inexpensive lahala bags and put in snacks, waters, local treats, guides, maps, and some fun stuff like a saraong, mini banana boat tanning lotion, and magazines for relaxing by the pool. They LOVED it and have mentioned it numerous times to me over the past 2 years since our wedding.
You can never go wrong with snacks! Don’t spend too much, but it is nice to receive something little, especially since it is Out of Town. Don’t forget, they have to pack to get back home so don’t make them too big or cumbersome!
Post # 16
It’s too late for me to change the poll, but I had another welcome bag item idea. Our location is pretty hot during the day- what do you think about us providing fans in the welcome bags? or should we only provide those at the ceremony? (ceremony is at 5pm and not in direct sunlight. it cools off a good amount at night)
Does anybody have any fan or fan pricing recommendations?