Wedding Favors: Formalities and Faux Pas
Wedding favors are a traditional element to weddings that leave the guests with a token to remember your beautiful day. They can range from cookies or honey to etched wine glasses or bottle openers, and usually correspond with your wedding’s “theme”. As a wedding planner myself, I’ve seen my fair share and am here to give you the low down on the do’s and don’ts of wedding favors.
At the end of night when we’re cleaning up the venue we see what’s left behind, and nothing pains us more to repack up or throw away these tokens that the couple took their time to choose for their guests to enjoy and remember their wedding by. We know the newlyweds don’t want to take home 50 etched glasses or succulent plants that were indeed great ideas because they didn’t think of their guest needs.
So with that in mind, here are some tips when planning your wedding favors…
Consider your guests!
Things to consider when choosing your wedding guest favors….your guests! Guests are traveling near and far to your wedding, so just remember your favor must travel back with them, so if you’re considering a plant or something that may need some love, care and room to travel, just know, fewer people are likely to take this favor with them if they need to travel back home and doesn’t have any extra room. If it’s something fragile, again guests might second guess if it’s worth the risk to travel home with it, and opt to leave it behind. If your guests are local, then don’t hesitate to do the more fragile favors like the succulents by Country Elegance we saw at a wedding at Orchard River View for a “Camp I Do” themed wedding.
2. Is it practical?
Also consider the practicality of the favor. Is it something your guests can use that night or in their life in general? This can also help dictate when you’re giving the wedding favors, if it’s on the welcome table, on their place settings, or as they exit. If it’s something that can be used during the evening, definitely add it to your welcome table, ceremony seats, or to their place for the reception. Sunglasses at the ceremony are a great favor to help with the sun during a sunny summer wedding at Vista View Events.
3. Can guests use it during the ceremony?
The favors you could include on your welcome table would be fans or umbrellas, sunglasses, chapstick, mints. This allows for your guests to utilize these items during the ceremony in case of heat or sun, and other aspects, without making them feel burdened with carrying something they wouldn’t use.
4. Can guests use it during cocktail hour?
The favors you could include during cocktail hour would be personalized shot glasses, wine glasses, pilsner glasses or even the mason jars. The bartender could use these to pour your signature cocktail into or any drink in general. You could also hand out beer openers at this point, especially if bottled beer is an option to drink. The first round could have a bottle opener tied to the neck to assist in the opening. This is a small enough trinket that most could slip it into their pocket or purse and continue use throughout the evening and beyond. A wine stopper could also be given out at this time, if that service is offered (bottle service), it would be nice to hand out the customized wine stopper for those who want to save their wine for later. Koozies, can’t forget about the koozies, cocktail hour is definitely a good time to bust those out and let your guests keep their drinks cold and their hands warm.
5. Can guests use it during dinner?
The favors you could include at the place settings during the reception could honestly go on and on. We can start with the glassware. If you have a customized wine glass, beer mug or mason jar you can add it to the place setting, making it a part of the tablescape, giving the tables the finishing touches, while also giving your guests something to take home with a place to keep it until the end of the night. This is a very practical gift that would be used the whole night, and many more to come. I know the glassware that I’ve been gifted at weddings is still being used to this day, and I love it! Any sort of name card/plate for seating charts could be placed on a table as an escort card, or on each individual place setting. We’ve seen this really tie the table together. People love their names written beautifully on random things so it is something that most will take with them. It’s small and easy to store. Even a mini tag or ornament would be a perfect way to finish off a table setting. (Page 3)
Some other add ons that could be included on the place setting could be the edible favors. These could really be on the table at each seat or on a table as guests exit. They’re something you can add on the side of the table setting or right on the plate and napkin to give it extra umph and final touch the table needs. Check out the mini pies that the guests got to take home as their favor at Bella Bolettino Farms.
6. Can it serve multiple purposes?
Don’t just consider functionality for your guests, but also for you! We love a dual purpose anything! Why get one use out of something when you can get two? Double your favor as an escort card for your seating chart, have it at each seat for assigned seating, or your glassware can double as the favor and the barware so no need to rent. There are so many other options that can be dual purpose as well including a customized cookie for dessert and shooters doubling as the bar. It all depends on the wedding you’re having and what works best for you! Everyone’s wedding is different, so what might work for another won’t work for you and visa versa.
Any other favors, that you’re not sure of a good place to go, put it at the exit! People love to grab on their way out. They are more willing to grab on their way out and not forget it on the table since they didn’t have to think about them all night. We see the most favors taken on the way out! But obviously if it has a functionality during the wedding, utilize it!
How much do wedding favors cost?
Let’s talk about cost! The typical cost of wedding favors: is approximately $500 total. This is obviously dependent on the number of guests and the favor you choose! We don’t recommend breaking the bank for wedding favors, but they can be a nice touch to make your guests feel welcomed and appreciated for traveling and attending such an important event. With that being said, we also don’t want what you spent on the wedding favors to be for nothing, so hopefully talking through the wedding favors helps you decide what’s best for your day and guests. Wedding favors are definitely not required for any wedding, it’s just a nice touch to say thank you to your guests for showing up. But if you plan on doing wedding favors, we just want it to be something you and your guests will love and not leave behind.
If you don’t want to do wedding favors for all of your guests, you can certainly do something for the wedding party and immediate family. We recommend that they are customized and set in their reception seats so there is no confusion. We see wedding party gifts often gifted at the reception when everyone enters the reception. But wedding party and family gifts are a whole other conversation!
We strongly suggest still sending thank you cards out, especially to those who got you a gift or card, even though your wedding favors say thank you as well, the cards are a must.
Here’s a list of more ideas for your wedding favors!
- Etched/personalized wine or pilsner glass (shot glasses, mason jar)
- Personalized plastic cups
- Koozies (customized)
- Beer key (bottle opener)
- Personalized cooking oil
- Wildflower seeds
- Wooden names – used as name plates for assigned seating or seating chart
- Honey “Meant to bee”
- Enstrom’s toffee (or local candy or snack)
- Peaches (or local fruit)
- Photobooth photos
- Candles – “our scent”
- Matches – “perfect match”
- Lottery tickets – “lucky in love”
- Small bags of coffee – “perfect blend”
- Gift bags that included socks, a blunt, etc.
- Customized beverage coasters
- Soap (local or customized)
- Tin cups for moscow mules (customized or not)
- Candy bar with customized paper bags
- Blankets – have have and to hold in case you get cold
- Customized shooters
- Pegboard wall with miscellaneous mugs and glasses that the guest gets to use all night and take home as well
- Flip flops – used to dance in, but can take home
- Chapstick (customized or not)
- Smores togo bag
- Mini pies/ desserts
- Luggage tags
- Disco ball keychains/any key chain (used for seating chart as well)
- Hand tie dyed napkins
- pickled/pickles etc – we’re pickled you’re here
- Hot sauce
- Wine stoppers
- cd’s of your wedding day soundtrack
- Late night snack to go – kids meal
- In lieu of gifts, the couple makes a donation on behalf of each guest
Happy favor hunting!