Not those kind of favors! I’m all for those!
What I’m talking about is the little things that go on tables and make up part or all of the center pieces and are given to one or more guests per table during the reception. The gentleman and I are getting into the thick of wedding planning and I’m wondering if they’re worthwhile. What do you do with them after you get them? If they’re such a wonderful souvenirs of the wedding, wouldn’t it be better to have one per person (we’re going to have about 60 guests)? If you give away one per table, how do you arrange giving them away?
Making favors won’t be a problem; both my mother and I are quite good at crafts. We’re considering providing small goody bags filled with snacks, maps, and other useful information at the hotel for people coming in from out of town for the wedding. I’m also leaning towards glass vases filled with prettily wrapped chocolate for centerpieces and encouraging people to eat them.
Are favors necessary? Will people be offended if we don’t have them? If we do have them, what do you suggest putting in them?
I never save favors, if we’re talking about the random objects often embossed with the names of the bride and groom that are left at each place setting. If they’re yummy, I eat them, but I don’t save the matchbook/coaster/candle/doodad genre of stuff. Usually I “forget” it on the table and get on with my life.
Centerpieces, of course, are a different animal. I think they make the place look decorated and finished and pretty, so I endorse them. And I think that the first X people (X being the number of tables with centerpieces on them) who exclaim how lovely the centerpieces are should be invited to take one with them at the end of the event.
We got married on Saturday. We made favors that were one in the same with the place cards. It was a wine glass filled with Hershey’s kisses, covered in cellophane. There was a name tag tied to it. Most everyone took their’s home. They cost well under one dollar each and about two hours to make all of them.
I think favors are necessary, because some people are really into saving such things. Not me, but some people are. And as the expense can be trivial in terms of the entire wedding cost, why not.
A couple wedding that I’ve gone to haven’t had favors and have instead had little notes on the table saying that the couple donated money to whatever charity instead of buying favors. I don’t think anyone minded because as Contrary said, no one ever keeps favors from weddings anyway.
We had a tiny wedding with only 16 guests and it was at Christmas time so we picked out special Christmas tree ornaments for each person. So the teacher got a school bus ornament, and the music director got a violin, my mother got a frog because she loves frogs, and so on. Sixty people might be a bit big to do that, but if you do know the people well enough, making or buying a small individualized gift is really nice. And even at non-Christmas times, ornaments are nice because people DO keep them and put them on their trees year after year and (hopefully) think fondly of you every time they take them out and hang them up.
I really like them, I look forward to seeing what the bride and groom have picked for their favor, and get a kick out of anything that is unusual or different. I have a strong preference for the kind where everyone gets a favor – why fight over them?
That said, I’m at a loss as to what to do with most favors after the wedding. For that reason, I like anything that is chocolate/candy or otherwise consumable. For weddings with a lot of out of town guests, something local can be cute. I went to one that had little bottles of a locally made hot sauce, and each one was tied with a ribbon and a card (flat card, about the size of an index card, but nicer paper). The card had the bride and groom’s name, date of the wedding, and a recipe for something to make with the hot sauce that included a little bit about “On their first date, John and Sue discovered they both loved hot sauce.” Maybe a little corny, but cute and memorable, I thought.
This was the case at the last wedding I attended but I was relieved because I DO save all that crap. I don’t want to. It’s just that I can’t seem to make myself throw out any of the personalized knick knacks and doodads, so when I saw that “In lieu of favors P and K have made a donation to the local animal shelter” I was very happy.
Of course if you go that route you have to agree on which charity, which may not be any easier that deciding whether to go with pastel mints in a printed box or printed matchbooks…
I love the hotel “goody bag” idea for the out-of-town guests. Very thoughtful, and I’m sure it will be appreciated.
I’ve only been to a couple of weddings, but I can’t say that I care very much about the favors - if it’s small maybe I"ll keep it in my keepsake box because I feel I should, but it’s not like I ever take it out and look at it. A food-type favor is a good idea, and a centerpiece is definitely nice to have on a table, but I don’t know how to solve the problem of who gets them.
