Friday, August 22, 2008
Part II Choosing the Perfect Wedding Favors
Keep in mind the style and mood of your wedding. This depends greatly on the location and formality you choose. For example, the atmosphere at a beach wedding would be much more fun and relaxed than a more formal wedding held at a city museum. Let your surroundings inspire you.
Couples spend approximately 2-3 percent of their wedding budget on favors. It is important to know your budget and approximately how many guests will attend your reception. This gives you an idea of how much each favor should cost. The fewer guests you have, the more eccentric your favors can be. Many weddings are planned around a specific theme chosen by the bride and groom. If you choose a wedding theme, select favors that fit within it. Favors are a perfect way to enhance your theme.
Consider your color scheme when purchasing or making your favors. You may want to use several different colors to beautifully decorate your tables, or you may stick to only one color for a classic effect. It's really up to you.
Remember, you can personalize almost any wedding favor with tags (labels with your names and wedding date), by ordering monogrammed ribbons, or by making them yourself. Whether your favors are casual or elegant, they become a nice way to thank your guests for sharing your wedding day.
Bath & Body Wedding Favor Ideas
Bath Salts: Purchase tiny glass bottles or fabric bags and fill with pretty bath salts. Add a spoon or shell for measuring the salts.
Scented Potpouri or Lavender Sachets: Sew a small pillow aproximately 5x5 inches and fill with scented potpouri. Wrap in a coordinating ribbon. Used to scent drawers and closets.
Decorated Soap: Wrap decorative or great smelling soaps in tulle or tissue and tie with a bow. Consider using pretty wrapping paper and wrap a rectangular bar of soap like a tiny present. The possibilities are endless with this great favor.
Hand Lotion: Fill small (1-3 oz) size containers with homemade or store bought hand lotion. Decorate with flowers or ribbon.
Candle (casual wedding): For a casual wedding take one small 2" votive candle, wrap in tulle (a nylon netting material typically used for veils). Gather at the top and tie with ribbon or raffia.
Candle (formal): For a formal wedding consider a pair of romantic tapered candles tied together with ribbon. Add two faux gold rings to the ribbon.
Toothbrush: A great favor if either of you are dentists! Keep them in the package and tie with a beautiful ribbon. Add an event tag.
Home Decor Wedding Favor Ideas
Coaster: Make or buy a unique coaster for each guest.
Tassel: Buy a beautiful tassel and attach a special message of thanks.
Picture Frame: Purchase a wallet size photo frame and add a photo of the two of you.
You may also use them to hold place cards or special messages. Consider a frame or decorate one to match the theme of your wedding. Ornamental silver for a Victorian wedding is one example.
Candy Dish: Purchase small candy dishes at a craft or dollar store. Fill with mints, candy or nuts and add an event tag. No need to wrap this one.
Napkin Ring: Place each guest napkin in a unique napkin ring. Decorate with real or silk flowers. Match to your wedding theme if desired.
Refrigerator Magnet: These come in all shapes and sizes. Choose one to fit your wedding theme or interests or take a laminated a picture of the two of you and glue to the magnet (wallet size photos work best). Magnets are available at most hardware stores. There are several photography stores that will place your photo on a refrigerator magnet. Wrap each magnet in colored paper and accent with a ribbon bow.
Travel-Themed Wedding Favor Ideas
State or Regional Map: These can be bought at gas stations, travel shops or sport stores. Decorate with a ribbon. Great for out of town guests that want to explore the area.
Travel Mug: These can be bought at most dime or super stores. Tie a ribbon around the handle or consider having your names and wedding date put on the outside.
Compass: Stores that sell camping equipment are the best place to find this favor. Ask if you can buy them in bulk at a discount.
Mini Umbrella: A handy favor for just about everyone. Tie with a 1 inch wide ribbon in your wedding colors.
Travel Clock: Everyone needs a travel clock at one time or another. Buy in bulk and have your names printed on them.
Travel Candle: Purchase travel candles and decorate the lid with small silk flowers.
Edible Wedding Favors
Gourmet Coffee Packs: A miniature gourmet coffee pack decorated with small flowers and ribbon.
Preserve: Purchase tiny jars of jam or make yourself. Cut a circle of fabric which coordinates with your bridal colors and tie over the lid with a ribbon or raffia.
Tea Bag: Purchase a small tin of tea or tie a pretty bag of tea (paper wrapped) with a ribbon. Add your event tag.
