Wedding Etiquette Forum

Hotel Gift Bags for Out of Town Guests

Morning Ladies,

So I just had a quick question - Most of my guests are from out of town.  (FI is from another state) and so his entire family and 99% of our friends live out of state so most are staying at a hotel.  Some guests have made other arrangements (like staying with friends at apartments in town).  I reserved blocks of rooms at three hotels close to the reception at different price points for the out of town guests and advertised those hotels on my wedding website.

My question is this- I have 90+ people potentially staying at hotels.  If I give out hotel gift bags- do I need to hunt down what hotel each guest is staying at or can I just give out gift bags at the hotels I reserved?  The hotels have been sending me lists of the people who have reserved rooms so I will know exactly who and how many guests at the reserved hotels.  It seems a little difficult to determine where every single guest is staying (outside of the reserved hotels) and then to deliver gift bags to each of those hotels.  I understand that some guests will stay at different hotels for various reasons.

What is the etiquette on this please if anyone knows?  I wasn't able to find another post related to this question.  Thanks so much!

Re: Hotel Gift Bags for Out of Town Guests

  • I only gave gift bags to the people who stayed in hotels we blocked.  I wasn't about to track down every person's hotel and make 10-15 different hotel drops because so-and-so used a frequent flyer program at Hilton vs Marriott vs XYZ.  Do not over-complicate your life, especially for the week before the wedding.
    CrazyCatLady3KittyKaty20indianaalum
  • Only give gift bags to those staying at the hotels that you provided room blocks for.  It would be rather difficult to track down those who didn't use those hotels.  Also, gift bags are nice but they are not necessary.  You should consider the price that could go along with these bags...if you are having to make 50 or more then I would reconsider doing them.

    KittyKaty20
  • I would only give gift bags to those gifts who are staying at the hotel blocks you reserved.  you don't need to be driving all arond town days or the day befor eyour wedding to drop off bags.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Thanks for the responses.  If I only do gift bags at the reserved hotels then that will end up being about 40 max. bags so it shouldn't be too bad- pricing wise.  I am going to wait until I get the final hotel count to decide if I want to do them. 
    indianaalum
  • I wouldn't track them down, but I would have a few extra baskets at home just in case someone needs something. Like a map of the town or whathaveyou. I went out of town to my fiance's cousin's wedding, and I stayed with my fiance's grandmother. Super fun! What the mother of the groom did, was hold back a few welcome baskets at her house and gave them to us when we arrived. So if people are coming to see you before the day of the wedding, you could just give them their gift basket then, or have you mother or whoever might see them first, give them their basket.

    It was really nice! We used the maps of the town definitely, and the mother of the groom included fruit and water bottles and cookies, which was nice because we didn't have time to make a breakfast!
  • I'm glad you posted, I am going through this as well.  I'm having my DW in Hawaii so we're all flying in.  People will be staying at various places including private condo rentals, and there is no way I can go around finding everyone.  Our RD the night before the wedding is morphing into a welcome dinner so I am considering handing them out during this.  Our wedding is on a Thursday and most people are staying for vacation through the weekend.

    The one hesitation I have for this is that not everyone may plan to come to the dinner, so some people will be left out... but this is the same situation that you would be in if you left bags only at the hotels you have blocks at.  So etiquette wise, this is ok - some get gift bags but others don't??

    Either way, I'm going to do either an OOT bag or favors, but not both.
    Anniversary
  • Jackloves- I know some people are coming early and will be seeing us so that's a good idea to give them a bag then when I see them. 

    Sp- that is an interesting idea to give them out at the RD.  For me- not everyone at the RD would get a bag because not all of the guests at RD are coming from out of town but I think in your case that would be a good idea.  I think most people that are coming in for your destination wedding would probably go to the RD as well.    Do you have a lot of people coming to your wedding?  If it's easy to keep track of them and most are at the RD that could be a good option for you. 
  • How about this: we have a block at our wedding hotel. It is a really expensive hotel so we have a lot of guests staying at other hotels or people's homes. Actually, it's 98% my fiance's friends/family staying at this hotel and mine are all looking for alternatives. He wants to give gift bags but I'm concerned that my family will feel unimportant if they find out they didn't get goodies for staying at cheaper places so I think we should just not do them at all. Thoughts?
  • Sp2012 said:
    I'm glad you posted, I am going through this as well.  I'm having my DW in Hawaii so we're all flying in.  People will be staying at various places including private condo rentals, and there is no way I can go around finding everyone.  Our RD the night before the wedding is morphing into a welcome dinner so I am considering handing them out during this.  Our wedding is on a Thursday and most people are staying for vacation through the weekend.

    The one hesitation I have for this is that not everyone may plan to come to the dinner, so some people will be left out... but this is the same situation that you would be in if you left bags only at the hotels you have blocks at.  So etiquette wise, this is ok - some get gift bags but others don't??

    Either way, I'm going to do either an OOT bag or favors, but not both
    .

    Oh, I'll say it...according to your ticker, you have been married for 1 year, 11 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days.

    Since you've already had a wedding, I don't think it matters much what other etiquette rules you break.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • emilia391 said:

    How about this: we have a block at our wedding hotel. It is a really
    expensive hotel so we have a lot of guests staying at other hotels or
    people's homes. Actually, it's 98% my fiance's friends/family staying at
    this hotel and mine are all looking for alternatives. He wants to give
    gift bags but I'm concerned that my family will feel unimportant if they
    find out they didn't get goodies for staying at cheaper places so I
    think we should just not do them at all. Thoughts?

    You could try to arrange a block of rooms at a less expensive hotel as an alternative. Tell your side the hotel information and drop bags off there.
  • We're having a destination wedding for most of our guests (minus my family). Our hotel block charges to give out gift bags, and our guests are staying all over because the location has a ton of competitive hotel rates. I scrapped the gift bag idea early on. It just seems like more work and more money for not any huge reason. We're doing a welcome reception after the rehearsal dinner where we are hosting the bar, and then of course the reception the next day. We're also trying to arrange free admission for anyone who wants to visit a museum the Saturday of our wedding during the day (no physical tickets, just going and saying they are with our wedding). We're including an activities and other information card with our invitations. Our website is smart phone friendly, so people can easily see our recommendations on the go, and others who don't have smart phones (probably the older folks) won't be able to throw a rock without running into something to do. Plus, my dad can just spread the word to my older, non-smartphone/non-internet family members about the museum.

    Long story short, I guess I just don't see the point in doing a welcome bag unless you're looking for something else to do. It just seems like more knick-knacks to have to pack and bring home for a guest. I feel like I sound like a Debbie Downer, but if you're stressing over welcome bags, maybe you can just leave the idea behind and find other ways to inform your guests of things to do or your hot spots.
  • Since this thread is over two years old, I'd like to think that they've already made a decision on the gift bags. @KnotPorscha, a lock please? Zombies around.
  • Since this thread is over two years old, I'd like to think that they've already made a decision on the gift bags. @KnotPorscha, a lock please? Zombies around.

    I didn't even notice this! Holy cow...I rescind my biting comment, because the ticker matches the actual timeline of this thread. Oops. Good catch, Rebecca!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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