Color coordinated candy is fine and yummy, but when it comes to wedding favors it has become quite…well, boring, to give to guests. So, what can you send your guests home with as a “Thank you for spending time with us” that’s both unique and wanted?
One thing we tend to recommend for almost all favors is that they be useful. Non-useful favors (although we hesitate to label them such because of some guests’ love of them) such as figurines or fans are often tossed in the trash, meaning that your spent money was literally wasted. Therefore, we recommend that couples gift something that someone somewhere will appreciate and use.
When choosing favors don’t worry about how long it’ll be useful for. Rather, focus on whether it is inherently useful. There is no specific “useful life” for a favor. Some favors, such as silver monogrammed cup, can have a useful life of years, while others, such as chocolates, can have one that lasts just minutes.
Favors we love and have seen guests devour and appreciate include:
Food is always a hug hit, and can range from a few cookies to a bag of upscale bread mix. Some ideas for food favors are:
- Mini hot chocolate packages or a pre-made hot chocolate mix with a couple of donut holes on a stick
- Cake pops decorated in the colors of the wedding
- Cookies in the shape of the couple’s initials
- Small jugs of milk and chocolate chip cookies
- Specialty foods from the cities in which you and your new spouse grew up
- S’more packages: gift all the ingredients your guests will need to create s’mores at home
- Mixed fresh fruit or cherries in small bags
- BBQ rubs, hot sauces or other seasonings
- Caramel, chocolate or strawberry sauce
- Individual bottles of specialty olive oil, maple syrup or honey
- Small bag of coffee beans
- Refillable gumball machines: fill with gumballs or nuts of your choice and your guests can continue refilling with their favorite treats long into the future
If you don’t want to necessarily give food but like the idea of gifting something that guests can use when drinking or eating, consider:
- A wine corker or stopper
- Small book of your favorite recipes
- Hand-in-Hand bamboo salad server set
No guest is ever so crass as to be upset over a donation made in his or her name. Select your favorite charity or one that has special meaning to you and your new spouse and donate a set amount per guest. Indicate that this donation has been made by posting a sign on each table or other conspicuous place where guests will see it so that they know not to look for a favor.
In reality, there are innumerable options for what you can gift your guests. What, exactly, you choose to gift is up to you, but you might consider:
The wedding’s theme and mood. Giving a silly favor at a formal wedding might make the gift seem out of place. Similarly, gifting a favor in colors that are not reflected in some portion of the wedding décor may make it appear as though the gift was an afterthought.
The gift’s packaging and guest travel. Liquids won’t make it through airport security and some drinks, like milk, require refrigeration. Make sure that the majority of guests and your reception location can accommodate refrigerating liquids.
Your tastes. Don’t gift anything you wouldn’t want yourself. It’s pretty likely that not all guests will take a favor, resulting in your returning home with several.
Shop around and have some fun when selecting favors – it’s the perfect opportunity to select something you love that showcases your personality and reflects your event.