Out of Town Bags: Inspiration

Out-of-town bags (also known as OOT bags or welcome bags) are a great way to welcome your out-of-town guests to your wedding. These bags are left in their hotel rooms ahead of time or distributed during the welcome party and they are filled with snacks, drinks, maps, and miscellaneous other treats to make their stay more comfortable and thank them for coming to celebrate with you.

You have so many options for your OOT bags. You can have the bag feature your monogram, a cute pattern, or a saying that means something to you as a couple. It can have your wedding date or even highlight the city you are getting married in. It’s entirely up to you and your partner to decide what your guests might like and what they are likely to use again! These bags start at just $1.80 each!

Later today, we’ll do another post on OOT bag contents, but for now, here are some budget-friendly bags to hold welcome goodies for your guests!

Side note: some hotels will deliver these bags for you to your block of guest rooms prior to guest arrival! Ask your hotel what their policy is.

Out of Town Bags Out of Town BagsOut of Town Bags Out of Town BagsOut of Town Bags Out of Town BagsOut of Town Bags Out of Town BagsOut of Town Bags Out of Town Bags

1. Via Wedding Chicks  |  2. Via Etsy  |  3. Via Etsy  |  4. Via Amazon  |  5. Via Etsy  |  6. Via Wedding Chicks  |  7. Via Forever 21  |  8. Via Forever 21  |  9. Via Forever 21  |  10. Via Amazon

Picking the Palette: Neutrals and Brights

Happy Friday! Last in our series about Picking the Palette is some inspiration for pretty neutral weddings accented with bright colors. This is a very beautiful yet very easy color palette that is fun yet sophisticated. Use the accent color in beautiful or unexpected places like on your shoes, the sash on your dress, or in your floral arrangements. I have recently been loving grey and yellow weddings, but you can go with any neutral paired with a complimentary bright such as nude and pink, blush and navy, or beige and green.

Picking the Palette: Neutrals and BrightsPicking the Palette: Neutrals and Brights Picking the Palette: Neutrals and BrightsPicking the Palette: Neutrals and Brights Picking the Palette: Neutrals and BrightsPicking the Palette: Neutrals and Brights Picking the Palette: Neutrals and BrightsPicking the Palette: Neutrals and Brights

1. Via Apple Brides  |  2. Via Pinterest  |  3. Via Elizabeth Anne Designs  |  4. Via Pinterest  |  5. Via Venue Safari  |  6. Via Style Me Pretty  |  7. Via Bridal Guide  |  8. Via Pinterest

Dream Vendor: Jose Villa

From time to time, we will be featuring vendors that are known for being the best of the best. Our very first dream vendor is Jose Villa, photographer extraordinaire. He captures the unique feel of each and every event he shoots, and the result is a collection of photos that are breathtaking reflections of love, joy, and beautiful details. This post is going to be very photo-heavy because every single one of his images is absolutely to die for, and I simply couldn’t narrow it down any more than this. I’m going to let this small sampling of his work speak for itself, because it has a lot to say.Dream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose VillaDream Vendor: Jose Villa

Let the Sparks Fly!

Sometimes I would advise brides not to go too “trendy” with their wedding plans. Uber-current trends will sometimes look lovely this year, but outdated a mere year from now. Sometimes, though, a trend comes along that is so fabulous that I think it will stand the test of time. Sparkler exits are one of these trends.

Besides being a spectacularly fun way to depart from your wedding, sparkler exits make for breathtaking photographs and lasting memories. Your guests will love playing with sparklers, especially the kids, and you will love running off as newlyweds through a tunnel of sparkling light. Check with your venue to see if they allow sparkler exits (some don’t), and make sure your photographer knows your plans so he is prepared. Also, make sure you get extra-long sparklers (like these) so there is plenty of time to light them and have you run under them without them burning out. Also, make sure you designate someone to hand out the sparklers and get them lit before you come out so there is no confusion.

Seriously, though, how beautiful are these pictures?!

Let the Sparks Fly!Let the Sparks Fly! Let the Sparks Fly!Let the Sparks Fly!

1. Via Floridian Weddings | 2. Via Pinterest | 3. Via Wedding Chicks | 4. Via Floridian Weddings


Bridal Emergency Kit

This is an important PSA for brides (and bridesmaids) everywhere: something will go wrong on your wedding day. As a wedding planner/day-of coordinator, it is my job to 1) prevent as many things from going wrong as possible, and 2) be there with a solution if something does go wrong. If you don’t have a planner or a day-of coordinator, it’s a really good idea to assemble a bridal emergency kit with some essentials that can save the day in a pinch.