Bottle of Spice or Herb: Just about any spice or herb will work. Your guests will think of you every time they use it! Decorate with ribbon or flowers.
Regional Food: If you are expecting a lot of out-of-town guests, try a regional food item such as a type of fruit or bottled drink. Add a ribbon or flower.
Coffee Spoon: These favors are used to add flavor to coffee. Plastic spoons are dipped in chocolate and cooled on wax paper. The chocolate covered end is then wrapped with tulle, gathered and tied with a ribbon or flower.
Homemade Cookie(s): Decorate your favorite homemade cookies (shaped into hearts or bells).
Wrap with clear plastic wrap or clear bags and tie with colorful ribbons.
Wedding Cake Sampler: Take small wax coated boxes and have your cake baker place a small piece of cake in each one.
Decorate the box with a ribbon or silk flower.
A Spoon Full of Sugar: Buy sturdy white plastic spoons. Place two to three Jordan almonds in the spoon and wrap with a circle of tulle. Gather and tie the tulle with a ribbon at the base of the spoon.
Assorted Mints: Mints are colorful and do not melt. Wrap them in tulle and tie with a pretty ribbon in your wedding colors.
Fine Chocolates: Choose fine chocolates that have foil wrappers. Wrap in a tulle circle and tie with a ribbon.
Jordan Almond Surprise: Wrap five to ten Jordan almonds in tulle and tie with a ribbon.
Decorated Candybar: Take any flat candy bar and remove the outer wrapper. Make your own wrapper using a computer and any color paper. Consider a love recipe for one side such as: "Take two people in love, add lots of trust, honesty and friendship, blend well and savor." Put your names and wedding date on the front.
Candy Kiss Rose: Place two candy kisses base to base. Wrap with tulle and attach to a floral wire using floral tape. Attach two silk rose leaves and tie a ribbon to the stem.
Truffles: Purchase tiny boxes through your local craft store or invitation supplier and fill with chocolate truffles. Decorate the boxes with paint or ribbon.
Garden Wedding Favor Ideas
Perennial Flower Seed Packet: Colorful seed packets make beautiful favors. Leave as-is or attach an event tag or thank you message.
Rose Petal Cones: Take sheets of stiff white paper and cut into 6x6 inch squares. Write in calligraphy or use your computer to print your names and wedding date in one of the corners. Fold the paper in a cone so the writing appears on the inside, top corner. Secure with clear tape. Fill the cone with rose petals. Your guests can throw them as you leave.
Silk Flower(s): A single red silk rose (or real if your budget allows) tied with a white or cream ribbon is stunning. Consider a flower that matches your theme or wedding colors. Add an event tag or have the information put onto the ribbon. Printed ribbons are available through most invitation companies.
Vase of Flowers: Most dollar stores have several small vases in stock. Decorate them with ribbon and add a silk flower or two.
Small Topiary: Topiaries are popular home décor items and will add a special touch to your reception tables. They can be purchased or hand made. Place in groups at the center of each table.
Terracotta Pot & Seed Packet: Buy the smallest terracotta pots you can find. Place a perennial seed packet in each one and decorate the pot with a raffia bow.
Tree Seedling (Evergreen): Tree seedlings are extremely popular at today's weddings. They come pre-packaged at your local nursery. They also work as Christmas favors. Add a ribbon to finish them off.
Potted Plant: Potted plants make wonderful favors and double as centerpieces when placed in groups at each table. No additional decorations are needed.
Nautical Wedding Favor Ideas
Seashell(s): If you live near a good shelling beach, spend the afternoon relaxing with your fiancé' collecting shells. Wash and decorate each one with ribbon and event tag. If you don't live near a beach, consider purchasing a bag of shells to decorate.
Toy Boat: Fill a miniature toy boat with candy and wrap in tulle. Gather the tulle and tie with a ribbon. This is a popular nautical favor.
Message in a Bottle: Buy clear bottles at your local craft store. Fill with colorful confetti or shredded craft foil and slip in a special rolled up message. Be creative and have fun.
Seashell Candle: Take large seashells (clam shell shaped) and fill each half with melted beeswax and a wick. When the wax is cool, wrap in clear cellophane or tulle and gather with a ribbon.
Brassware: Brass items are typically found in marine environments. Choose miniature brass ornaments such as an anchor or sea creature.
