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Wedding FavorsWedding Favor Ideas

published May 19th, 2014

In accordance with Western tradition, wedding favors are small gifts distributed to guests by the bride and groom as a gesture of appreciation or gratitude for their attendance. It’s a tradition that harks back many centuries, and was common with European aristocrats who would give out a small trinket box made of crystal, porcelain, and/or precious stones. This box was known as a bonbonniere (which itself is a bit of a mouthful) and it would contain sugar cubes or delicate confections which symbolised wealth and royalty. Of course this was back in the day when sugar cubes were a rare and expensive commodity, so this gift would have been treasured by the receiver. These days if you gave out sugar cubes as a gift you’d probably be met with a caustic comment like “What am I, a horse?”.

As the cost of sugar decreased (and became widely available) this gift was replaced by almonds and later sugar-coated almonds. Over the centuries this then morphed into the wedding favor as we know it today. They’re now part and parcel of a wedding reception and couples invest a lot of time into making sure their favors are perfect for the occasion.

The beauty about wedding favors is that they can take any shape or form, but should ideally complement the wedding theme or season of the event. It’s really down to the personal preference of the bride and groom, but classic favors range from chocolates to candles and scented soaps. Some couples even give out CDs featuring the wedding music or picture frames bearing a photo of the couple. Although the latter may be seen as ever so slightly vain… as unless you’re the parents of the bride and groom you’re unlikely to want their faces adorning your mantlepiece for too long. It’s likely that a gift like this would only see the light of day when you know the bride and groom are coming to visit. Just be sure to dust your mantelpiece prior to their arrival, as if they see their photo frame without a speck of dust on it you’ll arouse their suspicion as they may (rightly) conclude that the frame is usually stored in a box and hidden in the attic.

The main thing to take into consideration when choosing your wedding favors are budget, wedding theme, number of guests and longevity of the gift. For example flowers are likely to perish very quickly, and it may not be a good idea to buy edible gifts too many months in advance. Otherwise you may notice several of your guests opening the box and immediately pushing it to one side…

Ideally, your wedding favors should be one of two things. Edible or practical. Edible gifts may include mini brownie pops, chocolate covered cookies, mini pies, mints, candy bars or even personalised honey jars. The latter being both edible and practical. While other functional gifts could include stemless wine glasses, bottle openers, glass coasters, martini shakers or luggage tags. Personalised tea bags would also make good flavors as favours.

A good favor is something that’s given a bit of thought. Perhaps expressing the personalities of the bride and boom. If you both like a drink then personalised mini wine bottles would go down a treat. Just be mindful that none of your guests are recovering alcoholics.

Try to avoid the cheese. Both the edible variety and the coasters depicting your smiling faces variety. As with the picture frames mentioned earlier, nobody wants coasters with your cheesy smiles on them.

It’s advisable to make or order more favors than you actually need. Some will be lost or broken, while you always get one guest who thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to grab a handful. You’ll also undoubtably want to put a few to one side as personal keepsakes of your big day.

Don’t put pressure on yourselves by trying to make too many in a short space of time. Your attempt at making one may have proved successful, but can you now make 200 in a week? Try timing how long it takes to make one and then do them in batches over the course of several months. Making your favors should be an inexpensive labor of love, not a tiresome, stressful chore.

Finally, be sure to assign someone to hand the favors out, or make some signage that makes it crystal clear to the guests that they’re theirs for the taking. A simple note along the lines of “Help yourself!”, “Please take one”, or “Be our guest!” will suffice. If it’s unclear then you’ll just have guests casually sliding them into their pockets and feeling sheepish about it for months afterwards.