Stories from Your Wedding Friend - The Wedding Planner's Blog
With all the other details of the day to pay for, wedding favours can seem like one step too far. After all, you're giving people food and drink already, do you really need to have little gifts waiting for them at the reception? Without a doubt, if your budget is tight this is one area to consider for savings, but they don't have to be expensive. Traditionally sugared almonds were given but more often now these little gifts are being replaced with something handmade. With this blog I'm going to talk about some cost-effective ideas for creating your own wedding favours.
With DIY wedding favours you can easily recreate traditional bonbonniere with chiffon pouches from any craft shop and replace the almonds with say mint imperials. You can go a bit posher with a bit more effort or a bit more rustic depending on your style. There are ways to match your colour theme or stationery style with your favours and the more it matches the smarter it looks. The contents of what you want to give to you guests is completely up to you and can easily reflect the style of your wedding.
I've mentioned the little chiffon bags, but you can use these to hold all sorts of things. I've done little scented tealights (Yankee Candle or equivalent look and smell great) or chocolates, Love Hearts or other kinds of retro sweets. All very cost effectively.
Or you could do jars of something; again candles that you can make at home, jams and preserves/chutneys, sweets also. Jars can be decorated with string or material, or painted in your colours to be used again. You can also use larger jars for fun things like mini play sets with crayons and pictures to colour-in. Jars are so easy to collect over time or you can buy them in bulk on-line or from Wilkos (they can be a bit more expensive at craft shops so make sure you shop around).
There are also little boxes - pillow shape, plain rectangular, laser cut designed, highly decorated in whatever size you need. Most types are available in craft shops but again shop around first as you may get a better deal on-line and if you need 100 of them, you'll definitely make a saving by buying in bulk on-line. Or you could learn how to origami and make your own boxes from recycled material like wrapping paper, or wallpaper liner, parcel paper, etc.
I've already made some suggestions above but what do you think your wedding guests would like? Something edible usually goes down well and especially if it can be saved for later. You could also use them to denote seating so you could personalise your favours to each of your guests. I've seen personalised cookies, either with just your wedding details or with the persons name stamped/piped on them - NB if you're doing cookies and know someone has particular allergies, by personalising it with their name you avoid the risk of them getting the wrong type of cookie. I've also seen one wedding recently where they did caricatures of each of the guests, which were brilliant, and a definite keepsake. See here
It's traditional to have wedding favours on your place settings for your sit-down meal but more people are ditching this part of the day for something a bit more relaxed. It's up to you but I like to think that towards the end of the night is a good time to do them, as it lets your evening guests know they are just as important to you as your daytime guests. Also, us ladies tend to have the most ridiculously small handbags at weddings so the idea of carrying around a bulky favour can be off putting (NB many favours are abandoned on the reception tables for this very reason). As I say though, it's totally up to you and really depends on things like if you're using them as table place settings or table centres; yes choosing a more decorative way to present your thank you gifts can double as your table decoration, just make it clear that you intend for your guests to help themselves.
The main thing with anything you DIY is to make sure you're doing it cost effectively. If you're trying to make savings but end up spending double what it would cost for a professional do it, you might want to re-think your plans. Guests love something that is personal, that you've hand-picked just for them, but again something you make or chose isn't necessarily going to resonate with all your wedding guests so don't be offended if some are left behind. If there are spares, it doesn't hurt to offer them to the wedding suppliers and venue staff who have been by your side looking after you all day - that small gesture can make all the difference to that supplier and make them feel genuinely that you cared.
But if you want to fake that DIY wedding favour I know just the suppliers to help.