Wedding Favors: The Definitive Guide
Different options for favors? Who receives wedding favors? How much is spent on wedding favors? Types of favors and why would they want it for their wedding?
The best way to thank your guests and loved ones for all the support, time and generosity they have extended for your wedding is by sending them away with a gift they can remember you by. In preparing a thank you gift, you will have to consider two things: your budget and the number of guest you will have on your wedding day.
Things to Consider
All aspects of your wedding have been well thought of. This includes how much you will be spending for your venue, reception, food, drinks, accommodation, transportation, wedding attire, rings and honeymoon. As for the wedding favors, there are two things you should consider before coming up with the price you would be willing to pay on a per head basis:
One is your budget. Are you working on a tight budget? Surely there are wedding favors that can suit the amount you have in mind. Do you have a handsome amount to shell off for your wedding favors? Then there are gifts you can definitely choose from depending on how glam and fab you wanted it to be.
Second, the number of guests you have. Naturally, if your wedding will be a huge celebration, then the cost for your wedding favors should be lesser per person as compared to an intimate wedding. However, even if your guests aren’t so many, but you do have a tight budget for your wedding, you can opt to set a decent amount for your wedding favors.
The question now is how much is a decent amount? The amount spent for wedding favors range from $2 to $3 each. This amount may vary depending on the considerations set above.
Personalized. To personalize could mean two things. One is that your wedding favors contain your guests name or initial on the gift itself or you made it more personal by giving something you have sacrificially made for them or the DIY favors. DIY favors allow you to cut on cost but not on the significance and meaning of your gift. You can also go for personalized wine bottle opener and stoppers or personalized salt and pepper shakers. There are many personalized items to choose from including vases and container favors , hand fan favors and many more.
Edibles. Fill this simply silver mason jars with your home made baked goods or candies. Not only are edibles affordable but guests would surely enjoy it too on their way home. It can be just about anything like a bag of popcorn or chips or a delicious local specialty. For those with higher budgets, the options abound as well. Send off your guests with
personalized mini bottles of wine and champagne, a jar of jam or honey, basket of goods and even bags of coffee or tea.
Non-edibles. The non-edibles can also save you a lot. Candles would be a popular choice for this category. Votive candles in holders can be bought for as low as $1.15 to $2.50 each. You can also opt for potpourri sachets or these small faux succulent plants that double as a centerpiece and as a takeaway favor for your guests. Another option is a customized CD with your favorite songs as a couple.
Other Things To Keep In Mind
Wedding favors should be meaningful. Choosing to give wedding favors should not be out of obligation. You should give them because they have significance ad meaning to you. It should represent you as a couple. Your guests should be able to remember your wedding and your gesture of gratitude.
Wedding favors should be useful. Find something that they can use at home. Candles are a good example of a useful wedding favor. Aside from being easy to personalize, they’ll surely remember your wedding every time they light it up.
Wedding favors should be beautifully presented. Arrange your wedding favors beautifully in a table for another picture perfect spot for your wedding. Or you can opt to have it distributed on each table adding to the aesthetics of your reception. The timely distribution of your wedding favors also matters a lot. Make sure you have ordered 20% more to ensure everyone will be given one.
Wedding favors should contain a sweet note from the couple. Don’t just send away your bridal team and guests with an item. A simple note of gratitude for their presence, time and support will cause you to be remembered more than just having to take home a gift. Keep your note simple, short but heart felt.
Wedding favors should be bought in bulk. Want to save money on your wedding favors? Then choose to buy items in bulk. This is especially true for the edible items.
Wedding favors can be given as a donation for charity. This is an out of the box way of distributing favors for your guests. Instead of buying the items, you donate your budget for wedding favors to your favorite charity or cause in place of a gift that guests can take home.
Remember that it does not really matter how much you are spending for your wedding favors. Most guests are not really expecting a gift they can take home. After all, you’ve already shared a very special moment in your life, dined, danced and created lots of memories with them all throughout your wedding day. However, the wedding favor you choose to give is a token of appreciation that should speak of gratitude from the bottom of your heart. It should be something that represents you both as a couple.
Make your gift even more memorable by choosing something useful. Present your wedding favors in a picture perfect manner and make sure all of your guests are given one. Buy them in bulk so you get to save a lot of money. Don’t forget to place your sweet note of thanks on each and lastly, if you’re really not a fan of wedding favors, be open to donating to charity your allotted budget for it.
How much are you spending for your wedding favors? Your allotted budget will really depend on the size of your wedding list and how much you are willing to spend on a per head basis. Choose from the personalized, edible and non-edible gifts that not only fit your budget but will delight your bridal team and guests. The cost of your wedding favor will depend on the kind of favor you have chosen, how many you will order, how you want it presented and if you opt to personalize it.
In the end, what would matter is not the amount you spent but the thoughtful gesture that you remembered to thank your guests for sharing and making your wedding day extra special because of their presence. You are not just giving them a token but something they can remember you by long after your wedding day.
