And the answer may surprise you…
Let’s just be honest. Most wedding favors suck.
They are either cheap or incredibly unuseful. And the one time you have a nice favor at a wedding is the time you get super drunk and accidentally leave it on the table. It never fails.
So now that you are planning your own wedding, what do you do about wedding favors? There are so many options out there and, hopefully, I can offer some guidance on the best wedding favors out there.
The History of Wedding Favors
Giving wedding favors dates back to the Ancient Greeks, when sugar-covered almonds were given to wedding guests. After that, the English are noted to have started the practice of handing out favors sometime in the 1500s. These were generally “love knots” made of lace and ribbon.
Today, the tradition continues and, in a time when traditions are routinely forgone, many couples are left wondering if they should even give these trinkets and what the best wedding favors are.
My Opinion on Wedding Favors
My honest-to-God opinion on wedding favors is this – most favors are a huge waste of money most of the time. There, I said it. This is either so discouraging to you or absolutely freeing.
Favors are a waste of time.
Most people think favors are necessary but they also don’t want to spend a lot of money on them. So they go somewhere like Oriental Trading Company and buy super cheap trinkets that no one will use again.
I have cleaned up so many weddings where people leave their favors behind.
And not only that but where do the favors go? Right into the trash.
So not only are you wasting money but you are wasting resources too.
Even really nice favors can still become a waste. I do really love coffee mugs as a favor, especially the cute little enamel camper mugs or a copper Moscow Mule mug, but people still tend to leave them behind (usually alcohol-induced forgetfulness).
So even nice favors end up being a waste a lot of the time.
I have a saying I am forever telling my couples—Having wedding favors is like setting your money on fire. And I wholeheartedly believe this.
And not only that but, I also think that your wedding is favor enough. If the wedding is planned right, you are giving your guests an amazing experience. The food, drinks, music, dancing are all gift enough, in my humble opinion.
The Best Wedding Favor Out There
So are you ready for the wedding favor idea that I do like?
Consider offering a welcome bag in lieu of a favor at the actual wedding.
Welcome bags can be placed at the hotel or resort where you are getting married or have rooms reserved. And they can be given to guests at check-in or left in their room. The problem of forgetting the favor at the reception is solved because the welcome bag is already in the room.
And it is also a fun way to kick off the celebration. It gives your guests a little taste of what you are about to embark on.
Ideas for things to include are a map, a weekend itinerary, things to do in the area, and local items to give them a taste of they are. For instance, in Montana, you could give huckleberry jam or candy, flathead cherries, or another taste of the local flavor. You could also include a hangover kit, complete with Gatorade, electrolytes, Tylenol, and any other helpful tool you can think of for the inevitable post-wedding hangover.
Welcome bags are great for destination weddings but, with a little ingenuity, you can create them for your hometown wedding too.
Runner-Up For The Best Wedding Favor
My second favor type of favor? A late-night snack. In lieu of an actual favor, offer a late-night snack like cookies, brownies, or even a popcorn bar, complete with bags that guests can fill with popcorn.
There are a ton of ways you can use a late-night snack to give a memorable, and delicious, treat to your guests.
Favor or Not-To Favor?
Fundamentally, the decision to have or not to have favors is all yours. Just like any tradition you see at a wedding, not having it doesn’t make your wedding any less enjoyable, any less real.
Wedding favors have just been done for so long that people just assume it is what they need to be doing. But I am here to tell you that you don’t need to do it if you don’t want.
My final piece of advice is don’t do favors unless you feel super strong about the favor and it is something personal to you, something fun and quirky. And truthfully, the only time favors are good is when they are done right. And doing it right takes money.
So if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on favors, do everyone a solid and just skip them. No one will notice and no one will care (except your old Aunt Betty, she notices everything).