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: 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.

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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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