You may have heard all sorts of opinions 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.