Think of your wedding as a play, created with love, by you and your other half. You’re the stars, but a cast of supporting characters play significant roles as well.
There’s probably a little drama, a lot of romance, and likely some comic relief. There’s song and dance, and laugher and tears (of the happy variety). And like every proper narrative, there is a beginning, middle, and end.
Or at least, there should be. Many couples focus their creative energy on the first two parts, the ceremony and reception – and forget about the closing chapter. But just like a love story, a wedding deserves a happy ending too.
Giving favors, while not mandatory, is a thoughtful gesture that leaves attendees with a physical reminder of your wedding. These souvenirs don’t have to be expensive – many ideas needn’t cost more than a few dollars per person – but they can be sweet, either literally or figuratively, and they’re a finishing touch to your big day.
Favors may be small, but they show your appreciation for your guests and they’re the perfect send-off from a great reception. Favors don’t have to be pricey to feel personal and finding fun favors is all about adding a personal touch.
Food, drinks, and home goods, all make a great parting gift. Or, offer a donation to a charity in your guest’s honor.
WHAT TO CONSIDER IN CHOOSING YOUR FAVORS:
- LOCALE: If it’s a wedding at a winery, mini wine bottles, or a silver stopper
- WEDDING COLORS: lemon drops in mini tins for a wedding awash in yellow
- SEASON: for a winter wedding, give out mini packets of hot chocolate
- YOUR LOVE STORY: fortune cookies if he proposed with one
- TRAVEL/HONEYMOON: luggage tags are a cute idea
- YOUR MONOGRAM: shortbread cookies frosted with your new monogram
- PHILANTHROPY: give back with a donation to a charity in each guest’s name
- ECO-CONSCIOUSNESS: green ideas like tree saplings or soy candles
In addition to all the ideas, consider some of the following tactics when putting together your parting gifts as well:
- MAKE IT: If you have time and friends willing to roll up their sleeves – cook or bake an edible treat. You’ll cut costs, and your guests will eat them up!
- BUY IN BULK: If cooking is not your thing but shopping is, buy inexpensive items in bulk – popcorn, candy, nuts, or dried fruits – then upgrade them with pretty packaging in your day’s color.
- CALL IN THE ‘MAIDS: Get some wine, invite your bridesmaids over, and make a party out of assembling your favors.
- GIFT A GROUP: when your heart is set on expensive favors, give one to each couple or family. Just make sure you clearly label the package with the names of the intended recipients.
PERSONALIZE THE PACKAGE OF YOUR FAVORS
Your favors should look like they belong to your wedding. There are several ways to pack, wrap, or box them up in style so they feel special in keeping your celebrations aesthetic.
HOW TO WRAP IT:
- Handmade paper wrapping
- Simple boxes
- Takeout boxes
- Tiny tin pails
- Slim silver containers
HOW TO PERSONALIZE THE PACKAGE:
- STICK TO THE TEXT: Use the same font on your favors that you had on your programs, menus, and other printed goods.
- COLOR SCHEME: For a completely unified look, make sure your favors match your wedding palette.
- PLAY WITH PATTERNS: Package goodies in wrapping that mimics designs found elsewhere – like the lace to your dress, the chevron of the groomsmen’s ties, or the vines on the cake.
- MARK IT WITH YOUR MOTIF: Think like a branding expert and use the logo you’ve designed for your nuptials, such as your shared monogram, or Cupid’s arrow, on the wedding favor packaging as well.
HOW YOU WILL PRESENT THE FAVORS:
It’s all in the presentation. Take some time to figure out where you want guests to pick up their thank-you.
- At each place setting: a simple wrapped box at each setting is pretty
- On a favors table near to the exit: for guests to grab on their way out the door
- Passed around: by the waiters on silver trays
- As centerpieces at each table: set up in the shape of a pyramid or stacked
- As table numbers or escort cards: a donation card
A wise man once said, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker”.
To which we’d add, “baked goods are beautiful, chocolate is cheerful, and salt is sensational.”
Really, any food or drink that’s not highly perishable can be packaged cleverly to transform it into a delicious treat guests will savor, whether on the ride home, the next morning, or whenever the mood strikes.
Don’t choose something merely tasty. A gift should be thoughtful as well, whether it’s a mix of each of your favorite candies, a small reproduction of your wedding cake, or whiskey distilled on the farm where you held your reception. That way each bite comes with a side of sweet memories.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc (2015), Martha Stewart Weddings Ideas & Inspiration, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York
The Knot, Inc (2007), The Knot book of wedding lists, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York