Sand: If you are both from different coasts, consider bringing the two of them together in your wedding favors. Take two small vials and fill one with sand from your beach and one with sand from the other. Tie them together with ribbon and add a note stating the significance of this favor.
Holiday Wedding Favor Ideas
Candy Cane: Take one or two candy canes (the kind that are already wrapped in clear plastic) and tie with a white or red ribbon.
Christmas Decoration or Ornament: Decorations and ornaments are plentiful during the Christmas season and your guests can use them year after year.
Jingle Bell: Buy 82 mm round jingle bells at a craft or sewing store. Glue flowers and ribbon to the top with a hot glue gun.
Small Poinsettia Plant: Buy the smallest ones you can find and tie a white ribbon around the pot. Medium size poinsettias look great placed in groups at each table.
Small Wreath: Purchase small wreaths at a craft store and decorate with holly or small pine cones.
Box of Chocolates: Small heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates are the perfect favor for Valentines weddings. They are easy to find at most super stores and supermarkets.
Cherub Candle Holders: Inexpensive cherub candle holders can be found at most craft stores. Decorate with ribbon or flowers (candle is optional).
Heart Balloon: Fill beautiful heart balloons with helium and tie to the back of each guest chair or wine glass. This favor does double duty by becoming part of the reception decorations.
Potpourri Heart: Fill clear plastic hearts (found at craft stores) with your choice of potpourri. Decorate with flowers or ribbon.
Chocolate Eggs: Wrap several chocolate eggs in tulle, gather and tie with a ribbon. You may hide these around the reception area and have a favor hunt. Once a guest finds a favor, they sit down. The last guest to find a favor must do something interesting that you have chosen.
Basket of Joy: Fill a small plastic or natural basket with candy or Jordan almonds. Wrap the whole thing in tulle or just the candy for a different look.
Chocolate Bunny: Purchase small foil wrapped chocolate bunnies and tie ribbons around their necks in your wedding colors.
Plastic Egg: Plastic eggs are plentiful around Easter time. Buy the pastel kind and fill with candy. Tie a pretty ribbon around the center to hide the seam. Place in a small Easter basket at each table or have one large Easter basket in the center of the table and place all your favor eggs into it. Your flower girl can walk around with a basket of eggs and pass them out to your guests.
Time Period Wedding Favor Ideas
Potpourri or Herb Blend: Potpourri not only looks beautiful, but it smells wonderful. Buy large bags in a scent you like. Wrap a 1/4 cup of the blend in tulle and tie off with a ribbon. Tip: Lavender (devotion), Rosemary (remembrance), Violets (faithfulness), rose (beauty/love), marjoram (joy/happiness), myrtle (love, marriage).
Bookmark: Create a beautiful bookmark and personalize it with your own message or buy them at bookstores. An engraved, silver plated book mark is a lasting and treasured keepsake.
Corsage or Boutonnière: Ask your florist to make a small corsage or boutonnière for each guest. These make your tables look wonderful and your guests feel important.
Decorative Mint Tin: Specialty candy shops carry decorative tins filled with mints. Many feature a flower or Victorian theme. Consider adding a decorative label to the bottom which has your names and wedding date.
Lace Sachets: Take 2.5 inch wide lace and cut into 6 inch lengths. Fold in the center (end-to-end) and hand or machine sew the edges together. Leave the top open. Fill the sachet with candy, nuts, birdseed or potpourri. Tie with a ribbon and event tag.
Decorative Thimble: Buy pretty decorative thimbles and wrap in tulle, gather and tie off with a satin ribbon.
Fan: Fans are great favors for warm outdoor weddings. Decorate them with fresh or silk flowers and ribbon.
Bag of Gold Coins: Specialty candy stores sell chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil. Sew or buy a small draw-string bag and fill it with gold coins. Disperse the coins over the guest tables for added effect.
Incense: Take 2-3 incense sticks, wrap in colored tissue and tie with a ribbon. Have some burning in the center of the tables to add to the theme or ask your florist to work them into your flower centerpieces.
Oil Perfume: Oil perfume was used by the nobles during this time period. Buy a large jar of it at a perfume shop and pour into tiny bottles or vials. Decorate with ribbon and roses and add your event tag. Use a Medieval font or calligraphy on the tags.
Engraved Goblet: Purchase silver plated goblets from an engraving shop. Add your name and wedding date.
