Austin-area experts weigh in with wedding advice that really works.
Creative Wedding Favors
Choosing wedding favors is not an easy task. Most guests will soon forget what sort of vases you had on the tables at your reception, what the chairs looked like for the ceremony, and even the wedding colors. But wedding favors well chosen will be around to remind guests of your wedding for weeks, if not years, to come. Favors are meant to thank your guests for attending your wedding, but the way that you choose to thank those around you can vary quite a bit. The favors that you give out at your wedding are a reflection of who you are. Moreover, they’re the take-home reminder of your wedding, a small object that should bring back all the good memories of your wedding that your guests have experienced. Your wedding favors should be as unique as you are, as unique as your relationship with your partner. But how do you go about choosing something that reflects your personality in a meaningful way, and that won’t end up in the trash as soon as guests get home? See if these tips help spark your creativity.
General tips for choosing wedding favors:
• If you have a wedding theme, be sure to find favors that reflect that theme. That way, the favors will automatically bring back memories of your wedding.
• Homemade wedding favors are a great way to infuse your personality into your guests’ experience, and are much more likely to be treasured by your guests than something factory-made.
• Guests are much more likely to keep useful favors than ones that just look nice. If a particular favor is cute but useless, it’ll probably get thrown away as soon as your guests get home.
• Think about whether you’d like to receive a particular favor at a wedding, and what you’d do with it when you got home. If you wouldn’t want it as a gift, your guests probably wouldn’t either.
• Figure out your budget before you start looking for favors. Decide how much you’re willing to spend on favors then divide that by the number of people who will be attending the wedding.
Here are some specific ideas of wedding favors. Choose a favor or favors from the list, or let them inspire you to come up with something all your own.
Favors that guests can keep for years:
• Plants or seeds: Some couples choose to give out packets of wildflower seeds or small potted plants. Plants literally offer a breath of fresh air, and they’re a nice metaphor for your love for each other as a couple too: Though their appearance may change, every day they grow stronger.
• Framed photos: Decorate photo frames beforehand. Have a Polaroid on hand during your wedding, and when guests come to greet you in the receiving line, have the photographer or a friend or family member take a photo of you and your spouse along with each guest or couple. Then have a trusted member of your wedding party insert each photo into a frame to give out at the reception.
• Champagne flutes: Every time your guests celebrate something in the future, they’ll remember the day they celebrated your wedding with you. If you go this route, make sure your guests know the flutes are to take home with them!
• Packs of playing cards with your names or initials on them: Playing cards are a fun and versatile way to remind guests of the good time they had at your wedding. Many guests will keep your playing cards on hand for years.
• Compilation CD of your and your partner’s favorite music: Include music that you played at your wedding, especially the music you walked down the aisle to (unless it was the traditional wedding march) and the music you used for your first dance and father-daughter dance. If either of you play an instrument, include some of your own music in the compilation as well.
Favors that guests can take home and use:
• Soap: Choose soap containing local ingredients for an extra tie into your choice of wedding location. If you’re using a particular scent throughout your wedding, get your soap custom-made to include that scent.
• Tea or coffee: Many of your guests are likely to drink tea and/or coffee, so consider giving them a way to remember your wedding every morning. If you go this route, give out high-quality tea or coffee. If you served a hot beverage at your wedding reception, you might give out the same brand for your favors, especially if it was something unusual.
• Bubbles: Many couples give out small containers of bubbles at their wedding. This adds a whimsical feel to the ceremony and reception, and is an inexpensive favor that guests can take home with them. Consider printing labels with your names and the date to attach to the bubble containers.
• Little bottles of olive oil, maple syrup or other local delicacy: These are useful gifts, while still being a treat for guests.
• Candies with your names and wedding date: Many candy companies can print the packages of their candies to include your information, and some are even able to inscribe directly on the candies.
• Candles: Especially consider aromatherapy candles scented with your wedding scent. Smell is a great way to invoke memory, so every time your guests burn the candles, they’ll be drawn back into your wedding day.
Alternately, some couples choose to give a donation to a nonprofit of their choice in lieu of wedding favors. If you go this route, choose an organization that means something special to you.
You will always remember your wedding day, and if you choose your wedding favors wisely, your guests will have a wonderful and meaningful reminder of the day as well. Choosing wedding favors can be a lot of fun, so be creative, let your personality shine, and enjoy this part of the process.