Originally, I really wanted to do nice OOT bags in cute gable boxes and have things like Old Bay and Berger Cookies and those weird caramel candies that are kinda good and really just...different (Ghects? I dunno.) But like everything with weddings, it has evolved. And by evolved, I mean, "been downsized to something I can afford."
Why not skip them all together? Well, Baltimore City water is pretty terrible, so I refuse to leave our guests without water bottles that they can take into the city with them. A lot of our guests are coming from the UK, so I worry that they will be off because of the time difference and wake up at 4am starving. I always come back from weddings hungry and thirsty. So I believe in the OOT bag.
However, I no longer believe in the work that goes into the OOT bag. If you're not staying at the main hotel, you don't get one. That way, no running around town making deliveries. No individually packaging things that come in giant bags from Costco into cute little glassine packages sealed with a stamp. No fancy labels with an excessive amount of ribbon. No painstakingly printed labels.
The new recipe for the OOT bag is this:
water bottles + trail mix + granola bars + local takeout menus + whatever we want to steal from the visitor bureau + paper bag (with handles, cuz we're classy) + cute tag = OOT bag
Lazy and cheap way out? Yes, yes it is. I estimate the total cost to be $50 (if I can buy bags in smaller quantities than 250 to a case) and the total effort to be dependent on whether I get fancy with the tag or just write "Welcome!" in sharpie. Will it look half assed? Only to people that read wedding blogs. Everyone else will either say, "oh, how nice and delicious" or "I hope the maids like trail mix."