Scroll: Scrolls can contain anything you would like your guests to know. Consider listing interesting facts about the wedding party or use this format to write a special thank you to your guests. Roll and tie with a silk or velvet ribbon in your wedding colors. The sky is the limit!
Fun/Children Wedding Favor Ideas
Fun Pad & Markers: Purchase small notepads and crayons. Tie 2-4 colored markers to the notepad with 1" wide ribbon.
Toy Car: This is a favorite among little kids. Buy 3" metal cars, leave in the box and tie with a ribbon.
Mini Lego Kit: Buy one small Lego kit for each child. Display their creations at the head table. The kids are sure to enjoy this favor.
Mini Pumpkin: If you have the Disney theme and your wedding is in the fall, mini pumpkins are a great favor (remember Cinderella?)
Tinkerbell's Magic Dust: Wrap confetti in tulle and tie with a ribbon. Add a tag which says "Tinkerbell's Magic Dust". Have your guests throw the confetti as you leave.
Cinderella's Glass Slipper: Purchase clear plastic or glass slippers which can be filled with your choice of candy, wrapped in tulle and decorated.
Heritage Wedding Favor Ideas
Chinese Fortune Cookie: Buy fortune cookies, enough for all your guests. Carefully remove the fortune with tweezers and put your own personalized message inside. An alternative is to have them made for you with your personalized message inside.
Origami Figurine: Check out a book on Chinese origami (paper folding) from your library and buy some beautiful origami paper from a craft store. Choose any animal, bird or flower pattern you like. This will go much faster if you have friends or family help you.
English Lace: Purchase lace material at a fabric store and cut into 9" x 9" squares. Take 4-5 English toffees (wrapped) and gather the lace around them. Finish with small silk roses.
African Wood Carvings: Purchase small imported wood carvings that are made in Africa. These are pretty just the way they are.
Japanese Saki: Miniature bottles of Japanese Saki make wonderful favors.
Scandinavian Candies: Purchase tiny boxes of Scandinavian marzipan candies. Most specialty candy shops will have them.
Irish Linen Handkerchief: Purchase small lace handkerchiefs and place 5 - 10 Jordan almonds in the center. Gather and tie with pretty ribbon. Add some delicate silk flowers.
Olive Leaf Headpiece: Purchase vines of olive leaves at your local craft store and form them into circles. This will help the guests be part of your theme.
Olives: Take small jars of olives and tie with a fancy ribbon. Attach an event tag or special thank you message.
Flower Lei: These chains of flowers are customary in Hawaii. They also make colorful table decorations. Ask your florist if they can make them or buy fakes.
Coconut: Purchase coconuts at your grocery store. Wrap each one with a large ribbon in your wedding colors. This favor is a real eye catcher.
Sunblock: Buy a small bottle of sunblock or skin care product for each guest. Decorate with ribbon or tulle. A silk flower adds a nice touch.
Mini Piñatas: Tiny piñatas are available at many specialty paper stores.
Small Cactus: Purchase small cactus for each guest and decorate with a raffia bow.
Western-Themed Wedding Favor Ideas
Mini Cowboy Hat: Mini flocked cowboy hats can be found in the bridal sections of larger craft stores. Fill them with candy and wrap in tulle.
Toy Squirt Gun: Buy the small squirt guns at a local toy store. Decorate with flowers, ribbon or pearls. Fill them with water if you dare. :)
Horseshoe: Purchase small horseshoes from a local blacksmith and paint them white with spray paint. Once dry, decorate the bend with small silk flowers and small string pearls (available at craft stores with wedding departments). Horseshoes are considered lucky for English brides.
Small Straw Hat: Glue floral sprays, ribbons or bows to small straw hats you purchase at a craft store.
Metallic Wedding Favor Ideas
Brass Bell: Take a small silver or gold bell and decorate the top with a ribbon. Have your guests ring them as you leave that evening or when they want you to kiss.
Cookie Cutters: Take two small metal cookie cutters and tie them together with ribbon. Add a flower or event tag.
Keychain: Look for a keychain with an interesting design or motif (match to your wedding theme if possible). Attach a 9x2 inch strip of tulle in a bow for added color.
Money Clip: A great favor for smaller weddings or wedding party mementos.
Sugar Spoon: A silver plated sugar spoon tied with a single 1 inch thick satin ribbon is sure to please your guests.
Other Wedding Favor Ideas
Charity Note: Write a note to each guest stating that you have made a charitable donation in the guest's name. Roll and tie with a ribbon.
