Wedding Favors The Basics

Whether you choose to go with a traditional or modern wedding favor, it is the thought that counts. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Providing your wedding guests with a thoughtful favor is a tradition that has evolved over the years. Wedding favors are generally a small token of appreciation that the bride and groom give to their guests at the reception. They can be as expensive and elaborate as you wish, or they can be handmade and cost-efficient.

Traditional Wedding Favors

The custom of wedding favors has been around since Elizabethan England when Queen Elizabeth I began the tradition of using ribbons to symbolize the bond of marriage. Ribbons would be used as wedding favors; for royal weddings, gold or silver ribbons would be chosen, and for all other weddings, blue and white ribbons would be given as favors. Here are some other time-honored favors:

Jordan almonds in organza bags. These are a long-standing favorite because of their implied symbolism: the bitterness of the almond and the sweetness of the pastel coated candy shell come together to represent the bittersweetness of marriage. They are generally given in a sheer organza bag and tied with a ribbon.
Matchbooks. These favors have stood the test of time. Couples generally choose a solid color matchbook with their names and wedding date printed on the cover. They are meant to convey that the couple is a “perfect match.”

Contemporary Wedding Favors

The modern wedding has become a way for the couple to express their own uniqueness and individuality. Theme weddings have surged in popularity and are an ideal way to coordinate all the aspects of your wedding decor, including favors. Some contemporary wedding favor ideas include:

Making a donation in your guests' names to a charity that is meaningful to you.
Using frosted Chinese-style takeout containers to hold candies, cookies, and other treats.
Plantable flower wedding favors contain a seeded card that your guests can plant as they desire.
Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or drink mixes in personalized and single-serving sized packets.
Compilation CDs with a list of songs played at the wedding can be a gift that your guests can get more than one use out of.

Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Favors

Personalizing your favors is another way to add a touch of creativity and style to your wedding. By adding simple touches to your favors, you can give them a personal feel that your guests are sure to appreciate. Some easy ways to personalize your favors include:

Using ribbon customized with your names and wedding date.
Affixing a wedding favor tag that corresponds with the theme of your wedding.
Creating sticker labels with either the bride and groom's name or a simple monogram.

Ways to Display and Distribute Your Wedding Favors

How you choose to present your favors to your guests is entirely up to you. Some brides and grooms like to keep things simple and just display a favor for each guest at their seat or table. Another simple idea is to use picture frame place card holders that double as favors. These can be set out according to the seating arrangement and do a favor that your guests can use to display your wedding photo. Some more unique ways of favor displays and distribution include:

Have a wedding favor tree. This works especially well if you are having a Christmas wedding because you can use a Christmas tree and make personalized wedding ornaments. Otherwise, any potted tree will do. Hang lightweight favors like bookmarks or charms on the branches. Guests can then pick a favor from the tree.
Use a basket to display favors. Place it by the door with a sign reminding each guest to take a favor.

Whichever favor you decide to choose, remember that wedding favors add the perfect finishing touch to your wedding.