For my wedding, I was torn by having something visually stunning (but utterly worthless) or something practical (and a little boring). I think my Welcome Bags (aka OOT gift bags) are somewhere in the middle.
Although gable boxes are all the rage, I opted for something reusable. I ordered reusable scarlet totes from Cheap Totes. They were fairly inexpensive and are great for the environment. I thought about doing an iron-on for our wedding but I figured that most guests would be less inclined to re-use a bag branded with my wedding logo. Instead, I attached these cute vintage postcards to the bag with a piece of satin ribbon.
The Goods: I love swag but I also wanted to make the bag practical. In the bags, we gave guests items all made from the City of Chicago:
- 2 bottles of water - a luxury in Chicago as we have a plastic bottle tax
- Jay's Potato Chips
- Melissa & Denton Word Puzzle
- Welcome Materials from the City of Chicago
- Quaker Oats Snack
- Tootsie Roll's
- Fischer Peanuts
- Wrigley Gum
- Jelly Belly's
- Our Awesome Welcome Letter
Since I wanted to add a cohesive look to the bag, the DIY Champion of our Household - my husband, Denton - made labels to package up the Jelly Belly's and the Fischer Peanuts.
He also made the labels for the Water Bottles. Adding a label to a water bottle is the easiest DIY ever. Simply buy some bottles from CostCo, rip off the old labels, and then attach the new ones. Denton bought the labels from Labels by the Sheet.
The best part of the bag was our Welcome Letter. Much more than a letter, we had 8 pages that included information on our favorite sites, a timeline for the weekend, a map, and a short note from us.
My husband had this printed on a heavy resume paper and cut at Office Max. He whole punched the paper and assembled with braids from Paper Source. They are simply gorgeous. We received many compliments on our bags.