Wedding Etiquette Forum

Out-of-towners welcome bag?

My fiance and I are hosting our wedding ourselves and on a very tight budget. We have a lot of out-of town guests coming to our wedding. Would our OOT guest expect a welcome bag when they arrive? what exactly is the protocol for OOTguests? Do we need to reserve a block of rooms at a hotel? I just don't know where i can fit this in my budget!

Re: Out-of-towners welcome bag?

  • I don't think your guests will expect anything except to have a wonderful time at your wedding. That said, if you're inclined to put together a little something for when they check in, you could do something like a welcome note, a printed map of the hotel/area and potential activities that they may wish to check out while they're in town.

    It's always good form to reserve a block of rooms at one or two hotels nearby (a moderate and economical option) and then include the contact info in your STD. You don't need to put up any money to reserve a block of rooms, it's just a reservation, and by doing so the hotel may offer your guests a better rate than advertised because they anticipate a chunk of business. 

    These things are a nice touch, but to answer your question, your guests won't expect anything and these things gestures don't cost much if anything.
  • If you DO want to do welcome bags, I would recommend going to Sams/Costco and getting some cases of bottled water, little packs of trail mix or granola bars, and some mints or gum.  Your local chamber of commerce might be able to provide you with brochures or maps of your area for free.     I like it when the B&G include a weekend itinerary, and some info about their favorite restaurants in town or things to do.   If you have a lot of church-goers in your group you might also wish to include a list of churches in the area and their service times for Sunday morning.
  • If you do bags, keep in mind that anything you put in there should be travel-friendly.  A lot of girls in D/FW think about doing barbecue sauce or something equally "Texan," but they forget that their guests are going to have a hard time getting something like that home in a carry-on.

    FWIW, I didn't do OOT bags.  My MIL and some of her friends threw something together at the last minute, but they were definitely geared toward my MIL's friends, and as such, I don't think all our guests got them.  I know a few bridesmaids got them and they got left behind when we left the hotel.



  • I would definitely book a block of rooms. However, I'd skip the bags unless you have extra funds and really want to do them. I've never gotten one at an OOT wedding and didn't miss them at all.

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  • thank you for all your advice! it does put my mind at ease.
  • I have never heard of welcome bags until i came here. 
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  • I'd skip the bags- I've never heard anyone complain about not getting one.

    Blocking out rooms at a hotel shouldn't cost you anything, and could save your guests money, so it's a good thing to do.  If you can, block out rooms at a couple places in a couple price ranges, to give people a choice.
  • edited February 2012
     I'm planning on making OOT bags stuffed with nice goodies: 3-day tram passes (transportation?--check), sunscreen, water, snacks, special shower gels/aftershave, chocolates, and maybe even buffet passes or something along those lines. 
    I figure grumpy guests who've had any battles during their travels would really appreciate it. 

    I'm making inexpensive, simple, contemporary postcard invites instead of the expensive ones with IMO all the unnecessary frou-frou inserts, etc.. and the money will come out of there.
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