After our twelfth birthday, most of us stop giving out party favors every time we throw a casual shindig. But the tradition is back when it comes time for your wedding. We can’t figure out why either. Unlike in elementary school however, anything goes. You won’t lose your social standing if your mom fills the loot bags with healthy snacks. Of course, the unlimited options can be a little overwhelming but there are a few common categories that you can start out with. They overlap a lot but they may at least help you to decide what area to focus on when searching for the perfect favor for your guests.
5 Charity Donations
These are becoming more popular and there are now a number of organizations that will take care of printing beautiful cards for your guests explaining that a donation has been made in their honor. As much as a particular cause may be important to you, try to stick to organizations that are non-controversial. Having a donation given in your name to a cause you don’t approve of isn’t just worse than a candy bar, it’s insulting. But even while keeping that in mind, there are a wide variety of organizations you can choose from. As an added bonus, some organizations will print your message about the donation right onto blank place-cards so you’ve really got all your bases covered.
This option kills two birds with one stone. Take any of the items above, and then add names and table numbers. You may want to avoid things like squishy bags of candy, since they won’t stand up easily and people may have a hard time finding their place-card when they enter the reception hall. We all know the frustration of a traffic jam in the doorway. Instead, try items that fit nicely into boxes or containers, such as tiny flower pots or jars. To make this easy, don’t bother hand labeling each one. Instead, set up a database that lists your guests and their table numbers and print each one out on a pretty labeling that matches your color theme. You’ll save time and avoid volunteer helpers with bad handwriting.
In case you didn’t know, we’ll let you in on a secret: There are companies out there that will print your name on anything. So first figure out how much you want to spend on each guest. Then try to think of an item that most of your guests will appreciate (here’s where we get back to candy and cookies) and maybe even represents you a little bit. Now it doesn’t matter if it fits the theme or even seems particularly wedding appropriate, because once you’ve got your names and the wedding date stamped on, it’s automatically the perfect souvenir. This can be DIY, if you’ve got the time, but if not that’s fine too. Just do a quick internet search for vendors in your area. But make sure to leave plenty of time for shipping and get recommendations of check with the Better Business Bureau so you know you’ve found someone reliable.
If however, you do have some time to kill you’ll be able to save even more money and probably find a way to express yourself to your guests. First of all, take a minute to consider whether or not you have any particular hobbies, talents or skills that could come in handy here. If your family and friends know how much you like to cook for them then consider assembling all the ingredients for one of your favorite recipes in small jars with labels that say “thanks for celebrating with us!” and include further cooking instructions. If you’re more into building models, then consider building a small model for each of your guests and, if your invitation list isn’t too long, you may even be able to personalize each one. If computers are more your thing, consider giving out disks with a photo album of the couple and their family and friends.
What could be bad? Not only is candy a universal favorite, it’s also very versatile. Even the most straightforward, kid-friendly candy bar can be wrapped to make it look extra sophisticated or to match your wedding theme. For example, a mesh bag of chocolate kisses can be tied with ribbons to match the colors of the tablecloths with a small tag of a contrasting color. If you want to get even more personal, try single piece, like a large lollipop or chocolate bar and tape a photo of the happy couple onto the packaging. Check online for instructions on least messy way of doing this. Another option however, is to choose the candy itself carefully. Regional specialties are especially nice if you have out of town guests. For example, if you’re having a Vermont wedding, give out maple sugar candy. If your wedding is on the Jersey Shore, give each guest a box of saltwater taffy. Although it’s possible to dig up really sophisticated gourmet treats, giving out candy is usually a good way to keep your costs in check without committing yourself to spending days creating something from scratch.
Think you can come up with something better? Let’s hear your ideas!