Sunday, September 15, 2013

5 Tips for Wedding Favor Planning

Wedding favors are a nice little way to thank your guests for coming, and to add to your theme or represent your couple-dom in a special way as they depart from your big day.  There are MANY ideas out there for favors, especially when you get on Pinterest with some extra time on your hands.  Here are a few thoughts to get you started and narrow it down:

 If your venue package includes a special sendoff station (such as a Candy Bar/Buffet, a Philadelphia Goodbye station with soft pretzels, etc.), that can be your favor.  For a special touch, add a little Thank You sticker with your names and the date and ask your venue if you can pick up and label enough bags for your guests in advance.  Then relax because you don't need anything else. If a station is not included and/or you'd like to do a different favor...

⦁ Consider your cost first.  Favors can easily be $1.00+ per guest to buy, but there are less expensive options out there.  Figure out what you have and want to spend on this venture, then find a way to make it work.

⦁ Decide whether it's important to you for guests to want to SAVE their favors beyond the wedding weekend. Do you want something that they'll have to remind them of the celebration? Something they will be able to use? Something they'll be able to eat/drink later? Something they'll enjoy right away and then it'll be gone?

⦁ DIY or B-U-Y? There are a lot of crafty favors out there, and some may seem like a great idea at first, but please consider...whether they truly represent you and your fiance, whether you have the resources/time/help to get it done in the timeframe that you'd like (ideally not in the last few days before the wedding, and especially not on your wedding day), and whether it fits your budget (see #2 above). If something crafty and creative is calling to you and it jives with all of these considerations, then go for it.  Otherwise, consider buying a favor or creating a table of goodies for guests to take along. Food for later, water bottles with (or without) personalized labels and candy are always welcome at the end of a night of dancing and fun! Also, despite the fact that we've all stuffed ourselves silly throughout the night, many guests would be happy to see a cool station on the way out with mini cheeseburgers, fries and a milkshake, or something along those lines!

⦁ "Cause" You Want to Go in a Different Direction: Consider making a donation and skipping the favors. A dollar or two per guest can go a long way when donated to a local, national or international charity. If this hits home for you, then your guests will understand and appreciate the gesture. Consider reaching out to your charity to see if they could provide you with ribbons, bracelets or small pins for your guests, then attach them to your place cards, programs or menu cards, and be sure to explain the symbolism in one way or another (I think it would be best in your program).

⦁ Take advantage of your bridesmaids' and family members' willingness (and often eagerness) to help with a project! If you're doing a DIY favor project, get everything you need, plan a day, and invite everyone over to help make it happen. Create an assembly line if that's easiest, be sure to provide food and drinks, and enjoy the time together. When you're finished, pack everything up safely and rest assured- favors are ready to go! Phew :)

*Bonus Note: If you can find a way to make your favors double as place cards, more power to you (and less work for you)! In this case, be sure that you are keeping them in order by last name if they're already labeled. See the All About Place Cards post for place card ideas and help!

*Caution Note: If you're creating something and jarring/canning/bottling it, remember that guests who fly in with carry-ons only can bring back liquids in 2 oz. quantities only.  Also, if you're serving something like the Breakfast in a Box below, be careful not to include too many perishable parts (lox, whitefish salad, fruit salad, etc.) if guests staying at a hotel may not have access to a refrigerator!

Here are a few of my favorite favor ideas. Be sure to check out Wediquette on Pinterest for more:
A homemade cookie station or prepackaged homemade cookies as guests are leaving.

 Flip flops for dancing feet!

Salt Water Taffy for beach lovers. 

Homemade Jam in flavors of the bride & groom's choice. 

Cake bags for guests to take extra cake home. Add an extra sticker for some fun personalization, with a saying like, "Before you go, take some cake. Just don't get a bellyache!" or "Some wedding guests are cool, but ours really Take the Cake!"

 Cookie cakes- such a sweet idea. 
A nice coffee or tea blend. 

A CD of the couple's favorite songs as of wedding week (can be love songs, fun songs, most pre-requested wedding songs, whatever you want)! 

Honey in a jar. 

A photo booth photo strip holder  (Doubles as a place card and thank you note, could also include the menu for the night)!

Candy buffet- wow! If your venue provides a candy buffet, they will most likely allow you to bring in any candy that is not already available. If you or your fiance have a couple favorite sweets or a certain color scheme (like the Fall-colored one above, which gets repinned more than any other picture on my Pinterest favors board), ask your coordinator what is available and what you can bring along. Note: If you LOVE the dishes with the Reese's Pieces above,  you can find them at:
The Wedding Outlet online for $8.95 per letter. They have ALL letters, a heart, an ampersand (&) and numbers if you wanted to include the date. 
Ivy Lane Design- $10.00 per letter. They also have letters, numbers, a heart, an ampersand and punctuation (helpful writing a date in the 1-1-11 format). 
eBay- You may be able to find some at a good price on eBay

Seeds to watch love grow- love this, especially for an early Spring wedding!

Heart-shaped mints- yum! 

...or just simple mints/candies in a box at each spot.

Breakfast in a box. Cinnamon buns (don't they look so good?), bagels and cream cheese, etc. 

In any case, go simple, go you, and remember- you don't have to do multiple favors. People are happy just to be there! There's no need to do flip flops on the dance floor, mints at each seat and a photo booth, before they hit the candy buffet on the way out, so don't stress and just do what's right for you. If you have a theme, stick with it and people will notice the details.  Make sure you have enough for yourselves and a few extras just in case. 

By the way...

Want to check out some great wedding tunes? Check out this post, which is updated often!

Putting together bathroom baskets? Click here for great tips and inspiration! 

Are you (or your wedding party members) in a wedding party and not quite sure what to do next? Check out this post  to get prepped and rock it! 

Have you thought about what you'll do with your dress after the big day? This post has some great ideas!

Check out the most popular posts along the sidebar (scroll up!), including Weddings Across the Board- a series devoted to the cultural & traditional awesomeness that goes into wedding celebrations around the world- with coordinating Pinterest boards.

Don't forget to check out, follow & share the Wediquette Pinterest page!  

Do you have a request for a wedding or party-related post? Leave a comment! 

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