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To OOT or not to OOT??

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Iâ€m kind of agonizing over my OOT bags (or lack thereof). Iâ€m still trying to decide whether to give out OOT bags or not, and wanted some input.

 

I love making lists, so hereâ€s my pro/con list:

 

OOT bag PROS:

1. Itâ€d be a really nice gesture, since our guests are traveling so far to be with us.

2. It would really impress them (shallow for me to think that, but itâ€s true).

3. I think some stuff will come in handy, like travel mugs and sunblock, etc.

 

OOT bag CONS:

1. Added expense. We have about 55 guests, and if we do 1 bag per couple and 1 bag per single, weâ€d need about 35 bags. With a low estimate of $10/bag, thatâ€s $350. But this could easily balloon into $15/bag, making it $525.

2. For all the money weâ€d be spending, Iâ€m not sure how useful people will find it. Iâ€d hate to spend all that money, just to have them bury their mug and bag in the back of their closet forever.

3. I donâ€t want to pay extra for shipping, so I have no idea how weâ€re going to bring everything with us. (I can just picture my suitcase filled with 55 travel mugs… ha!)

 

Iâ€m leaning towards no OOT bags to avoid the cost and the headache, but I feel kind of cheap for doing that. On the other hand, I donâ€t want to feel like Iâ€m “wasting†money on things that people donâ€t want or care about anyway. (eg., If I just emailed all my guests to tell them to bring their own travel mug because the resort is AI, no one would think anything of it. No oneâ€s been to a DW before, so donâ€t know any better… which is good for me. LOL…)

 

So… what should I do? Did anyone NOT do an OOT bag, and did your guests talk smack about it?

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I've thought about this issue a lot too! I don't want the added cost for one.......I don't want to haul all the crap down and I don't want the added stress of having to put it all together and get it to everyone! HOWEVER having said that.......I read some advice on someone's knot bio that I took to heart....she said not to fill up an OOT bag with a lot of little cutesy crap that no one will use anyway. Instead she gave out, beach towels to her guests and said they were a huge hit! I think I'm planning on doing this....a "Welcome Roll" if you will. I can get the towels at the Nassau Straw Market for about $5.00 a piece, so I won't have to carry them down there.....and I will include some lip balm, Bahamas postcards, a welcome letter and a wedding weekend itinerary. I plan on giving these out at a Welcome to the Bahamas cocktail party the first day everyone arrives. I may even do some DIY luggage tags to include with names for a little something extra. But since I'm feeding people 3 times...(the cocktail party, everyone is included in the Rehearsal Dinner and the Wedding Reception), I don't feel the need to give big welcome gifts. I think they are a totally cute idea , if I didn't think I would stress too much about it or spend too much, I would be tempted to do it! Hope that helps! Good luck!

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I know I'm going straight to DW hell for this, but I dont think I'm going to do OOT bags. We went to a wedding where we got little bags of snacks, chapstick and small packets of stuff and I know most of my friends just left them at the hotel after we checked out. I would hate to lug things all the way to Mexico to have people toss it. Most of our guests will bring sunscreen and other necessities and I will mail a newsletter to everyone before they leave, so they know what to pack and what to expect. That said, I'm doing extra things with favors, a welcome dinner and other touches, just not the OOT bags. I think its a personal decision, just figure out what is more important to you and your guests. Hope this made sense.

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OOT bags are not a requirement. Do them if you want to. Don't do them if you don't.

 

I spent about $10 a bag, but I feel like it's stuffed with things people will use. The more I read the threads about what guests really used, the more things I added to my list. I had a lot of fun making mine. I also focused on keeping things compact & packable. instead of mugs, I did stacking cups. I did 70 cent lightweight bags.

 

http://bestdestinationwedding.com/forum/t16807

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We thought about this for awhile, and I read a TON of threads on OOT bags to see what people found really useful, etc. We decided to get just a few nice things - so we're doing pashminas for the ladies (under $4.50/pash) and sombreros for the men (under $2.50 per), plus some of the flip flop note pads, mexican themed coin purses, and customized pens from OTC.

 

We're in the same boat as you - 35 bags - and wanted to stay around $10/bag. We tried to pick items we thought our guests would like, keeping in mind the avg age (no children coming), etc.

 

Good luck!!

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You could easily do just one thing too. There are no rules. Like a mug with a tag on the handle. Or just a welcome letter. Or nothing at all.

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You definitely don't need to do them. The majority of my guests have never been to a DW, so I don't think they would even realize that a lot of people do OOT bags. I definitely wanted to do them, but that's really a personal decision. I have to admit that for me it did really increase my budget and it's the majority of my luggage (I have 85 guests for a total of 53 OOT bags). But I love doing stuff like this (even though right now it's giving me a headache figuring out how to lug it all down there). Like Morgan, before I bought things I thought about the usefulness of it - i.e. candles b/c the rooms are "musty" according to past travelers - and how easy it would be to pack - i.e. stackable cups instead of travel mugs.

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I personally have decided to do OOT bags but I only have to do 10 bags. I have really had to stop myself and think before I buy things but I think I put some pratical things in them. I did alot of small travel size things, I also did cups that were stackable.

 

I don't think that anybody would hold it against you for not giving out OOT bags, unless you have either had a DW or been to one people might not even know what they are.

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Thanks for all the comments, ladies! It's been really helpful. I guess I was stressing about it because I've been looking at totes, and they're all so big and I was like, "omg, how am I going to fill it up with stuff and how much is this going to cost us?!" But now I'm liking the idea of just giving out a mug (or stackable cups - solves the shipping problem), and maybe filling them with some first-aid items (tylenol, immodium), cause I think those will be the most useful stuff. I think it'll be a good balance of giving something nice/useful for the guests, but also being more budget-friendly.

 

Morgan, I'm going to look through your OOT links now. Seems like a lot of useful info!! Thanks so much. I especially like the way you made the individual pill packs, without having to buy them in individual packs. That will definitely save some $$. I'm amazed you only spent $10 each. They look great!

 

PS, Heidi, your pro-pics look amazing! Congrats!!

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