Wedding favors are typically a gift to your guests to thank them for attending your event. They can be as simple or as elaborate as you want depending on your budget. However, they are also not at all a necessary expense. If you are looking to cut costs, this is definitely a place you can scratch off right away without guilt.
In my opinion, being invited as a guest means you are already treating them to your event.
You know, that event you planned so diligently, stressed out about, devoted the last year of your life to, and not to mention...paid for.
While most couple's think that the purpose of the reception is to celebrate the couple's love, and is to be a day all about them...they're wrong. Of course marriage is a cause for celebration, however the reception is your time to be gracious hosts, and treat friends, family, and loved ones to edible delights and festivities, thanking them for their love and support in your relationship.
Ok, ok. So you're telling me "But Shelly! My budget allows for it, and darn it, I want to give favors!" To which my response would be to then absolutely go for it....but do it right. This is a wedding, not a birthday party. If you decide to give your guests wedding favors, keep it classy and follow these tips.
Fit the theme: match the wedding and/or your personalities.
Pay Attention To Detail: Treat the favors with the same consideration, and follow through as the rest of your event.
Hand crafted items: Home made Jams, carmel apples, or Brews are a tasty heartfelt treat
Be Useful/Economical: Flower Plant seeds are useful, and echoes the feel of rustic themed weddings. OR consider ice scrappers or gloves for a winter wedding!
Be Passionate: If you both share a love for wines or coffee, providing little take home sample packs is a great way of sharing that passion with your guests
Be Thoughtful: Instead of physical favors, consider placing cards on each setting that state "In Leui of favors, we've issued a donation to ________ in your honor".
Draw Attention: Make sure your guests know what they are supposed to leave with at the end of the night. Attach a note, make an announcement, do whatever you have to in order to assure you do not leave with 100+ jars of jam.
Candy: More than likely your event has provided a full course dinner followed by cake and alcohol. You have given them plenty to eat, snack on, and drink. There has not been a SINGLE time where a couple who has done a candy bar, have not left with pounds and pounds of uneaten candy. (Not to mention the mess it leaves in the venue carpets that result in cleaning fees.)
Be Outdated: You've placed the wedding date on your invites, your guest book, your directional signs, customized bar napkins, and just about everywhere else you can think of. Thing is, the date is only the most important to you. Printing or etching it on the favors is like putting an expiration date on it. For example, as a guest, would you get more use out of a favor that was sentimental on its own? or one that was covered in "Charles and Cindy 4 Ever! 01-02-03". And just think...what would you do with the leftover favors after the wedding? It is much easier to reuse or gift leftover favors if they are not dated.
Be Tacky: Unless your theme is Backyard BBQ or Sporty Tailgate, then Koozies have no place at a wedding. If the items you're looking at are little better than customized Dollar Tree finds, it's probably better to go without. Also, nothing that needs to be "scattered" on the table (hershey kisses, mints, bells, etc.)--remember, stuff scattered on the table will wind up as stuff scattered on the floor.
Overpurchase: Unless you are placing one at each place setting, then I suggest you don't buy more than 1/3 of what you think you need. Trust me...There is ALWAYS leftovers, and a lot of them.
Again, I remind you that favors, while a nice gesture, are not at all necessary and most guests don't miss them. If you doubt me, I'd like you to recall if you remember what the favors were at the wedding's you've attended. Did they end up melting in your car? getting thrown away? Are they sitting in a cupboard or drawer somewhere unused?
For the ones you CAN remember, and that you DO enjoy, what is it about them that you like? I encourage your stories and comments of your best and worst wedding favors below. Happy Planning!