An Out-of-Town bag is a package of gifts, treats and information given to out-of-town guests to make them feel welcome. They can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish, but the goal should always be to show your guests that you appreciate them taking the time out of their normal schedules to travel to your wedding celebration.
In addition to whatever you choose to include, a welcome bag should always include an itinerary of the weekend's events and a handwritten thank you note for attending the wedding (yes, this is in addition to the thank you note you'll send for the gift).
The out-of-town guest bags and baskets above are from Kate Parker Weddings, who also ships them directly to your guests' hotels. If you don't have time to assemble your own baskets, this may be a great option for you. Check with your wedding planner to see if they also offer this service as well, I know I do! If you're having any children coming in town for your wedding, consider creating a special basket just for them, even if they won't be attending the reception.
The bags can contain local specialties (such as food or beverage items manufactured or invented locally), souvenirs, area maps, tickets or passes to local amusements, etc. Here are some
You can also add some standard items such as:
- Itinerary outlining all wedding-related activities
- Contact name and phone number in case anyone has questions (Assign a good friend or family member to be the primary contact, so you don't have to field the calls - but also include the engaged couple's cell numbers for emergencies)
- Bottles of water & snacks. Wedding guests that are staying at hotels will appreciate not having to pay the high prices at the mini bar.
- Maps or tourist info for the local area. Visit your local chamber of commerce or visitors bureau; they can provide plenty of handouts.
- Local coupons (to outlet stops, tourist attrations, etc.)
- A CD and self-addressed mailer for guests to return the pictures that they took of their event to you when they return home
- Copy of the local newspaper (hotels usually only provide USAToday)
- Stamped postcard (although you may want to draw attention to this elsewhere to people realize it is already stamped)
You can be creative! Here are some great looking bags!
pictures courtesy of good things creations, paper persuasions, I do it yourself.com, asleep to dream, and dc nearlyweds