Out of Town Bags

I plan on providing all the guests staying in our hotel with “out of town” bags. I wanted to do something a little different, so I ordered canvas totes from cheaptotes.com. The basic cotton canvas totes are just 99 cents, so I figured I couldn’t go to wrong! I ordered just 5 to test them out, but liked them enough to order the rest.

I tried to take some close up pictures to show the overall quality. They’re definitely thin but they’re sturdy, and I think they get the job done. And they’ll hopefully be something people will use again instead of just throwing away.

I am thinking about printing a design of some sort on the front of each bag but as the wedding gets closer we’ll see if that actually happens. I am not sure what I am going to fill them with yet but I’ll be sure to write about the details!

Are you planning on providing OOT bags?


Mrs. Sundae

Chicago/Lake Geneva, WI
Wedding Date:
September 2008
Packing it Up
Bar Menus and Signature Cocktails

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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    sarahbe, Guest @ 4:49 pm

    I ordered from cheaptotes too. I have the smaller yellow ones and I will be adding a flower to the bag with a contrasting ribbon. I made the flowers out of linen but I think you could add silk flower.

  2. Member
    missm 808 posts, Busy bee @ 4:58 pm

    Before this blog, I had no idea OOT bags even existed! It’s a great idea and I like the welcoming message they send to those that have traveled to share the day (or weekend or week, in some cases).

    My mom is a crafty type, so she’s sewing our OOT bags from some fun fabric with ribbon handles. The current plan is to fill them with bottled water, custom maps of the event locations along with restaurant suggestions, and fresh-baked snacks (we bake… a lot). We’ll see if all of that comes to fruition as the wedding draws near, but that’s the plan!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    HC, Guest @ 4:59 pm

    I used a tote bag as the basis of my out of town bags, and I have to say one thing that has been fun is visiting various people in the year following the wedding and seeing the bags in use. It always makes me smile. I recommend doing something to the bags so that you will be able to recognize them, but doing something generic that people will be pleased to use them. (Your names and dates are nice, but probably nothing that people will want to carry around indefinitely.)

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Kim, Guest @ 5:17 pm

    Just a thought, but to dress up the bags you bought, you could try using iron-on transfers. They have ones that you can use with your home printer. So you would just find a cool design, or you could even use a picture, and print it on the transfer and then iron it on to the front of the bag… I haven’t tried these so I don’t know how they would turn out, but they aren’t too expensive, so it’s worth a shot. Then you could just add some ribbon to the straps!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Maggie, Guest @ 5:33 pm

    Silk screening is another option for the tote bags. Here is a cool how-to: http://nomediakings.org/doityourself/howto_silkscreen_posters_and_shirts.html

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    CarolineG, Guest @ 5:55 pm

    Awesome! I bookmarked cheaptotes last month to do the very same thing. We’re having a beach wedding, so we’ll fill them with beachy-type things – sunscreen, buckets and little shovels for guests with kids, maps and area attractions, etc. I’ll stencil birds on the outside to match our “theme”.

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Leticia, Guest @ 9:43 pm

    i had no interest in doing OOT but my FMIL really wanted to and she took charge of it so I’ll tell her about the site.

    thanks for the post and the link to that site.

    they have great prices.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    babagrlshell, Guest @ 12:42 am

    I stenciled little sanddollars in acrylic paint on my OOT totes in a khaki brown (matched the weekend theme). We also used the same linen colors. It only took a couple hours while watching TV and they dried overnight.

  9. frenchbulldog Member
    frenchbulldog 1088 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:37 pm

    We’re planning on using something that ppl can also use for their groceries. We’re going to put a little note or poem in the bag to plant the seed that they should be used for that too.
    Trader Joe’s is BIG near me and FH and I LOVE to shop there, so we’re thinking of buying their re-useable shopping bags (that are only $1).

  10. Member
    nejgne 92 posts, Worker bee @ 1:51 pm

    what about sewing on ribbon in your wedding colors? or silkscreen something generic, like mrs. lemon’s rose, where it was part of her theme but generic enough that your guests can still use it.

    i would avoid putting your monogram/names on it, that sort of stuff just gets thrown out later. we just put a tag onto the handles in our colors and with our logo and people have a nice, plain bag left over.

  11. cupcake Member
    cupcake 1456 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:14 pm

    Hey Miss Sundae, the tote bags you got are now $1.29 each…. did you happen to buy them during a sale, or have the prices really changed in just two weeks? :-(

  12. sundae Member
    sundae 198 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:27 pm

    Yikes, the prices have changed! That stinks, hopefully they’ll lower them again :(

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    A Warm Welcome » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog, Guest @ 8:30 am

    […] boxes to hold welcome items for our out-of-town guests. Then, the fabulous Miss Sundae wrote about finding inexpensive canvas tote bags, and we swiftly changed our minds. Giving our guests bags that they could actually reuse sounded […]

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Paula, Guest @ 9:05 am

    I just went to the site and the totes seem to be back to $0.99.

  15. Guest Icon Guest
    Personalizing the Totes » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog, Guest @ 3:04 pm

    […] Out of Town Totes, and that reminded me that I never got around to writing about ours! I bought our plain canvas totes from cheaptotes.com several months ago for .99 cents a piece. It seems that they went up in price […]

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    jennifer, Guest @ 9:31 am

    Making OTT bags are a great way to honor those guest who are coming from out of town to join in the celebration of your wedding. i helped my niece prepare a dozen of these types of bags. We used a company called http://www.totebagfactory.com to buy some really great reusable tote bags. They were very affordable, easy to work with, and the quality of the tote bags were great. Our out of town guest were so pleased, and we received tons of comments on how nice the tote bags were. I would diffidently use this company again, as they were quick to answer all our question that we had.

    For us, filling the bag was easy. It was finding a quality tote bag at an affordable price. We were so impressed that we turned around and ordered more to fill for her bridesmaids as gifts. So with the two orders that we placed with the company we received a product and service that was 100% satisfactory.

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