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Favors, Out of Town Hospitality bags, and Programs….Oh My!

What do these three things have in common? Two things mostly:

  • You are absolutely debating the merit of them, and that’s most likely because
  • They can cost a lot of money and you aren’t sure it’s worth it

Am I right? (Lucky me, you can’t actually respond so I just get to go on blissfully assuming that OF COURSE I AM!) And, for the record, I’ve been in nearly 20 weddings, and gotten married myself, so I’ve been around this block a time or two and have had this conversation on multiple occasions. Sidebar as to how one is ‘nearly’ in a wedding; I attribute that to the brides that have either had no one and just needed someone to step up, or the ones that chose poorly and didn’t like their bridal party by the end, and again, just needed someone to step up J. Anyway, back to our topic – potential money suckers that need to be worth it because these things are expensive!

Let’s start from the top. Weddings are all about you, right of course, but they are also all about the impression you want to leave your guest with. This makes some decisions super simple, but others get stuffed in the ‘I know I should but I don’t want to’ bucket, and guess what – people do notice that. So first and foremost, if you don’t want to do something but are doing it because you have some notion of what you should do, just don’t. There is no more should in the world of weddings, traditions and the days of getting married so young people have no choice but to do exactly as their parents did, are pretty slim. People are making new traditions, pushing the boundaries, and making weddings fit them and their style, and they should!

So how does that tie in to Hospitality Bags at the hotel? Well let me first say, I’m biased because I LOVE a hospitality bag. It’s like an adult goodie bag and I totally look forward to it. That said, I also judge it, I’ll admit it and if the PC I was typing on would allow, I would include a shamed emoji here because it’s rude, but it’s true. If you’re going to do one, make it personal, and worth it. People love them some water and some Hangover Helper for the a.m., no doubt, but if there’s nothing in that bag that tells me more about who you are as a couple, save the money and use it somewhere that is important to you – buy the better champagne, or have the unicyclist bring in the cake (hey it’s your wedding, you do you, I’m not judging anymore and I would most definitely forget about a hotel bag if a man on one wheel delivered your 5 tier cake!) And the thing that makes the bag personal could be a poem that explains what is in it, or a map showing people, spots you love and places for the weekend, it doesn’t have to cost a lot, it just does have to show people a bit of you.

The same goes for favors, I feel like I’ve said this already, but no one needs a tiny eyeball sized picture frame. Although, if I looked up ‘What to do with Tiny Picture Frames?’ on Pinterest I’m sure someone right now is making a liar out of me by doing something adorable with hundreds of them, but I digress. The point is, once again, make it personal or skip it.

And finally, programs. It’s kind of a given – you’re going to sit down, we’re going to get married, then que food and booze. Except if you are getting married in a traditional religious ceremony and then, well, you’re going to have to follow another blog for more detailed advice about that – or provide a program! But for your ‘new normal’ short-ish ceremony, frequently done on site, I would say you don’t NEED a program. But if you want one, guess what, here it comes, you know it already – make it personal! Say who is in your wedding party, add something funny or a heartfelt thank you, put in some pictures or a few song lyrics that are meaningful, you get the gist.

All of this can be applied to menus, thank you cards at the table, etc. etc. The message from me will always be the same – set your priorities, the things that you are willing to throw money at so they perform the way you wanted them to (food, booze, band, in my world), and work backwards from there. If something falls to the end of the list and you’re on the fence, you should probably scrap it. People don’t have a running tally of what you left out and neither should you. Embrace what is in that day, that moment, and your heart, and protect those investments. And, naturally, if you want to include it all, call me because I’m am so game to help you get it all – we will find a way!


  • Yash Posted June 7, 2017 1:22 am

    Love it so true!

  • Kelly Elsmore Posted June 7, 2017 2:06 am

    So I just finished being the Maid of Honor for my sisters wedding. We did the hotelboxes, the favors, the programs and the seating chart and I know because I used my beloved Cricut machine to make it as personal as possible. It was ALOT of work and knowing in advance that it wasn’t really worth it was so hard but my sister wanted it. My advice is I agree with the writer. If you do it make it PERSONAL or don’t do it. Spend the money on the booze, food, and photography. After all it was beautiful but I highly doubt any one would have really noticed if the booze and food was amazing. Xoxoxo to all brides out there.

  • Megan Posted June 7, 2017 6:29 pm

    Love, Love, Love this !!!! I would let you plan my wedding any day 🙂

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