Favors/Gifts - 2%
Having a list of names ready will be very helpful not to miss anyone and yes, sticking on your allotted budget. The allotted budget may cover for spouse gifts, bridesmaid gifts, groomsmen gifts, gifts for your maid of honor and best man, gift for parents, wedding favors and welcome baskets for out-of-town guests.
Giving a gift to everyone who’s a part of the wedding could be the general feeling of a bride and groom. Why not? These people making an effort, supporting and giving time to be part of their special day is reason enough to give all of them a thank you gift! While the wedding favors can take care of that, there are specific people, if not your entire wedding party and a handful of special people who have played a big part on your wedding who could not be missed when it comes to gift giving.
Here’s a helpful guide in identifying people who ought to be part of the bride and groom’s gift list:
- Give a gift to each other.
It’s you and your future spouse’s special day! In just a few hours, you’re about to start your new life together. The best way to celebrate that is by giving each other a gift. Your gift for each other need not be expensive. You can choose to give sweet tokens that express your love and commitment from this day forward. The best gifts are the ones that come with a secret engraved message. It could be a piece of jewelry, a journal, a memory box or even a simple card expressing your love for each other. Thank each other for the success of your first major project together - the wedding!
- Give a gift to your parents.
To give honor to whom honor is due. Your wedding day is the best time to honor both sets of parents for raising you both to be the fine bride and groom that you are now. Let your thank you gift speak of all the gratitude that is in your heart. You may also include in this list, grandparents, siblings and anyone considered as immediate family. A special meal or taking them out to their favorite restaurant can be your way of thanking them.
- Give a gift to your maid of honor and bridesmaids.
They have played a major role in making your wedding a success. They were not only there to assist you every step of the way preparing for your big day. They were there to provide emotional strength, order amidst all the chaos and calm your nerves as your wedding day is fast approaching. They are most of the time your best friends and they deserve no less than the best thank you gifts you can give.
Let your gift speak of the special connection between you and her by giving a personalized piece of jewelry, a gift card for R&R or even a weekend get-away to a favorite destination. Check out this maid of honor gift collection for a wide selection of thank you gifts to choose from. There are also a lot of options for your bridesmaid gifts. Find something they can all wear on your wedding day like the getting ready robes, pashmina scarves, studs, necklace or even shoes. Your gift will not only communicate your appreciation for the important role they have but also leave with them a lasting memory of your wedding every time they get to wear these items.
- Give a gift to your best man and groomsmen.
They have helped the groom in many ways. Arranged the bachelor party, prepared for the wedding toast, ran errands and made sure everything goes as planned in the wedding. Thanking them with a gift is the best way to show how much they mean to both of you.
For your best man, get him a gift that will leave a lasting impression like a day at the golf course or a trip to a favorite destination. You can also go for classic gifts like a pocket watch or a pen and have them personalized with his name or initials. Check out a collection of fine gifts for men as well as groomsmen gifts perfect for this group of men who were a great source of help and encouragement for your groom. Find something they can all wear on your wedding day like cufflinks, a tie that has the same color for each one or even customized sneakers for the party.
- Give a gift to your flower girls and ring bearer.
Yes we are of course referring to children who are part of your wedding entourage. Depending on their age, prepare something that will keep them busy for long events. This can be anything like board games, crafts, sticker books, toys and other gifts. You may also give them something they can wear on your wedding day like a piece of jewelry, a nicely designed bag or a themed shirt they can wear during the reception.
- Give a gift to your close friends.
There are certain functions in your wedding that you choose close friends to do but they are not part of your wedding party. Let’s say the candle lighters, ushers, guest book attendants, readers, guitar player for the ceremony, a friend rendering a song for the reception etc., a small token of thanks will go a long way for these friends. Don’t forget to slip a personal note of thanks in your gift. It can be a book, a journal, a bottle of wine and many more. Check this collection of gifts for men and women for a wide variety of options.
- Give a gift to wedding suppliers, helpers and important people.
These men and women worked hard and put in their best effort in order to make your wedding a big success. While it may be optional to give them a gift, consider giving a token of thanks to your officiant, wedding coordinator, venue provider, caterer and those who have played a vital part in ensuring that your wedding ceremony and reception will flow smoothly. A generous tip or leaving a good review of their business online would also be nice a nice way of saying thank you to them.
Also under this category would be people who have helped you and played a special part in your wedding journey. The cousin who gave you advice and helped take away your wedding jitters, the uncle who walked you down the aisle and all other important people who volunteered to do a function or render a performance on your wedding day.
Showing gratitude to your spouse, parents, wedding party, close friends and important people playing a special part on your wedding is always a welcome gesture. Remember that your thank you gift need not cost you a fortune. You can always go for handmade gifts, a gift basket, a letter of appreciation, a poem and be as creative as you can be. Just remember that your gift should have a personal touch or else it won’t have much impact. Aside from your thank you gifts, everyone’s presence in your wedding is important and deserves to be acknowledged. Don’t forget to distribute your wedding favors and make sure you don’t miss out on any guest.
No matter how small or big your gift, what matters most is that you have made the occasion memorable for all the people who supported, made time and exerted effort in making your wedding a momentous event.