BHLDN has an amazing kit that comes in an adorable zipper case meant. They are a fantastic bridesmaid’s gift and they are a cute little present for the bride, too.

Bridal Emergency KitBridal Emergency Kit

These kits include: deodorant towelettes, stain removers, nail polish remover, pain relievers, dental floss, clear nail polish, lip balm, breath fresheners, hair spray, antacids, tampons, adhesive bandages, mending kits, safety pins, double-sided tape, clear elastics, earring backs, emery boards, bobby pins, wedding bands, blotting tissues, and facial tissues.

If you choose not to buy a pre-made emergency kit, I would suggest making your own. If you have a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator, ask them what supplies they have in case of emergencies, as most will bring along a kit. If you don’t have a coordinator, or if yours does not have an emergency kit, here is what I would suggest including when you assemble yours:

Breath mints
Hair spray
Makeup for touch-ups
Nail file
Tampons/sanitary napkins
Tide stain pens
Mini scissors
Tape (Scotch tape, hem tape, fashion tape)
Safety pins
Mini sewing kit
Moist towelettes
Bobby pins
Earring backs
Eye drops
Dental floss
Corsage pins
Clear nail polish
Quick snacks (granola bars, etc.)
Water bottles
Nail polish remover
Lip balm
Blotting tissues
Colgate Wisp mini-toothbrushes
Duct-tape (you never know!)

Out of Town Bags: Contents

Once you have picked out the perfect welcome bag, it’s time to fill it up with things that will make your guests’ stay more comfortable. When coming up with the items you’d like to include, just put yourself in the position of your guests. What items would make your stay easier, more comfortable, and more fun?

Please keep in mind that this list is just meant as inspiration. You are by no means obligated to include all of this in your welcome bags. In fact, you don’t even need to have welcome bags at all! My hope is that this list will give you some ideas for your welcome bags should you choose to have them.

Suggested Items:

A welcome note- This is the most important item on this list. Your bags should include a note that welcomes your guests into town and expresses your gratitude for joining you on your happy day! I like these four from Etsy.
Water bottles- Hotel water bottles can be really pricey, so your guests will love having water waiting for them when they arrive. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to use customized water bottle labels!
Snacks- It’s always a good idea to include a couple of things for your guests to snack on in between wedding events. To make it more personal, try including items that show off the city you are getting married in. For example, salt water taffy is perfect if you are getting married in New Jersey, or Moon Pies if your wedding is in Tennessee. You can also feature food from cities that are significant to you as a couple along with a note explaining why.
A map of the area and local attractions- Your guests will more than likely have a little bit of down time around your wedding events. A map of the area, including your wedding location(s) and locations/descriptions of local attractions will make your guests’ stay easier and more fun. This one is my favorite right now.

A schedule of the weekend’s events and contact information- Sure, your guests received the invitation, but a complete itinerary of the events of the weekend will be much appreciated anyways! Also, be sure to include contact information if your guests have any questions. This person does NOT need to be you, and probably should not be you, because you will be too busy to answer phone calls. Ask a close friend or family member to be the point person for out-of-town guests.

Other ideas:

A cute “Do Not Disturb” sign- This sign can let hotel room service know to keep out while letting the world know that your guests are there for your big day! Etsy has so many cute options!
Alcohol- You can include mini bottles of wine, beer, or liquor if you want to get the party started early!
Hand wipes or Purrell
A postcard of the area
Travel packs of pain relievers and medicine such as Tylenol, Advil, Pepto, etc.- This might come in handy the morning after your wedding!
A bag of popcorn
Mini cereal boxes
Mini sunscreen/lotion/shampoo/conditioner
Anything else specific to your event- For example, if you are having an outdoor rustic wedding, consider including bug spray!

Ladies Who Brunch

I recently hosted a brunch at home, complete with mimosas and a build-your-own waffle bar. This waffle bar was so simple to execute. I ordered waffles and potato egg scrambles from a local breakfast restaurant and arranged for pickup an hour before the event. I popped them into the oven at a low temperature to keep them warm until guests arrived. I made some simple rainbow fruit skewers, baked some bacon, and ordered fresh tarts to be delivered for dessert.

All of the toppings were arranged on the china my grandmother gave me for Christmas last year. For toppings we had: syrup, butter, Nutella, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, peanut butter, strawberries, bananas, granola, and nuts.

Finally, I arranged two bouquets of baby’s breath in clear glass vases and the teacups from my china set. The high and low arrangements made beautiful centerpieces and the baby’s breath looked soft and fresh. Perfect for brunch!Ladies Who BrunchLadies Who BrunchLadies Who Brunch

Photography by: Boninger Works