Planning a wedding and getting information/tips sometimes means that hours are spent searching online wedding sites. I soon learned that there was a new language out there and abbreviations for terms left me feeling like I needed some sort of code dictionary. What the heck was an OOT? Thank goodness some other brides set me straight.
An OOT is an Out of Town bag. Like a gift bag, but for destination wedding brides, it is somewhat of a staple. This is the goodie bag you fill with things you give to your guests to enhance their vacation. There is a lot of pressure to fill it with practical yet unique items. Our goodie bag contained, among other things, a welcome newsletter. This newsletter had pictures of our guests and a brief bio on how we met them or how they were related to us. Then we had flip flops (pink for the ladies, white for the guys), sunscreen, bug spray, aloe, and finally, a 3″ by 5″ digital picture frame. We sent a USB with pictures from the wedding when we returned home to all of the guests. The bags were canvas and pink and I had pre-packed them before I left home. I found my bags via customizedgirl.com, but there are many websites out there that will stitch your wedding monogram or wedding date on your bag.
Do you pre-pack them? Some of our couples fill them when they arrive and some even shop for items when they arrive in their destination. I had one couple, who got married in Jamaica, buy Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans and stock those in their OOT’s once they arrived. Some couples fill the bags with bottle koozie’s, maps of the island or resort, itineraries of events taking place, thank you notes, and some even prepare a special OOT just for the kids. I had one couple put a fun pair of sunglasses for each child in a kid’s bag and the pictures of the kids at the wedding wearing the glasses were priceless.
One of the hardest decisions is when to hand them out or how to deliver them. Most hotels charge for delivery. Prices range from $3-$7 per bag and sadly some bags go missing. Some choose to hand them out even before departing for their wedding, and some do so at the airport. You could also try to get the room numbers of each guest and do it yourself. However, I have found that if you find a key location such as a bar by the main pool on the day guests arrive, to personally hand them out, tends to work best. If you do this, not only can you be sure that everyone gets them but you also get the thrill of seeing your guests’ reactions which can be very gratifying.