By the time our guest list was finalized and all of the response cards had been sent back to us, it was clear that my obsession with what to do for our out of town baskets was not for nothing. A whopping 80% of our guests would be coming in from other cities and states, and staying in the hotel blocks we had reserved. While I may have never even heard of an out of town basket (or OOT, as I prefer to call them since it’s way more fun to say) before we were engaged and I fell into the land of wedding blog goodness, I quickly had a million ideas for ours and Mr. Cloud quickly became concerned that I was losing touch with reality.
At one point I planned on baking homemade cookies and cupcakes to put in these things; looking back, the Mr. clearly had reason to be concerned. But I scaled things way back, and ABSOLUTELY LOVE what we gave out. I have been D-Y-I-N-G to share these with you (remember this post? I was giddy even then, and I didn’t have them close to being together yet)! So without further ado, our Virginia themed OOTs!!
Hive, I cannot lie to you. This picture makes it look like in the middle of all of our last minute wedding preparations I stopped to have a little photo shoot with our OOTs.
That is a bold face lie; in fact, the only picture I bothered to take two days before the wedding while Mama Cloud, my MOH and I were putting these bad boys together was this…
Overwhelming OOT assembly line + already slightly stressed bride = big fat blog fail. Luckily between my Nana Cloud, Mama Cloud, and myself we had almost everything to recreate a whole box five months later. Back to that first picture, let’s get to the details (with a little labeling to simplify things).
A. Kraft Gable Boxes with Welcome Tag and Label (The drawing was done by my awesome brother. I designed the labels and printed everything at Kinko’s. The boxes are 8×4â…žx5¼ and were purchased from PaperMart.com)*
B. 2 Mini Water Bottles with Custom Labels (We bought the water bottles on sale in bulk from Big Lots on the cheap. I designed the labels and printed them on waterproof label sheets from LabelsByTheSheet.com)
C. Hubbies Peanuts (Thank you to Mrs. Perfume who pointed me to Hubbard Peanut Company’s Hubbies. Virginia peanuts with the perfect name for a wedding.)
D. Hershey Bars with Custom Wrappers (I am too cheap to buy the big Hershey bars that still have foil on them, so I bought the smaller 1.55 oz. size and wrapped them with foil papers I got from Foilman.com. Again I designed a label and had them printed on a shiny paper at Kinko’s. I was obsessed with including these even though they were a LOT of work. Luckily they were a HUGE hit and people kept telling me at the wedding how much they loved them, proving to Mr. Cloud it wasn’t a big waste of time after all 🙂 !)
(It looks like someone really had to resist eating this one.. but you get the idea!)
E. Tobacco Co. Restaurant Match Boxes (Matches from one of our favorite restaurants/bars in downtown Richmond. Free with the hookup from a sorority sister who works there.)
F. 2 Individual Packs of Motrin (Purchased at Staples, and were seen multiple times at our morning-after brunch. People with hangovers were extra thankful.)
G. Richmond/Virginia Information Pamphlets (I started stealing collecting these over a year before the wedding. Welcome centers and rest stops were regularly visited.)
H. Richmond Postcard (Each box got one of the two designs, I got them last minute at Wal-Mart because they had them 5/$1 and I just couldn’t resist.)
I. “Virginia is for Lovers” Bumper Sticker (I realize no one will probably ever put these on their car, but I don’t care because they were free from the welcome center and just fabulous.)
K. Welcome booklet (I put these off until the absolute last minute because I just didn’t know where to start, but love the way they turned out. I felt like we had a lot of info to share and in the end I tried to simplify things as much as possible. In case you are as stuck as I was, here is the breakdown of pages. They were printed on cardstock and I used an extra long eyelet in the top left corner so they would “swivel” open (and when I say “I”, I really mean Mr. Cloud, because it’s hard to punch through all that stock). Rounding the corners felt like a really good idea before I started, but 6 pages each times 60 books makes for a sore hand from the rounder punch.
Front Cover : Thank you again Brother Cloud, I wore that little drawing out!
Page One: Welcome note and phone number to Mama Cloud and our Best Man in case anyone needed help.
Page Two : Schedule of events, and info about the shuttle service from the hotel to the Cathedral the day of the wedding.
Page Three : Map I made in Photoshop by literally tracing over a copy of Google Maps. There are lots of one way streets, and if our guests are anything like me in a new city, someone was bound to get lost without help.
Page Four : Restaurants and entertainment ideas we love.
Page Five : Invite to our day-after brunch. The original plan was to send out invites for this as well, but time got the best of us and that never happened. Brother Cloud whipped up a cute little drawing of our pup Bella and it ended up being perfect for this page because since she had stayed in the hotel with us, the staff at the Jefferson let her come to the brunch and wander around the ballroom while people ate!
I did say we had ALMOST everything to reassemble a whole box but there were a few things I am missing in the above picture and list. We also included Virginia “info” pencils I purchased from here, Route 11 potato chips (a VA chip company, which there are none left of because I ate every last one), small bags of trail mix we bought at BJs Wholesale, and lastly, a handful of Hershey Kisses, because you can never have too much chocolate. Surprisingly the boxes weren’t even that heavy considering how much we stuffed in!
Are you doing/did you do OOT boxes for your guests traveling in? What did you include in them?
(All Personal Images)
*If you are looking for gable boxes like we used, but don’t need the 100 minimum most sites sell, I have extras for sale! Head over here to see my listing on the classifieds boards!