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Are OOTs a must? What are alternatives?

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#1 Pazoop

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    Posted 22 August 2008 - 01:24 AM

    It's come time for me to think about putting together OOT bags and I just can't seem to get started. I was trying to figure out why the other day when it dawned on me that I just don't really want to do them at all....ever! It's just that the idea of lugging over 25 sets of welcome bags filled with stuff (on top of everything else) down to Mexico with us is a horrifying prospect as far as logistics go and but paying the hotel to provide welcome bags is out of the question since their prices are just ridiculous for what they'll provide for our guests.

    So I'm wondering what people think -- with almost 60 people now booked to come to the wedding (and more still on the way) do I have to put together OOT bags? I've already had a few people tell me that it's my wedding and shoud do what I want but I am looking for some honest feedback.

    I do think it's important to have something in the guests' rooms for when they arrive but is it enough just to have a "welcome letter" and a single welcome gift? Like say a scented candle for the room? Or a koozie? Any other alternative suggestions?

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    #2 Banana11

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      Posted 22 August 2008 - 07:35 AM

      We are mailing guests a thank you package a month before our wedding cruise. That way we don't have to drag it all with us to distribute. We are giving them luggage tags and a welcome book along with a few other goodies.

      I have been the recipient of an OOT bag stuffed with all of the usual stuff. Honestly, most of it was stuff I already had brought along for the trip. The best part about the OOT was the bag itself (used daily) and the tylenol. The rest was little things we already had or didn't really need. What about giving everyone a beach bag? That would be something pretty easy to bring with you and distribute. You could include a welcome letter and maybe one other treat? Or you could mail them the beach bags ahead of time with a thank you note and a welcome book? Just a few ideas...

      #3 ErinB


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        Posted 22 August 2008 - 08:21 AM

        I agree with Andrea. You can give items out before hand so you don't have to transport them. I like the idea of a beach bag.

        I was going to suggest a travel candle, but those suckers are heavy, especially if you have 60+.

        I sent out a welcome packet (or novel - it was 15 pages) that detailed the area, things to pack, info on the resort, etc and luggage tags for each guest. Some other ladies have sent out a pre-travel letter with CDs.

        I think whatever you choose to do will be fine. No one goes to a DW expecting a goodie bag. If you only want to write each guest a thank you note or a welcome letter that is fine. I think any acknowlegement of their travel and suuport of you is fine.

        If you still want to give them something, what about a group excursion or spa credit or something?

        #4 becks



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          Posted 22 August 2008 - 08:42 AM

          I like the idea of a CD, especially if your hotel has CD players in the rooms - not so great if they don't.

          Beach bags are great, too. Almost all my guests used theirs daily. One thing that was a big help was that I'd put little hang tags with guests names (printed on cardstock) on the bags - that was actually for me so I knew how many of which items went into each bag. But in the end, it ended up being enormously helpful because the guests could tell them apart!

          We got cute canvas totes for about $4 each (the 19x14x5 boat bags from here: Online ordering wholesale canvas tote bags) and put an iron on transfer, which cost another $1 or so. The were great!!!

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          #5 Sah

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            Posted 22 August 2008 - 08:47 AM

            I agree with the above. I would send beach bags with useful items. I love the idea of sending luggage tags ahead! So cute. It just makes your guests feel special and kind of brings the party a little closer. Best of luck!

            #6 adias.angel

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              Posted 22 August 2008 - 08:49 AM

              We are of the same mindset. As the guest list grows we are thinking about ditching the OOT bags too. Almost everyone coming are travelers like us so the bags would probably be useless.

              The thought right now is to wrap small gifts and leave those in the rooms along with a note about us taking them on an excursion. Just so they know we thought about them.

              #7 ErinB


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                Posted 22 August 2008 - 08:57 AM

                As a gift what about an underwater disposable camera?

                That is the one thing I really wished I had taken.

                We did give our guests regular disposable cameras so they didn't have to take good ones on excursions or share if the couple was doing separate activites. I would have liked to do the underwater ones, but with the cost of everything else in the bags, it would have blown my budget!

                Some guests did bring the underwater cameras and they have some fun pictures.

                I think this is a nice thing that most people don't have or think about and they can be really expensive to buy there. They were like $17 at our resort gift shop!

                #8 adias.angel

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                  Posted 22 August 2008 - 09:13 AM

                  Originally Posted by ErinB
                  As a gift what about an underwater disposable camera?
                  Thats a awesome idea! We were planning on doing the ATV Mayan ruins & snorkeling excursion so it fits right in. Even as much as we travel that is one thing I forget 1/2 the time cause I pack my digital camera.

                  #9 rodent


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                    Posted 22 August 2008 - 09:40 AM

                    OOT bags are definitly not required. our guests were surprised to be get one.

                    most only stayed 3 nights, so they didn't really use a lot of the stuff. like the first aid kits. my mom didn't open her's until she got home & then she wished that she knew about the chapstick inside.

                    i'm glad I did them because I had fun with them. but, i really think they are optional.

                    the most useful thing we did was a little coin purse with a clip to hold the room key. my favorite thing was the hair flowers because it was fun to see people wearing them around.

                    i think just a welcome letter would be nice. or if you can attach a small item like a CD (if the room has CD players).

                    most of us get carried away with the OOT bags becasue we are having fun with it. i didn't plan on doing so much at first.

                    #10 seaprincess

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                      Posted 22 August 2008 - 10:35 AM

                      I am in the same boat as you...as my guest list grows and more and more people let me know they have booked or are planning on booking, the less appealling (and more financially draining) the prospect of OOT bags are to me. I think I may just do a first aid kit with chapstick, advil, immodium, bandaids ets and a welcome letter for all my guests. It is practical for everyone and it is easier to transport.
                      Lindsay and Jamie - January 28, 2009

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