Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Give a Door Prize at the Reception Instead of Favors

Filed under: Favors,Gifts,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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The cost of a wedding can be astronomical. Depending on your wedding budget and the number of guests, it may be difficult to buy wedding favors for everybody. Although most wedding favors are priced reasonably, the cost can add up if you’re having a large wedding.

Wed-DoorPrizeThe point of a favor is to acknowledge and thank your guests for coming to your wedding. Many couples shell out hundreds of dollars on junky favors that will just get thrown away or left on the table when the guests leave the reception. Instead of buying hundreds of cheap wedding favors, why not consider one big wedding favor as a “door prize” at the wedding reception?

When it comes to the wedding favors it’s completely up to you what you do. Make a note on the invitations that one lucky guest will go home with a very special gift. Ideas for that big wedding favor gift include:

• A large basket filled with a personalized wine bottle, candles, chocolates, wedding napkins, etc.
• A Vera Wang Toasting Flutes Set
• Centerpiece
• A golf bag
• A chocolate basket
• A beautiful pen and stationery set
• A spa package
• A gift certificate to a boutique or restaurant
• Pick up the tab for one night at a nice hotel
• A special portrait session with your photographer

Door prizes should be gender neutral and are usually awarded on a lottery basis to the holder of a certain ticket. An easy way to award door prizes at a wedding reception is to number the backs of all of the place cards that wedding guests will pick up to find out what table they have been assigned to. Then, have the DJ randomly draw numbers during the reception and award fun door prizes that are in line with the theme or destination of your wedding.

One way to do this is to place a sticker underneath one chair at each table and have the DJ make an announcement to check the chairs to see who gets to take the centerpieces home. Or what about the couple with the closest anniversary day to the newlyweds? Ask your DJ if he/she can offer some suggestions.

Or… Instead of giving the guests a small favor, use the money budgeted for favors and make a charitable donation. A charity gift is a memorable way to thank family and friends for sharing this special day with you.

If you need to be frugal or must cut something out completely, favors would be the wise choice. Most people will not even notice if you eliminate favors.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. The idea is to buy one great wedding gift in lieu of hundreds of inexpensive wedding favors. Depending on the number of people at the wedding, those “inexpensive” wedding favors can really add up.

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

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Copyright © 2015 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Don’t Do Me Any Favors…

Filed under: Favors,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Unless the favor is a food — like some delicious cookies, double fudge brownies or chocolates the guests can eat right then – it’s a wedding expense you can forgo. And all the traditionalists say, “Tacky!”

Not really. They aren’t really necessary. The point of a favor is to acknowledge and thank your guests for coming to your wedding. Many couples shell out hundreds of dollars on junky favors that will just get thrown away or left on the table when the guests leave the reception.

FavorsSome think that the expense of a nice meal at the reception is great way to say thank you. Others say the invitation to the wedding is a gift in itself.

If you need to be frugal or must cut something out completely, favors would be the wise choice. Most people will not even notice if you eliminate favors.

Here’s an idea. Forgo favors in “favor” of making a donation in honor of your wedding. Write a note to each guest and leave it at their place setting, letting them know you’ve donated to a charity in lieu of a traditional wedding favor. (Do not put anything about the donation being “in honor of” your guests or in their name.) Some larger charitable organizations such as the American Cancer Society will even do the work for you by printing favor cards or tags announcing your donation. 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.

The Knot says, “If you want to announce it, do one discreet sign that is in a high traffic area (like cake table or guest book table) and be done with it. Plastering announcements all over your reception is very “look at how awesome we are” and also makes your wedding look like a fundraiser.”

Oh, yes, one more thing about donations. Give serious consideration to the organization you choose. For example, weddings are not, in my opinion, the place to advertise political or religious donations that could spark unpleasant conversations during your reception. Some say donating to a cause YOU support is not a favor to anyone else. Hmmm.

What is important to you as a couple is what really matters. It’s “your” wedding… do what ever you want! If you decide that you must have favors, remember, favors do not need to be extravagant or expensive… it really is the thought that counts.

There are many ways to cut down on the expense of a wedding… no favors is one of them.

BONUS Article: Instead of Buying Wedding Favors – Try This…

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. 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 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

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NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

More About Wedding Favors

Filed under: Favors — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Wedding favors are mementos or gifts given by newlyweds for their guests after the wedding or at the reception.

It is known that the history of giving wedding favors started with couples in the old European upper class, who would offer items to their guests as a token of their gratitude. The bonbonniere, as it was called, was their expression of gratitude to their friends, relatives and acquaintances for having been present to witness their blessed union. These keepsakes used to come in expensive boxes – tiny chests made of porcelain and other pricey materials — and contained costly sweets (sugar lumps) or confections. It was a display of great wealth, and rich guests deserved nothing less.

sunglassfavorsThe tradition had eventually passed on among commoners who accepted the idea, but rather than such pricey giveaways, they made do with a unique wedding favor that went within their modest means.

