There are definitely multiple points of view when it comes to this part of a wedding. Some think they are an absolute must while others put little or no thought at all to them. For me, I have been to many, many weddings and seen every type of favor you can - and I've come to this realization for all you couples out there...
PS- I'm not trying to be harsh, I am just being honest from a guest's point of view
- No. I don't want food/snack/candy as a favor. I'd rather delicious hors d'oeuvres
- I love the idea that you would choose to donate to a charity over giving me something I probably won't keep
- I buy my own measuring spoons
- I have a huge shot glass collection feel free to add to it
- I won't bat an eye if you don't provide a favor, I will be thankful for the open bar and amazing food instead :)
- If there is a bottle on my table (not for after the ceremony) with bubbles in it...well there are no words for this waste of money
- A CD full of love songs, it's really nice in theory - I'm sure we all have a CD of love songs...HOWEVER...most guests will nod and say "aw, isn't this cute" - while gagging over how lame it is
- I like candles and cute place card holders (my friend Jenn's is using the famous Philly 'LOVE' as a candle holder) but don't make it to lame or to "on point" with the theme...it's a wedding not a 16th birthday party...
- I have a stationary closet at work...no need for something I can get from there
Ultimately, for our wedding I gave up on favors and couldn't stand the sight of one more web site where anything I liked was to expensive for our 200+ wedding or it was to lame for me to waste money, so we decided to do nothing and it seemed like no one thought anything of it. Looking back I wish we had done a donation, but I'm glad we chose nothing over something I didn't deem worthy of our money. The food was amazing and the bar was just as great - and I think my guests preferred that.
There are many good options out there - as well as many, "cheesy" options. Some couples - and their families do feel it's required of them to have a favor, so in that spirit - here are what I think the best favors are - both worth your money and your guests will like.
all web sites for you to check out will be listed at the bottom of the post as some sites overlap with the favors I will showcase
- Bottle Stoppers
- Extremely useful for guests in their home and most web sites where you can purchase them allow you to get something close to the theme of your wedding
- Can be rather cheap (as low as $1/per stopper) or upwards to $3 or $4 depending on the design you want
- Glassware Options
- While the idea of having "Beth & David March 3, 2009" on a shot glass, shooter, or bar glass forever sounds a tad off-putting - a glass of some sort actually can prove most useful and they seem to be the thing that guests will keep the most
- Shot glasses can be by far the cheapest - and most useful favor out there. Web sites like Logo Bar Products sell regular shot glasses as little as $0.37/per glass (price depends on quantity that you order).
- Tall mixing glasses (15 oz.) can also be a great favor as people can use them in everyday life. They can also be found as cheap as $0.49/per glass - both the shot glass & mixing glass provide plenty of room for creativity and personalization.
- Mini-bottles of...
- Couples can really fill in the blank with almost anything - and you can match it your theme, location or just general love of something
- With this option you can choose to do-it-yourself (as in buy the bottles, labels and material) or you can purchase wholesale online or in a store
- Options to fill the bottles include: alcohol (wine, champagne, liquor), jams/jellies, cider, oil & vinegar, spices
- Note: should you choose to purchase online make sure to do your research - cases of 24 were sold on one web site for $60 - and another web site almost double that
- These are useful for everyone - and you can pick out fabulous ones and avoid personalizing them to much. I know, it's your day and you want to give something people will love and think of you BUT sometimes, it's overkill. A coaster can be just as beautiful and useful without being "to much."
- These can be found on the majority of favor web sites. Found in sets of 2 or 4 and can be as inexpensive as as $0.40/set to around $2/a set - which is relatively affordable
- While it seems the vote is split other whether or not these are cute or lame...personally I happen to like them
- Gel candles - for example - can make a great little decoration anyone can add to their home or office
- You can decide whether or not you want them lit on the table or not - if you want your guests to take them home and use them (or their holder) more than likely I would suggest not lighting them so guests can take them with them
- Other great favor options...
- Lottery tickets (hey, if I won $200 at your wedding it would be the best wedding ever)
- Two Peas in a Pod Salt & Pepper Shaker (never seen this in person but love the idea of it)
- Personalized playing cards
- Luggage tags
- Heart-shaped measuring spoons (okay, I know I said I don't like this BUT it seems to be a very popular option on most web sites)
In conclusion I think that practical gifts that a guest can use afterward is the best way to go. There are plenty of things you can buy if you are looking for something inexpensive that you can buy a ton of. There also favors out there if you are just looking to buy something, but I think the best advice I can give you is to put a little though in it - and you just may find something amazing just for you as a couple.
Web sites worth checking out
- Etsy (perfect for all things handmade and vintage)
- My Wedding Favors
- Beau Coup (a personal favorite)
- Favor Warehouse
- The Knot's Shop
- Logo Bar Products
- American Bridal
- Oriental Trading
- Gunther Gifts
- Vista Print (always has lots of sales, so be sure to sign up for their newsletter)