At all the weddings I’ve attended and stood up in, the centerpieces and the unclaimed or “forgotten” favors are given to the bridesmaids and the dates of the groomsmen, then the immediate families of the bridal party, then just whomever you could get to take one. If you’re one of the last few out, the mother of the bride is sneaking them into your purse just to get them out of the room.
My favorite wedding favor was a cellophane bag filled with tulip bulbs and tied with a ribbon. There was a note attached asking us to think of the bride and groom every spring when the tulips bloomed. Very nice.
Our wedding favors were a big hit–homemade chocolates, a CD of our favorite songs, and a Southern US/British dictionary that my British husband wrote. I think anything edible is good, and the stuff for folks in hotels sounds fabulous. I don’t care about the name-imprinted stuff, and I would be surprised if anyone says they do.
How the centerpieces were divvied up at my brother’s wedding. Someone at each table was asked to donate a dollar bill. The DJ played music, and the bills were passed around each table musical chairs style. When the music stopped, the DJ announced that whoever was holding the bill got to keep it, and whoever donated the bill got to take the centerpiece home.
At more tables than not that I observed, the donor of the bill was a married man who had a wife who was perfectly happy to accept a mini goldfish-type bowl with ribbons and stuff. And weird gel in the middle. I can’t remember if the bowls contained flowers or candles or nothing, but I remember the gel. Probably because I observed the making of the gel, and the distributing amongst the bowls.
We did wedding goody bags as the only favors for our wedding, because I am not a crafter and absolutely refused to make anything or spend any time putting anything into little net bags. I don’t remember anyone complaining about the lack of any other wedding favors.
We’re not doing them. Huge waste of time and money IMO. Anything that isn’t edible will only end up left on the table or in the bottom of a drawer.
I recently went to a wedding where everyone got CD’s of the bride and groom’s favorite songs. Which seemed to be a thoughtful idea in theory, but they were all jam-band songs, which only appealed to maybe 1/4 of the guests. Most of the CD’s were left on the tables, but I would have loved to have seen Great Aunt Ethel popping in Widespread Panic and going, “Huh?”
I’m with delphica. I like them and I like the thought put into them by the bride and groom.
Since my husband and I married in Vegas, I didn’t think we’d be able to do much in the way of favors, as we had enough stuff to lug down there for the big day. But I ended up finding a place that screened small plastic cups - light, stackable, inexpensive. I had our names and wedding date screened on them and ordered a whole mess of silver-foiled chocolate coins. Mess being the key word there. Having chocolate delivered to Las Vegas in June? Not the brightest move.
We lost about a third of the chocolates and had to wipe down the rest. My husband remembers this as one of the most awesome parts of our wedding vacation - the two of us with my mom, dad, and sisters just sitting in a hotel room bullshitting and wiping melted chocolate off of hundreds of chocolate coins and assembling the favors. It was probably the most relaxing part of the wedding trip.
Anyway, we filled the bottoms of the cups with silver tissue paper and filled the top half of the cups with the coins, making what looked like the coin buckets you see in casinos around the slots. A few of our friends that attended say they still have and use the cups, which I think is great. You can see a couple of not so great pics of them here and here.
Definitely not necessary but a fun addition I think.
I think they’re a fun detail and I usually will take them home with me and add them to my doo-dad collection. But I’ve been to weddings that didn’t have favors and I didn’t miss them … and if a hoarding little squirrel like myself didn’t mind, then I’m pretty confident no one else did either. These weddings didn’t do a donation card, they just skipped the favors, no need to explain.
I think that if the bride and/or groom are into the idea of favours and want to have fun with them, then they’re a fine idea. If you’re not into the idea, then a perfunctory plastic spoon of jordan almonds is worse than no favour at all.