Somewhere along the line of the wedding favors’ history, almonds became the preference of the majority. The 13th century saw the rise of the sugar-coated kind, called confetti, and it was supposed to signify the bitter-sweet union that is marriage. The almonds were offered in odd numbers (commonly in 3s or 5s) to make them difficult to divide, and each nut carried with it a specific meaning, like health, happiness, or wealth.

Nowadays, offering wedding favors to guests is still being done. In fact, it has become an expected part of the reception, and the wedding feast seems to be incomplete without it. However, the tradition had since evolved from sugar and candy-coated almonds to other more diverse and unique concepts .

When it comes to picking unique wedding favors, a couple is limited only by their imagination and budget. But even budget limitations can be overcome with a little creativity and a lot of effort. And effort can be minimized by intensive research and excellent planning.

Wedding planners, wedding sites, and other experts all agree that the selection of gift should coincide with the theme chosen for the event. It can be a unique wedding favor, or a traditional one presented in a unique package. Depending on the couple’s budget, it can be costly or inexpensive – but it should certainly be unique and well-thought of. Customized with the couple’s names, the date of the event, the venue, and a small thank you note would serve as a great finishing touch.

There are a lot of concepts to choose from, and this Blog and the Internet are the best places to a look.

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

Copyright © 2014 – www.Your-Budget-Wedding.com/

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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 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

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NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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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: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Do Me a “Favor”

Filed under: Favors,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Here are a few ideas for favors at your reception. It’s important that your day is not only a reflection of your love as a couple; but it’s also important to show your gratitude to your guests from coming and being part of your celebration. Your selection of unique wedding favors will be a great way to show your guests how much you appreciate their support. Not many of us want to go home with a trinket that will gather dust in our home or be thrown away the next day. Give guests something they can have fun with long after the wedding is over – something they can use.

• Everyone loves to listen to music and photos. Purchase a bunch of USB flash drives in your wedding colors. Upload a slideshow filled with photos of the two of you over the years and have your DJ set it to music from your music playlist.

flashDrives• Add a burst of color to your reception tables with coasters. Coordinate them with your day-of-décor and tie a set of two together with colored baker’s twine for your guests to take home.

• Say “bon voyage” to guests with luggage tags that will remind them of your day on all their future travels. Customizable colors, monograms and patterns let you personalize these useful and stylish favors. You may want to go with colorful passport covers for an affair hosted abroad.

• Celebrating your Love in Arizona? Give your traveling guests a practical gift that will keep them well-protected while they’re in town and spending time in the Arizona sun. Purchase travel-size bottles of sunblock and customize the label with your names, wedding date and colors.

Shakers• Give your guests something to keep them entertained on the way home. Personalize decks of cards with photos of you and your partner.

• Looking for a festive favor for you Mexican themed wedding? Give shakers out at the ceremony for guests to shake as you walk back down the aisle. Use them again at the reception for a fun dance-floor accessory. Throw in some sombreros and place some extra maracas in your photo booth as props.

sandtubes• If your wedding is in Arizona be sure to let guests know that they need to keep hydrated. Give them customized water bottles with your names and date of your wedding. Personalized lip balm is also great as a favor.

• Getting married on a beach? Make some little tubes of beach sand – a perfect little keepsake!

• Cookies in CD sleeves. Love the idea of giving out baked goods but not sure how to package them? Try using paper CD sleeves! Bake or buy your favorite cookies, slip them into the CD sleeve, and smack a cute label on them with your names and wedding date.

• How about a “Thank you!” CD? Before the wedding, film a short video of you and your fiancé thanking everyone who was there to support you. Have some fun with this project – maybe write a little song or poem, or even put on a short skit re-enacting how you met. Above all, make sure you express how grateful you are for all your friends and family.

• Put your own photo or special message on M&Ms® and offer them as wedding favors at your reception. You can create personalized wedding favors by printing your own words on the candy. M&M’S® Chocolate Candies deliver fun and a smile! To find out how to order, click here!

Many popular websites that offer favors for sale are priced anywhere from 75 cents each to $2 to $3 and up. One hundred guests at $2.00 each will cost you $200 plus postage and handling.

