It’s that time of year, brides are wrapping up the final details for their weddings. This is when I get more questions and see more comments on good ol’ Facebook about wedding favors. My answer to these inquires is always in the form of a question, or rather two questions: Does your budget allow you to spend more than $600 on favors? Do you have an idea in mind that is personal and meaningful and something you haven’t seen at a wedding in the last 12 months?
If the answer to either of these questions is NO, then move on from the favors entirely.
I know, I know, I just shocked 80% of you…but keep reading…
I’m about to jump on a soapbox but I am also going to give you a bit of a history lesson and some wedding guest behavior related insight as well, so stick with me for a moment here…
The origin of wedding favors is 16th Century England, when couples would give their guests Love Knots made of lace and ribbon to symbolize their love. This evolved in Italy and France into tiny ceramic or porcelain boxes filled with sweets being given to guests as a sign of luck, because to get married at all in those days was considered lucky. Keep in mind the 16th Century was also when many people still believed the world was flat…
Things have changed a bit since then.
We live in a society of consumers. If I REALLY want a bag of Jordan almonds, I can go get one. If I need a bottle opener, or a seashell candle, I can order one in 10 seconds and have it delivered the next day (thanks Amazon Prime). The 16th Century wedding guests didn’t have these luxuries.
In today’s society, we value connection and experience more than material things, even custom can koozies. I realize that this sounds crazy especially given the consumer culture I mentioned earlier but think about it this way, when you look back at the last super awesome people-still-talk-about-it-five-years-later wedding you went to, do you remember it and talk about it because of the personalized M&M’s you ate at midnight or because of the amazing DJ and hosted bar that kept you on the dance floor all night laughing and having the time of your life with your friends?
Probably something that happened thanks to that hosted bar and awesome DJ and not the M&M’s.
So if the answer to question number one regarding budget is a NO, then don’t stretch yourself any thinner just to provide a favor for your guests, put what you had budgeted towards a great DJ or a super delicious meal that is an upgrade from Champagne Chicken.
If you do in fact have the budget and already have a bomb party planned and drool-worthy food being served and want to give your guests a memento from the wedding, choose something incredibly personal and something that will hit them right in the feels. A personalized homemade bottle of wine, or jam because your Grandma’s recipe is legendary. A Bloody Mary kit for the morning after, because lord knows if you planned that wedding right they will NEED it. Something with meaning that won’t get left on the table. Because friends, I am the last one to leave over 50 weddings a year….and I see what gets left behind and tossed out, and it’s 90% of those little packages of mints that you hand stickered “MINT TO BE” and 98% of the personalized keg beer cups.
Here’s where all the MOB’s are screaming at me and Brides are breaking out in a cold sweat panic-
BUT FAVORS ARE A WAY OF THANKING YOUR GUESTS FOR COMING! IT WOULD BE RUDE NOT TO GIVE THEM A FAVOR!
Reality Check- no one wants a thank you for coming to your wedding, they love you, they’re thrilled to be there anyway!
Give your guests an experience to remember, gorgeous decor to look at, a rockin’ party, a culinary delight, not another personalized item they’ll feel guilty throwing away in a few years…if it leaves with them at all.
photos: Intuition Design Photography