List of Fun Things To Do: If many of your guests are visiting the area, make a list of fun events they can attend the day after the wedding. Roll it into a tube and tie with a ribbon.
Postcard: Buy postcards that represent your area. Write a special message on each one thanking your guests for being part of your celebration. Place each one against the wine glass or on the plate.
Word Search Puzzle: Word searches are a popular pastime. Make your own by using words which represent your wedding. Wedding party names, your interests and pet names all work well. Make several copies, roll into a scroll, and tie with a ribbon.
Newsletter: A newsletter is a great way to introduce both of your families to one another. Include photographs of your families and write short biographies for each. Fold and place in an envelope or roll and tie with a ribbon.
Poem: Write a small poem yourself or choose one from a poem book at the library. Roll it up and tie with ribbon or small silk flowers.
Paperback Book: Small books make great favors. Choose your favorite book or one to fit your theme.
Customized T-shirt: This is a fun favor that your guests can wear. Buy a box of plain T-shirts, take them to a printing shop and have an appropriate design or phrase put on them.
Candid Photo: Take a 3x5 inch photo of the two of you and get a reprint for each guest. Place each photo in a pretty envelope and decorate as you like. Consider using as a place card.
Polaroid Photograph: Have a friend or family member take a Polaroid photo of each guest as they arrive. Give to the respective guest as a favor before the night is over.
Mini Photo Album: Small albums which hold one roll of film (36 exp.) can be purchased for under $5.
Disposable Camera: Buy one camera per couple. Encourage your guests to use them during the reception. You'll probably get copies of some of the photos later!
Photo Mug: Have your pictures put on a mug and fill it with large foil wrapped candy. Buy strips of craft foil and hang over the sides of the mug for a festive effect. Tip: fill the bottom half of the mug with shredded craft foil so not so much candy is used.
Matchbook: This favor is available through invitation suppliers or you may purchase them yourselves and decorate.
Napkin: This inexpensive favor can be ordered from almost any invitation supplier. There is a wide choice of colors and designs available.
Sewing Kit: Small sewing kits can be purchased at your local superstore and some supermarkets for as little as a dollar. Wrap like a small present with colorful paper or craft foil.
Stamps: Do either of you work for the post office? This favor will get used for sure. Place 4 to 8 love stamps in a small envelope and add a note of thanks.
Toothpicks: Purchase a small box or other interesting container and fill with toothpicks. Decorate with ribbon or flowers and add an event card.
Phone Card: Why not buy each of your guests a phone card with 5 to 10 minutes of long distance time. Place in a small envelope and use as a place card. A gold seal is a classy touch.
Deck of Cards: There are many decorative cards on the market today. Consider having cards made with your engagement photo on the back.
Mini Notebook: Notebooks can be found almost anywhere at minimal cost. Choose one with a pretty cover and tie with a ribbon.
Paper Weight: Purchase ready made paperweights or make your own. One idea is to take medium sized smooth stones, wash them and paint each one with what ever design you like. Look though magazines to get ideas and make sure to sign the back of each one.
Colorful Self-Stick Notes: These notes come in several colors and are easy to decorate with flowers or ribbon. You could wrap each one in beautiful wrapping paper.
Mini Stapler: These can be purchased at office product stores and they come in a variety of colors. Finish off with a ribbon tied in a bow.
Pen/Pencil: Pens and pencils can be purchased with your names and wedding dates on them. Decorate each one with a beautiful 1" wide ribbon tied in a bow.
Stationary: A small box of stationary makes a great favor. Decorate with a simple ribbon.
Pocket Calendar: These are thoughtful favors to give to guests toward the end of the year. They are widely available at most stationary stores. Tie with any size ribbon.
Fishing Lure: Fishing is popular with both men and women. Consider a packaged lure tied with a ribbon (keep in the package so the hooks don’t hurt anyone). This one is also good for nautical themes.
Autographed Baseball: Take one new baseball and have the bride and groom autograph it. Tie a 1" wide ribbon in a bow around the ball to add a feminine touch.
Decorated Golf Ball: Take net circles and gather around a golf ball. Tie with a ribbon and add your event tag.
Sports Cards: Purchase 5 to 10 sports cards for each guest. Wrap in clear or colored cellophane and tie a ribbon.
Tennis Ball: Take a tennis ball and wrap with tulle and a ribbon or just tie with a beautiful 1" wide ribbon. They come in colors other than yellow!