“Favors can be pricey, particularly when you have a large guest list. However, don’t fall victim of buying a cheap favor for the sake of having something. A cheap favor that guests will never use, keep, or remember isn’t worth a penny. Instead, make something at home that’s inexpensive – yet heartfelt – like a batch of sugar cookies. Place one cookie in a brown paper bag and a decorative stamp. Easy? Yes. Better and cheaper than store-bought? You betcha.” ~ EmmalineBride.com

BONUS Article: Wedding Favors & Useful Things for Guests
7 Wedding Favor Mistakes to Avoid
Instead of Buying Wedding Favors – Try This…

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Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant 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 Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (96 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Bride and Groom Advice Coasters

Filed under: Favors,Receptions,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

ReceptionIDEABridalHotspotWhat a fun way to leave some “words of wisdom” and marriage tips for the newly marrieds – and create a unique guest book at the same time! They usually come in a 3.5 inches circle. Some are printed to coordinate with your wedding colors.

Instead of having the coasters available on the guest book table, I suggest that in order for the guests to have time to think about what they would like to write that you have several assistants pass among the guest tables handing each adult a coaster and let them know that there is a box on a table near the exit for them to deposit their advice. They should also hand out pens.

adviceCoasterIf you have them printed with the names of the Bride and Groom, always print the Bride’s name first. Most wedding favors, including advice coasters, napkins, matchbooks, favor bags, favor boxes and ribbon, are printed with a design or monogram with the bride and groom’s first name and wedding date printed below the design or monogram.

Advice coasters are a perfect addition to your wedding celebration and a great way to keep another memory from your special day.

Do a Google search for “Bride and Groom Advice Coasters” to find a resource to purchase the style you like best.

For a few extra cents, you can order glass coasters. Coasters prevent damage to furniture from sweating glasses and cups. You can purchase them in a variety of materials and styles, or you can make them yourself. Some coasters come with a place to put a photo under the glass; perhaps an engagement photo would be nice. When planning your wedding, you can provide each guest with a set of two decorative coasters to commemorate the event.

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant 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 Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to “Larry James’ CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG” and receive a fresh wedding article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

A FUN and Creative Wedding!

Filed under: Candy Bar,Favors,Guest Books,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am

weddingSignI was proud to be selected to perform my “romantic” wedding ceremony for Lisa Kandel & David Jones’ wedding recently. They had a lot of great ideas to keep their guests interested and entertained. What a great celebration!

First, the were greeted with a special sign to make their guest feel part of the celebration and to make them feel comfortable.

A party favor is a token of appreciation that is given to departing guests in appreciation for the participation and attendance. There were lots of favors scattered around the wedding venue. They all represented the spirit of the celebration, were sincerely appreciated and created a lot of buzz during the reception and during the dance.

corksTheir sign-in book was not a book at all. For wine lovers, wine corks can be a guest book alternative for guest to write on – definitely a fun twist on the traditional guestbook. Two 16 year old twins from Tucson greeted everyone and asked them to put a brief message or just sign their name on a wine cork.

While the guests are not able to write a whole lot on the corks, there are still ways to make this type of guestbook work to your advantage. You could have your guests sign their names on the corks or ask them to write a word or two that they think best describes you as a couple. After the wedding, take it to a framing shop and have them make a corkboard out of your guests’ notes!corks2

keysNext, as the guests entered the ceremony area they were asked to offer a “key to marriage success” by writing a brief message attached to a key. With about a hundred guests there were a lot of ideas presented that will be helpful to the bride and groom.

beverageholdersThe wedding was at The Boojum Tree’s Hidden Garden. Instead of favors on the tables at the reception, during the cocktail hour and near the bar, the happy couple offered a basket of customized beverage holders. On once side, it said, “Lisa & David, 2.26.12” and on the opposite side it said, “I survived the Jones Wedding!” What a great idea.

DancingShoes2After the reception dinner, the Master of Ceremonies, DJ Oscar Bentancourth (Got You Covered!) requested the all the guests move to the dancing area. DancingShoesTo get them ready for dancing the guests were asked to make themselves comfortable by taking off their shoes and dawning colorful flip-flops and to dance the night away.The bride and groom For those who preferred not to dance there were chairs around the dancing area so they could enjoy a cocktail and watch the action. No Macarena or the Slide were on the agenda. 😉

At another wedding recently we came up with a couple of ideas to keep the non-dancing guests busy. A wedding photo booth and a fake fortune teller occupied their time. All in all it was fun for everyone.

CandyBARYou should have seen the guests scrambling to fill their bags with candy at the candy bar. The self-serve candy buffet is the latest trend in weddings today. They can add fun and a splash of color to your wedding reception. Color coordinate your candy. My favorite was the M & M’s with their name on each piece. To find out how to order M & M’s for your wedding, click here!

Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. David Jones. Lisa Kandel & David Jones were married at 4 p.m., Sunday, February 26, 2012 at the Boojum Tree Hidden Garden, Phoenix.

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant 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. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Instead of Buying Wedding Favors – Try This…

Wedding favors have become somewhat of a cliche. Depending upon the kind of favors you may provide your guests at the reception, some are kept as a reminder of the wedding however, most are later discarded, end up in a bottom drawer or destined for the trashcan. Some are quite pricey.