Wedding Favors 101
You may have heard all sorts of opinion when it comes to wedding favors. Some see it as a must to give to guests as this is a token of thanks for the time and effort they have given to the wedding. There are also those who see it not as an absolute essential for their wedding. A wedding favor is a sweet gesture and yet at times a gift that guests would feel a bit guilty about if they throw them away. Is it really necessary to give out wedding favors? Before we even answer that question, let’s have a closer look as to how it all started and know the basic do’s and don’ts of giving them away.
A Bit of History
To have a greater appreciation of giving wedding favors, getting to know its history is a must. It all started in the 16th century. Love knots made from ribbon and lace is the common wedding favor that couples give away to mirror their bond of love. However, this tradition has evolved through time and favors have had a different look all around the world.
In Europe, they used to give out bonbonniere. This is a box made of crystal, porcelain, metal or precious stones with delicacies made of sugar inside. It’s given out on special occasions and birthday parties but is also given out during weddings. This is where today’s giving of wedding favors all started. For Italian weddings, it is common for couples to give away Jordan almonds. These are the bonbonnieres that evolved into candied almonds. Today, this tradition is still evident as brightly colored Jordan almonds. It represents the five wedding wishes - happiness, fertility, wealth, longevity and health.
Spanish weddings are known to give away detalles. Some give away gifts for women and cigars for men. For Russians, they give away trinkets, small candles or tiny pictures for their guests. Small wedding bells are what Irish people give away as wedding favors. Hand-crafted elephants are the ones given out to guests as thank you favors in the nation of India. While in America, wedding favors will depend on the theme of the wedding or the lifestyle of the couple.
Do’s of Giving Favors
Present your wedding favors based on tradition or what you and your spouse think is best for your wedding reception.
Some make it a part of their table setting adding to the color and beauty of their table decoration. There are couples who opt to have a favor table where they get to place small gifts complete with decorative cards that has the guest name and table assignment. Others choose to have it distributed by hand while receiving a wedding gift in return. It all really depends on you and your spouse’s preference.
Make it an alternative to donate to charity.
There are couple who think that giving away favors can be more meaningful if given as a donation to their favorite cause or charity. Some couples choose to skip the wedding favor part of their wedding budget and instead give it to charity. Want to get your wedding guests involved in doing so? Let them choose what percentage goes to your favorite charity and your spouse’s favorite charity. In short, guests will have the chance to vote for the charity they prefer.
Find something significant.
If they don’t mean anything to you then you don’t have any business of giving them away to your guests as a thank you gift. Let it be an item to remember your wedding by. A gift they can treasure for life. The wedding favor should be able to communicate a unique aspect of your personality or something that represents you and your groom. If this isn’t the case then it would be a better idea to move the allotted money for wedding favors to another aspect of your budget.
Choose something practical and functional.
Guests would appreciate a gift that can be useful for them. Consider giving out candles that can easily be personalized. You may also opt for bottle openers, coasters, bottle stoppers, salt and pepper shakers and the like. Your guest would be able to remember your wedding even more if they get to be reminded each time they make use of your thank you gift. Giving functional gifts are way better than wedding favors that guests would find nice to look at but will have no use at all the moment they get home.
Make the how and the when matter.
Since you are allotting a portion of your budget on wedding favors, it is just right to consider how and when the favors will be distributed to friends and loved ones. Making them part of your table setting will make it even more attractive and it’s also the best way to make sure you have enough favors for everyone. Another way of presenting your wedding favors is by having them on display with a special set up on your table. It can be an added focal point that your photographers can have. You can also opt to distribute them as your guests leave and have someone oversee it just to make sure everyone gets a thank you gift from you and your groom.
Make it more personal.
A thank you gift, big or small and beautifully packaged complete with a ribbon becomes even more special when personalized. Add a special note to your gift and make it your way of thanking them for their love and support and for taking time to celebrate your wedding day. Keep your notes short, on point yet sweet. Guests would definitely appreciate your gift even more.
Choose Eco-Friendly Favors.
There are couples who totally erase the idea of having wedding favors due to the waste factor. However, you can go for eco-friendly wedding favors such as plantable papers, succulents and the like. Stay clear of products that create extra waste.
Don’ts of Giving Favors
Giving out of obligation.
Anything given that is not voluntary and out of a motive that you have to is better not given at all. Your guests wouldn’t take it against you anyway if you won’t be able to give a thank you gift. After all, you have treated them to a day of food, drinks, fun, laughter and dancing. Should you opt to give but know that it will eat up most of your budget, you can choose affordable wedding favors that will still delight your guests like a small or edible gift, a cookie or a candy perhaps. No matter how small your gift is, it will speak volumes of your love and appreciation for your guests.
Making your own edible favors.
There really is nothing wrong in giving out edible favors. In fact, guests appreciate this type of gift as they can readily consume them while at your wedding and won’t have to wait until they get home. However, making your own edible favors may cost you extra time and effort that you could have preserved for your wedding day. Another factor is the freshness of your edibles. These items are packaged the day before or on the day of your wedding. You surely won’t have the time to attend to this while busy with the other parts of your wedding that are more important. The best alternative is to have them outsourced or pass on the responsibility to a full-service planner who can take care of them.