As a wedding guest, I am always curious as to see what the bride and groom have planned for their wedding favors. Will it be one more useless trinket holder for me to find some empty patch of bookshelf to store it away and gather dust? When planning your wedding favors, it can be tricky to discern what will be appreciated by your guests as cherished mementos from your wedding, and what favors will be added to their stockpile of knick knacks or even just tossed in the trashcan. Favors should be unique, thoughtful, and fit within your theme and budget; and, if it isn’t edible, it should be useful. As a general rule of thumb, think twice before you engrave your initials, names, and wedding date on every favor. No one really wants a picture frame or a wine glass with your initials emblazoned across the front (sorry). Also, it’s a good idea to stay away from favors that are strongly scented, such as candles and soaps—people can be sensitive to certain smells or just plain picky about the aroma of their home. Lastly, keep favors gender neutral; I’ve seen many a man go home with compacts and lip balms, only to mutter to themselves, “I guess I will give this to my girlfriend/wife/neighbor/coworker…”
To help kick start your brainstorming juices, we’ve made of list of our top five fool proof wedding favor ideas!
Seasonal Wedding Favors
To ensure that your wedding favors are useful to your guests, keep in mind the time of year that you are having your wedding. Sunglasses are a fun and fashionable favor for summer weddings, while chapstick or ornaments are great for the winter months. I have recently fallen in love with wildflower papers—these papers will plant beautiful spring flowers, giving your guests a colorful reminder of your wedding.
Food, Nom Nom
If I have to see another tiny pail filled with pastel almonds I will scream. Just because your wedding favor is food doesn’t mean that it can’t also be thoughtful or creative. Gifting your guests something that is local or unique to your town or heritage is always appreciated, such as local honey, preserves, hot sauce, or olive oil. Do you have a favorite family dessert or dish? Package the dry ingredients and attach the recipe. Bonus points for you if you include a vegan or gluten-free option!
If you are struggling to find ways to decorate the tables at your reception, allow your wedding favors to do the job. Succulents in teacups and small flowerpots, as well as vintage picture frames, can serve as table place markers. Personalized miniature flower vases can hold flower arrangements for your table, while also working as a gift for your guests to enjoy at home.
Wedding favors that can be used while at the reception are always fun because of their instant gratification factor. A tub filled with flip flops in a variety of sizes are welcome to any guest who wants to kick off their uncomfortable formal shoes and boogie on the dance floor. Classy hangover kits are humorous, and more often that not, incredibly appreciated the morning after! Journals, luggage tags, and reusable nylon bags are great for destination weddings, but can continue to be used and enjoyed at home.
A surefire way to make sure your wedding favor is useful and appreciated is to make a charity donation on behalf of your guest. A simple card with a personal note explaining to your guests that a donation has been made, along with a description of the charity and its work, is a gift that is more meaningful and long lasting than treats or bottle openers or tiny boxes.