There was a time when wedding favors consisted of a cocktail napkin and a book of matches with the bride and groom’s names and wedding date. While some couples still enjoy going this route, as times have changed, so have the trends. Many couples skip the favor routine all together, however, there are other couples who adore the tradition of giving favors. Instead of giving the guests a small gift, use the money budgeted for favors and make a charitable donation. A charity gift is a memorable way to thank family and friends for sharing this special day with you.

ScrollFavorAt a recent wedding, beside every place setting was a scroll-like paper with a ribbon around it. When I returned home, I opened it and it was a letter from the President and CEO of a charitable organization that said:

Dear Guest, This is to inform you that a donation has been made to the Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA in lieu of wedding favors by Matthew and Tammi Fretz in honor of their wedding. The lives of thousands of pets are enhanced each year because of these acts of kindness and generosity… etc.

What a creative idea! This is a terrific way to make a donation to a worthy cause. There are plenty of ways to give to worthwhile causes on behalf of your guests. If you choose to do this, be sure to place a card on each table at the reception explaining about the donation to your guests. Cards or letters (as the one above) are also a great way to explain why you’ve chosen the particular charity, whether it’s to honor a deceased relative or celebrate a cause that you feel strongly about as a couple.

Here’s another idea. The I Do Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps generous couples incorporate charitable choices into their wedding celebration. Users can create a gift registry of charities by category (health, environment, social justice, etc.) or select a specific non-profit to support with the added option of donating to a local charity serving their own community.

charitableFavorJustGive.com is another site to check out. A JustGive charity gift certificate is a memorable way to thank people who participated in your wedding by letting them choose their own cause to support. Gift Certificates never expire and can be redeemed to any of the 1 million local and national charities. The JustGive Guide includes 1,000 charities that have met stringent public requirements. The charities are grouped into19 categories to make your search easier and faster.

If you’re still hoping to score some home goods for your new love nest, “I Do” also offers a list of partner stores that donate a percentage of gift purchases to your favorite charity. You can also do the giving yourself by making a donation in your guests’ names in lieu of handing out traditional wedding favors.

Even Kate Middleton and Prince William made the decision to “Pay it Forward” with their wedding gifts, asking that the money to be used for gifts be given to charities and good causes. Adding a charitable dimension to your wedding festivities can help your “happily ever after” extend to your community and beyond!

Here are a few other Ways to “Be a Charitable Bride:”

• Consider donating your wedding flowers when the ceremony and reception are over. Your leftover flowers can be distributed to the sick or elderly, and are certain to brighten their day.

• Think about donating your leftover food. Most caterers are only going to dispose of the remaining portions of food anyway, so why not request to have the leftovers distributed to local food banks?

• Your wedding dress and your bridesmaids’ dresses can be donated to charity. These dresses can be resold at a fraction of the cost to a bride who cannot afford her gown, and the maids’ gowns often get donated to underprivileged teenagers as prom dresses. There is also a charity called Making Memories that will happily accept your new or used gown, and then resell it, with all the profits going to Breast Cancer charities.

BONUS Article: Tips for Creating a Charitable Wedding

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant 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. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

M&M® Candies as Wedding Favors

Filed under: Favors,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags: , ,

Here’s a novel idea! . . . AND one to please your wedding guests!

Everyone is looking for a way to make their wedding reception unique and personal. The people at M&M’s are going above and beyond to help you out.

photom&mYou may have seen the personalized wedding M&M’s with the bride and grooms names and wedding date on them; but, their pictures? You can have two different picture/word combos in your order. Not only that, there are 25 colors to choose from so you should be able to get close to your wedding colors. You also have the option to get a blend of colors.

m&mbagPut your own photo or special message on M&Ms® and offer them as wedding favors at your reception. M&M’S® Chocolate Candies deliver fun and a smile!

You can create personalized wedding favors by printing your own words on the candy. You also have the ability to print your favorite photo on them. How cool is that!? Tell your one-of-a-kind love story with Personalized M&M’s®. Write a surprising announcement for the big day. Personalized wedding favors that are tasty and guaranteed not to collect dust in someone’s curio!

Have your caterer create a work of M&Ms art. How about a special M&M candy wedding cake? They can use M&Ms in a unique manner that gives the cake a pixelated look in addition to a candy-coated shell.

You can now easily match the color of your M&M’s to your own wedding color palette! Trendy colors like Aqua and Teal and classic wedding colors such as White and Pink are available in 7 oz bags! Great wedding favors for your guests!

To find out how to order, click here!

Read, “Goody Bags for “Out-of-Town” Wedding Guests.”

Copyright © 2010 – 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 (95 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
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