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

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!

The World’s Easiest DIY Bunting Tutorial

This bunting is so easy, you can make enough to decorate an entire room in a couple hours. We made this bunting for Mollie’s glow-in-the-dark neon party, and you can see in this picture how it was really a centerpiece of the decor. The bunting truly transformed this room into a party space. The best part? The whole project cost less than $20!The World's Easiest DIY Bunting Tutorial

Supplies for up to 170 yards of bunting:
1 ream of paper (we used neon pink from Staples)
Scissors or rotary cutter
1 ball of yarn (we used cheap white yarn from Michael’s)
Tape (we used Scotch Pop-UP back-of-the-hand dispenser)

1. Decide how long you want your bunting to be and how many triangles you need to cut out. We made about 100 yards to fill up three rooms, and had plenty left. We cut out three triangles from each sheet and spaced them about 3-5 inches apart, so we cut out about 450 triangles. That's about 140 sheets of paper!
2. Trace the triangles on your paper by marking the halfway point on one side and 2.75 inches in on the other side. Draw connecting lines. This will make three equal-sized triangles on the paper.The World's Easiest DIY Bunting Tutorial The World's Easiest DIY Bunting Tutorial
3. Cut out the triangles using the scissors or rotary cutter. You can do multiple sheets at a time. Trace the template on the top page of each stack you cut out all of the triangles will be the same.The World's Easiest DIY Bunting Tutorial

4. Starting about a foot from the end of the yarn, simply tape the triangles to the yarn every 3-5 inches. Stack finished bunting in a box or bag for safe keeping so it doesn’t tangle. The World's Easiest DIY Bunting Tutorial The World's Easiest DIY Bunting Tutorial

Photography by: Boninger Works

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


Over Your Head

Tabletop decor gets a lot of attention during the wedding planning process, but not very many people give much thought to what goes on above the tablescape. High-impact overhead decor can transform a basic space into an unforgettable one. Cafe lights, florals, lanterns, fabric, and even ribbon can make your theme and vision come to life in a beautiful and sometimes more cost-effective way. Lights, paper lanterns, and ribbon are much cheaper than decking out the tabletop with sky-high centerpieces, and hanging vases require less flowers to make a statement than centerpieces do because they are so unexpected. When you bring decor upwards, it allows you to go more minimal on the table.

Here are some of my favorite examples of events that took the decor from the tabletop to the ceiling with gorgeous results. Over Your HeadOver Your Head Over Your HeadOver Your HeadOver Your Head Over Your HeadOver Your HeadOver Your HeadOver Your Head Over Your HeadOver Your HeadOver Your HeadOver Your Head

1. Via Shawna Yamamoto  |  2. Via Indulgy  |  3. Via Pinterest  |  4. Via Style Me Pretty  |  5. Via Landlocked Bridal  |  6. Via Pinterest  |  7. Via Style Me Pretty  |  8. Via Style Me Pretty  |  9. Via Style Me Pretty  |  10. Via Intimate Weddings  |  11. Via Style Me Pretty  |  12. Via Silverland Jewelry  |  13. Via Estate Weddings and Events

Go with the Glow

This past March was my beautiful little sister’s fourteenth birthday party. To help her celebrate, we threw her a glow in the dark party full of black lights, glow sticks, and a LOT of neon!

Bringing together the different elements of this party was challenging because it can be difficult to tell what will glow and what won’t when you are picking up supplies and decor. Here is a (hopefully) helpful guide to what does and does not glow and what really makes a glow in the dark party come together. The right elements can make an event like this really impactful.

The Key Ingredients:
Neon poster-board
White t-shirts and highlighters
LOTS of black lights
Glow sticks
Neon bunting (tutorial to follow!)
Dance area with strobe light
Swag (neon hair extensions, sunglasses, socks, earrings, hairspray, etc.)
Go with the GlowGo with the Glow Go with the GlowGo with the GlowGo with the GlowGo with the GlowGo with the Glow Go with the GlowGo with the GlowGo with the GlowGo with the GlowGo with the Glow Go with the GlowGo with the Glow

Photography by: Boninger Works