You’ve either clicked because you want some cool ideas for OOT bags or because you are wondering what is an OOT bag anyway?
Well – if you are planning a destination wedding – or if you live near the beach and have landlubber friends and family coming into town for your big event, you may want to surprise them with a little gift bag to make them feel at home away from home. These Out Of Town bags are known as OOT bags for short.
Will it cost a lot of money? It needn’t.
Can you make it personal and functional at the same time? Certainly.
Will it be a nice surprise to guests who have no idea what an OOT bag is? Yes 🙂
First things first – the bag. It can be a canvas bag or a paper bag, for kids it can even be a bucket to make sandcastles on the beach. You can personalize it and have special ones made, or just pick up anything that works. It needn’t be expensive and you don’t want to give everyone something that will be difficult or bulky to transport back home.
- A handwritten note
This is an easy one – take the time to personalize a handwritten note to each guest (or couple) saying thank you for being a part of your celebration. They may have traveled a long way and a warm welcome always brings a smile. You could even put a nautical twist on the note and write it as a message in a bottle – literally..
2. The itinerary
If you are planning events together like a rehearsal dinner or an excursion, let them know the general plan so they know how to plan their own time when they are not with the group. It saves time and avoids confusion. Include guidance on the dress code and any other information your guests would want clarified before they turn up to the beach bar in their tuxedo 🙂
3. A local map
A local tourist map will show places of interest and you can circle the important places for your ceremony / reception
4. Trail mix / granola / snacks / dried fruit
Everyone has the munchies sometimes!
5. A water bottle / koozies for drinks
6. A few postcards
So they either get to keep a momento of the beach or they use them to send back to friends
If you know they are looking for kid friendly attractions or local places of interest. If you know one of your guests loves fishing, maybe pick up a few brochures for the deep sea fishing charters that go daily from John’s Pass. Maybe directions to a jet ski rental on the inter coastal.
8. Handy essentials
Tissues / hand sanitizer / chapstick / band-aids / sunscreen / stain remover / mini sewing kit
9. Skip the candles
Many hotels don’t allow candles to be lit so although it sounds like a nice idea, realistically it would end up being taken back home.
If you know your guests have your taste in music then you can make or a soundtrack of your destination wedding – great for playing in the rental car and a great reminder of the good times afterwards (bonus: it’s light and easy to transport back)
11. Fresh fruit
It’s hard to beat locally grown Florida oranges
12. A little charm / keepsake
We are surrounded by great gift shops with shell jewelry, shells, charms. If you have young girls in your party, maybe a shell necklace or bracelet. For young boys, how about a shark’s tooth to take home!
13. A taste of Florida
Shells and corals are a really nice gift for guests who long to be near the sea – we found this heart shaped coral and couldn’t resist. If you are only making up a few bags then you have the opportunity to look for something more unique. If you’re making up lots of bags then it could be easier to buy in bulk.
It’s totally up to you although if you decide to make up the bags, it’s easy to get a head start in advance and then have a list for when you arrive in Florida. Especially if you are arriving a couple of days ahead of your guests, you can get everything picked up in a couple of hours. It’s the planning and making decisions that takes the time.