Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Do Me a (Wedding) “Favor”… or Not!

Filed under: Favors,Wedding Favors — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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If you want to save some money at your wedding… think about ditching the wedding favors. It’s a great way to save a few bucks. You are already giving your guests a great experience: they get to attend a beautiful event, catch up with long-lost relatives and friends, have a free meal and dance the night away. Isn’t that enough?

charityfavorThe history of giving wedding favors actually goes back many years, when European aristocrats would give bonbonniere’s (small trinkets) containing sugar cubes or delicate confections, which symbolised wealth {sugar used to be a very expensive commodity}. In today’s economy, it’s really your choice.

Not every favor is going to please every guest… this seems to be one of those “it’s the thought that counts” situations. Buying something for your guests that is expensive or or something they will never use – like a 3 x 3 inch photo frame with your initials on it – is kind of silly. Favors that are meaningful will be appreciated by your guests.

Favors are never required and if you’re on a budget and can’t afford them, they are usually the first thing to be cut. At the end of a recent reception, once the guests departed, around 70 percent of the favors were left on the table. What a loss! It is not unusual for wedding favors to be left behind. No favors are necessary and I find it refreshing that people are choosing to save the money, instead of buying things that people may toss out when they leave.

According to an article in U.S. News and World Reports, brides throughout the country last year (2012) felt the pinch, as the average wedding budget included $289 for favors.

It’s generally expected to give a favor, but why not donate to your favorite charity in honor of your guests instead? This is something where a card would be placed at each table (see photo above) or each setting notifying the guests that you have made a donation to a charity in their name. The amount of the donation is really any amount you choose. For me the idea of giving a donation in lieu of a wedding favor seems like a win-win situation. The actual amount contributed should be kept private. Mentioning a dollar amount or directly collecting donations from your guests is considered an etiquette no-no.

Wedding-Favor2If you choose to give favors, give them something they will use, not something cheesy or useless (like a mint tin with “your” name on it). If your budget allows, here are a few ideas: sugared almonds, matchbooks, picture frames and champagne flutes are popular wedding favors, but they often get left behind. Sachets are in right now. Go edible! How about a mason jar of honey or a homemade jam? The glass can be reused or recycled. Another favor idea I really like is the seed packets of your favorite flower with biodegradable packaging or tree seedlings since they are organic and eco-friendly. Anything that is heart-shaped usually works. Measuring spoons and cookie cutters are nice favors and will get used – give one per couple. For single guys maybe a bottle opener or wine stopper.

In the desert – Greater Phoenix, Arizona area – some brides and grooms often opt to keep their guests hydrated with a bottle of water with a customized label with the couple’s names and date of their wedding.

If you need to be frugal or need to cut something out completely, favors may be the wise choice. Most likely, few will notice you didn’t have them, fewer will even care.

BONUS Articles: Getting Married? 5 Things Your Wedding Probably Doesn’t Need
42 Wedding Favors Your Guests Will Actually Want
Tips for Creating a Charitable Wedding
Instead of Buying Wedding Favors – Try This…
Do Me a “Favor”

Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: Check Larry’s availability.

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  1. […] BONUS Article: Do Me a (Wedding) “Favor”… or Not! […]


    Pingback by Give a Door Prize at the Reception Instead of Favors | Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG — Wednesday, October 7, 2015 @ 7:31 am | Reply

  2. […] Articles: 550 Wedding Favor Ideas Do Me a (Wedding) “Favor”… or Not! M&M® Candies as Wedding Favors Instead of Buying Wedding Favors – Try […]


    Pingback by More About Wedding Favors | Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG — Saturday, February 22, 2014 @ 8:30 am | Reply

  3. Great suggestions, Larry! Charitable donations are always a wonderful alternative!


    Comment by Pamela Brehm — Wednesday, November 6, 2013 @ 3:54 pm | Reply

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