Wedding Favors Guide

Not sure what you should give your guests as wedding keepsakes? We have a few ideas.

favors

No Regrets: Favor Savers

• If you decide to make favors yourself, be sure they can be completed well in advance of the wedding. Do you really want to stay upthe night before your wedding decorating cookies with your initials and wedding date?

• Make sure favors are truly useful (or edible). Will your guests ever really use a single monogrammed wine glass or magnet? If not, save the money or give it to a charity. The I Do Foundation offers a simple and easy way to make your donation. You can choose an organization from their list or suggest your own.

In the past, a favor has been anything from a boxed up piece of groom's cake to elaborate handkerchiefs embroidered with the happy couple's initials. Popular favors today include candy-coated almonds, chocolates or other candy, miniature bottles or wine, candles, picture frames, personalized CDs, small potted plants or handmade keepsakes.

While many couples fret over what to give as favors, and while they can be a lovely and generous gesture, it should be said that favors are actually quite unnecessary. Your guests should not expect them, nor should you feel obligated to provide them. They are a nice personal touch when the favor has a significant meaning for the bride and groom, but otherwise they are an extra that easily tacks on another hundred dollars—or much more—to your budget. Think of the weddings you've been to: Oftentimes you tote home a dust-collecting item you might just as easily have done without.

As a favor alternative, some couples make a donation on their guests' behalf to a local charity. But rest assured: Many celebrations have gone off splendidly without favors—if you decide not to give them, most of your guests will not miss them or even notice.

Favor Ideas

The following are just a handful of ideas, in case you do decide to give favors. Even the simplest item can be a memorable favor, if it's attractively wrapped or customized in some way.

  • Scratch-off lottery tickets
  • Seed packs or flower bulbs for an outdoor wedding
  • Caramel apples for an autumn wedding
  • Christmas ornaments for a holiday wedding
  • Hand-decorated cookies or homemade candy

Favors at Very Favorable Prices

  • economycandy.com: all kinds of sweets, from chocolates to candy to dried fruit and nuts
  • theweddingshopper.com: candles, bud vases, playing cards, personalized coffee packets and more great stuff
  • partyblockstore.com: beverage glasses, bottle openers, personalized matchbooks and candy bars, and other items
  • pearlriver.com: Chinese-inspired goods like tea and paper fans

An alternative: Donating a charitable gift in honor of your guests is a perfect option. The I Do Foundation offers a simple way to donate to your charity of choice.