Monday, November 2, 2009

Out-of-Town Bags

We put together Out-of-Town bags for our guests who came from other places to attend the wedding. This project got me so excited and I LOVED putting together these little bags to welcome our guests and to thank them for coming. I guess it was my way to try to host our guests in a tiny way, even if I wasn't present as they arrived and explored Québec on their own.

I chose some sweet and savory snack foods and put them in small plastic bags with labels saying "Sweet Treats" or "Salty Snacks" with our floral swirl motif and font. For our "Sweet Treats", I included a bag of mini candy bars that included S's favorite Coffee Crisp (about $16 for 100 mini candy bars). I chose candy bars that would be fun and interesting for our guests coming from outside of Canada. We also bought gummy bears and put those in as a non-chocolate, low-fat "Sweet Treat." (The gummy bears were about $7 for a big bag from Costco.) The "Salty Snacks" were bags of pretzels. (Maybe $6 total for two large bags that we then divided into the smaller individual bags?)

Mmm..Coffee Crisp!

So fun!

We used one gift bag per hotel room (maybe 18 total OOT bags for about 29 non-local guests?), but included one of each item (pretzels, etc) for each person staying in the room. The red paper gift bags were bought by my mom at a craft store for 3 for $1. The labels on the small bags and the main bag were leftover labels from other projects, and the small plastic bags (50 count) were bought at the Dollarama for $1 each pack (and I think I used three packs).

Photo credit: MAT
Stuffing the "Salty Snacks."

I also got maps of Québec (for free at an information kiosk at the airport) and made a "Bienvenue à Québec" booklet to accompany the bag (using white nice paper and red ribbon I already had). The booklet was in our colors (red, black, and white) and used the same design motif as all our other paper products.

We included useful information like a designated contact person (the Best Person, not us), our phone number for emergencies, and the address and phone numbers of the hotel, taxis, a pharmacy, the city bus service, etc, and printed directions to the venue from the hotel (and the return trip). For fun, we added a list of restaurants S and I like, with personal details like which one we went to on our first date, the one where S loves the sushi, etc. And I also compiled a list of 10 fun things to do in Québec and nearby.

Compiling the booklet was a project I really enjoyed doing, and I think it was worth it. We heard of multiple out-of-town guests that used our restaurant suggestions, and one family went to the place S and I had our first date and toasted us! I even used the booklet multiple times over the weekend to help others program their GPSs and to find addresses for my own GPS. (Yep, still learning my way around Québec.) For our friends that came with kids (1 family only), we also included 2 coloring/activity books and crayons ($1 each).

Photo credit: MATThe look of the finished product from the outside.

When I had researched OOT bags on bridal blogs and saw how much other people ended up spending on theirs (you know, reading comments like each bag was "only $30 a piece!"), I wondered if they were worth it and if I could afford it, but I had SUCH a blast making them and designing the booklet and I am SO glad I did it! We had guests come from very far away to attend our wedding and it was a joy to welcome them in this small way. It was inexpensive to put this together, but it did take some time to separate things in smaller portions and to include the fun details and design elements that I like. But that was fun for me. :)

A side note: we had hoped to have the OOT bags placed in the rooms so our guests would find them in their room when they arrived, but the hotel wanted to charge us three dollars a piece plus tax JUST for delivery. Since the contents were worth less than three dollars a piece, we said no thank you to that. I realized my parents and I could just try to hand deliver them to people as soon as we saw them, and that ended up working out okay for us.

1 comment:

  1. I took one bite of that Coffee Crisp and decided it could quite well be my favortie candy bar too! YUM!!