If you are new to wedding planning, you might be wondering what in the world a Wedding Favor is! There are so many weird words in Wedding-Land (kissing balls, stanchions, favors, boutonniere lol)!
A wedding favor refers to a small gift given by the Wedding Couple to each of their guests at the wedding. It’s like the grown-up version of the Loot Bags we used to get at birthday parties as a kid! (Did anyone else call them that, or is that a Canadian thing?)
I’d love to share a few of my thoughts on Wedding Favors…I think they are super fun, and can be a really great way to incorporate or tie in your wedding colors on your guest tables. This is achieved by carefully choosing the favor or its packaging, to color coordinate to your Wedding Colors and then placing the favor on or beside each guests plate on the reception tables. So, for example, if you’ve been searching for a way to add a little more silver to your wedding decor, then filling a little bag with silver candies and tying it with a silver ribbon is the perfect way to do this!
And now here is a thought that conflicts with what I just said above…I really don’t think wedding favors are a necessary part of your event! I spend a lot of time listening very carefully to guest reactions at the hundreds of weddings I have hosted, and I have honestly never heard a guest complain that there were not any “favors” to be had. Your guests are there to celebrate you, to see you in your carefully chosen wedding attire, to enjoy some delicious food with you, and to treat themselves with wedding cake. No one will really mind if there is not a “Favor”. And to be honest, after a few glasses of wine, many guests forget about their favors and unintentionally leave them behind at the end of the night.
If you are on a tight budget for your wedding, there are certain area’s where you can easily, and painlessly cut costs (no boutonnieres for the groomsmen, single roses for the bridesmaids to carry instead of full bouquets for example) and one of those area’s is by excluding wedding favors!
I’ve mentioned before that every couple has a short list of the things or thing that is MOST important to them on their wedding day. If treating your guests to a very special favor is high on your list, then definitely have fun creating, or purchasing something special! But if the thought of one more wedding expense makes you feel uneasy, this is a great area where you can save!
Food or Beverage themed favors seem to be the most enthusiastically received!
Guests are able to enjoy a special treat right away, or save for another time – whichever they prefer. But a food favor comes with the added bonus of not becoming clutter, or another memento for the recipient to have to find space for at home. (So if you are trying to decide between a little container of M&M’s in your wedding colors, or a glass votive holder with your names and wedding date etched on it – I would encourage you to go for the M&M’s)
Use your packaging to tie in your wedding colors!
It really is amazing the visual impact a simple ribbon or colored box, or gift tag can have. Look for easy, inexpensive ways to package your favor! Our bride and groom Alicia and Erick knocked it out of the park with the favor pictured below… yummy candy – check!…purple ribbon – check!… pretty gift tag – check!
Shop the after holiday sales!
This is a trick I have used successfully for my own kids Birthday Parties. and it is easy to do for your wedding as well! If you have a chosen a wedding color scheme of Blush and Sage for example, the after Valentines sales at your local stores (Target, Wal-Mart, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby to name a few) will probably feature pink candy for 75% off! Same goes for pretty pastel colored candy in the after Easter sales, or Red, White and Blue after the 4th of July, or Orange and Burgundy after Halloween…you see where I’m going with this! And sometimes every day candy can really elevate a table as well – look at the photo below, how perfectly the ferrero roche candies on each plate added a little more gold to the table, and echoed the shape of the ornaments in the centerpieces – GENIUS!
Ok -I said 3 Tips – so think of this as a *Bonus Tip*
I would recommend going ahead and doing a favor for EVERY guest at your wedding (and having a couple extra tucked away just in case), rather than for each couple or each family. We have hosted a few weddings in the past where a larger favor was given, such as a framed photo of the couple, and it can be challenging to get across to guests that the special gift is for both of them, or the entire family. (If you are doing a gift for each family, or couple, then I’d suggest labeling it really clearly with a gift tag that says “A special gift for the Thompson Family” or something like that). And at the end of the day, the purpose of a favor is to thank the guest for attending your event. You don’t want to end up in an awkward situation, where you have to take a favor away from one family to give to another, or don’t have enough for everyone!
Do you like the idea of a favor but aren’t sure what to get? Our past GHI couples have come up with some Ah-mazing and Creative idea’s – Let me brag on them a bit and share some of the wonderful favors we’ve seen in the past few years…
Candy Apples, or Caramel Apples make such a PERFECT FALL FAVOR!!! They are very affordable, look amazing on the guest tables, and are so easy to personalize with a ribbon in your colors. You could make them, but they are easy to find September – November at Sam’s Club and Walmart! I love how our brides Sharon and Karen went the extra mile with personalized ribbon!~
Ok – here is another GENIUS idea…let’s take a moment and appreciate how adorable these mini pies are. Do you know how much they cost? .50 cents each at the Walmart bakery section (available year round in a multitude of flavors!) Our Bride Hannah (all the details she created for her wedding were stunning!) added yarn in her wedding colors, a little wooden fork and a gift tag! This is probably my all time favorite wedding favor – affordable, ADORABLE, and who wouldn’t love a mini pie – I’ll take a Lemon one please 🙂
It meets all my criteria – Food based, Lovely to look at, Easy to take home, and Inexpensive! And the opportunities for cute puns on the label are ENDLESS!!! “Meant To Bee” – SO CUTE!!! You should “bee” able to purchase a large jug of honey at the farmers market, and it’s easy to find little jars at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby to pour the honey into.
Ricky and Tabitha had the most amazing wedding style – I just loved everything about their day! Their wedding favors were these amazing Lavender+Marshmallow Lolly Pops. The personalized tag really helped put this pretty favor over the top! We placed one on each dinner plate and it complemented their purple color scheme so well!
Lynn and Peter has a special personalized beer glass for each of their guests. They pre-washed them, so that we could display at each place setting and guests could use them during the event and then take them home!
Pictured above is an absolutely amazing Mini Winter Wedding that we hosted on December 31, 2015. Our bride Deborah came up with the most creative favors – personal size bottles of Champagne. Do you see how she put them over the top by tying on little gift tags and the party blow outs (is that what those are called?) it was absolutely PERFECT for a New Year’s Eve Wedding! And extra bonus points that the color of the blow outs picked up the gold in the centerpieces – little things like that can make such a huge difference in how pulled together a table scape can look!
And finally, we have to give a shout out to Beth and Minh’s wedding favor. This favor was neither simple, nor inexpensive – but it looked like a million bucks, and really pulled the “look” of their event together! These copper mugs were purchased on Amazon I believe (I might be wrong about that – I do know they were purchased in bulk) and then our groom Minh painstakingly hand stamped each mug with a custom stamp they had made. Didn’t they turn out amazing? This is an example of a couple for whom Favor’s were really an important part of the day, and for whom the time and expense were worth it personally. These mugs served an extra purpose too, as the signature drink at this wedding was a Moscow Mule, so guests were able to enjoy it in their brand new mug!
We provide two fun favors here at the GHI that you can Add On to your wedding package! These favors get bonus points for being a fun treat AND an activity to keep your guests busy!
We offer a Candy Buffet display, where guests can fill a bag with all sorts of sweets. Most couples choose to have us create their Candy Buffet in their wedding Colors like Sereta and James did with the pretty Pink Candy Buffet pictured above, but we also offer a Rainbow version, with all sorts of colors as well! You just tell us what colors you would like and we’ll do all the rest!
That’s it! I hope you guys have found this post helpful! Whether you choose a fun favor, or choose to forgo this wedding tradition, I just know your day is going to be fantastic! Happy Planning!
Magazine May / June 2021 Issue