Wedding favors are another one of those traditions that I have issues with. The idea, in itself, is great. Guests spend a good deal of money on attending a wedding between the travel costs and gifts, so it only makes sense that in addition to giving them a party to remember, you would reciprocate with some sort of gift of your own. However with the cost of weddings rapidly rising (in my state it is $26,000 people) favors can turn into a cheap necessity. You feel obligated to get them, but don’t want to spend a lot of money so your guests end up with some rhinestone emblazoned chotchke which they will never use. This seems like a lose-lose situation to me.
I’m not anti-favor. But I do believe strongly that if your wedding budget is already stretched, no one will notice or even really care if they get a shot glass with your wedding date on it, or Jordan almonds in your wedding colors. Instead put the money you save toward better food, another hour of music, or an open bar. I guarantee your guests will appreciate these things.
If you do have money to spend on favors, there are lots of creative options out there that both you and your guests will enjoy. In general, anything edible (or drinkable) is a crowd-pleaser as well as adaptable to whatever type of shindig you are hosting but there are plenty of other choices too. Here are some ideas I love.
I start with this, because bottles of wine are most likely going to be the favor we give our guests. We love wine, most of our friends and family love wine, and it strikes a good balance between something immediately enjoyable and a keepsake if you choose to save the bottle. There is a company here in Columbus (Camelot Cellars) that lets you help make the wine itself, bottle it, and design the label so you get the satisfaction of a do-it-yourself project without all the hassle. If you or your family doesn’t drink, or if you have kids at your reception Jones Soda allows you to make custom labels fairly inexpensively, comes in every color of the rainbow, and tastes pretty excellent too.
This could go several different ways, but I do like the idea of anything that allows your guests to create their own favor. Candy buffets and vintage photo booths are two popular options right now but you could personalize this as well by having a sundae bar instead of wedding cake or a dance instructor teach salsa lessons. Whatever you’re into really. This gist of this type of favor is creating memories instead of just giving things.
Favors that Do Good
And while we’re on that thought, some couples are doing donations to their favorite charities in lieu of favors. This is a worthwhile option on a lot of levels, because the donation can be as big or as small as you like, and doing something like this not only benefits a cause that means something to you, but is a reminder of the more important things in life.