What will your wedding guests remember about your big day? Will it be your dress, the music during the ceremony, the wedding cake, or the dancing? Of course you want them to remember the most important parts - you and your fiancé exchanging vows, and visiting with friends and family. However, whether you place importance on them or not, the favors your guests receive are often the most memorable aspect of the occasion. For that reason, it is wise to spend some time locating a unique favor your guests will love, and this buying guide will help you do just that.
What are the Qualities of a Perfect Favor?
There are many factors to consider when buying favors for your wedding. One fact is certain, there are thousands of wonderful, magical, darling, clever favors out there, and you will be enthralled my most of them. If you start the process by looking at samples online, in stores, and in catalogs and magazines, you may lose sight of your vision. For that reason, it is best to make a few decisions before you start looking for the product.
First and foremost, you need to be clear about what you want your favors to convey to your guests. Would you like to say thank you to your guests, perhaps with a gift certificate for a local service or restaurant, or a miniature photo frame; or perhaps give them a symbol of your relationship, such as a small photo album which includes a photo of the bride and groom, or a CD with your favorite music.
Do you want to help your guests by giving them something useful, such as a gardening trowel, cosmetic bag, a tiny sewing kit, or for a truly spectacular favor, spreaders adorned with roses and pearls; or would you like to give a favor that is just for fun, such as brightly colored flip flop place card frames, or a mood ring?
Do you want your guests to enjoy the favor at your wedding, with a box of pretty chocolates, truffles, or Jordan almonds; or would you rather give them a keepsake to take home, such as a silver beaded frame place card holder, which doubles as a miniature photo album? Perhaps you would like to inspire them, with a donation made to your favorite cause; maybe finger paints or a heart-shaped ice cream scoop to bring out the kid in them? Ask yourself these questions, and you will have a better idea of what you need in a favor.
Once you know what type of favor you would like to give your guests, you can consider the various options available. For instance, if you have chosen to give something edible, you now need to decide if you want something sweet or savory; and if you want a bag or box of goodies, or just one item. At this point, you may not be sure what is available, but do jot down any parameters that come to mind.
Now that you have a basic idea of what you need in a favor, you can start to think about what you want. Start your research by looking at online stores, in party, wedding, and specialty stores, and in magazines and gift catalogs. Keep a file of the favors you love, but don't look at the price right now. You can narrow your choices down later, and you may be able to find similar, less expensive options.
You will find dozens of wedding websites and magazines for your search, but do also consider alternative sources for favors. For example, if you have a favorite bath product store, you may be able to arrange to purchase soaps, small bottles of lotion or bubble bath, or even a small sampler basket designed especially for your wedding. You may also find unique favor options at online stores that specialize in gift baskets, party supplies, or corporate gifts. Another idea is to take purchase favor sample kits, available from most vendors, to help you decide which favor to purchase. You can receive several items in a theme, or even several types of packaging options, usually for under $10 or $15 per set.
Narrow Down Your Choices
Your next step is to come up with a list of top choices, by eliminating some of the options. You can do this by considering three things:
Does it Fit With My Wedding?
You will find many favors designed to work within a theme, "lucky in love" playing card-themed bottle stoppers, or dice-shaped cookies for a wedding in Las Vegas,; or for a wedding in wine country, you might choose a half bottle of wine, or a gel wine glass candle. Consider whether the favors you like will fit in with the theme, décor, or setting of your wedding.
Will Everyone be Able to Enjoy it?
It is perfectly acceptable to give children separate favors, but you will need to find one favor for all of the grown-ups. Ask yourself if the favors on your list would appeal to most people. For example, you may love a set of satin pillow sachets, but it may be more appropriate as a favor for your bridal shower. A fun favor that suits men and women is a "his and hers" golf ball and tee set.
Does it Fit My Budget?
Now is the time to consider what you can afford. Make sure you factor in the price per piece, any additional costs for assembly, tax, and shipping charges. You may want to order a bit extra in case some of them are damaged, so factor that in as well. If you are disappointed because your favorite favors can't make the cut, brainstorm alternatives. Could you do some of the assembly yourself?
Consider Packaging and Presentation
Most wedding favors have their own special packaging, but you can change the packaging or come up with your own ideas. If you have a favor in mind that is not based on your theme but also does not clash with it, you could choose packaging that would suit the theme. For example, if you would like to give book of poems or a padded silk traveling mirror as a favor, and you are having a beach wedding, you could present it wrapped in blue paper adorned with shells, or in a miniature beach bag.
If budget is a constraint, do-it-yourself packaging is an excellent way to cut costs. Get your best buddies together and make a night of it - you'll have fun and it will be done in no time.
Placing the favor at each seat a table is the traditional way to present favors, but you can also set up a favor table at your reception, where guests can pickup their favors as they leave. Another idea is to place all of the favors for each table on a silver platter, tiered stand, or in a crystal bowl as a centerpiece.
However you choose to present favors to your guests, make it special. When a favor blends in, it becomes less unique and seems like just a part of the decoration. Try using colors in the packaging that are not present anywhere else at the reception, or use packaging that is tall or unusually shaped. You may want to have your waiters deliver the favors to each guest on trays, or place favors in a series of boxes, so your guests can have fun opening them.
Buying favors for your wedding can be overwhelming, or it can be fun - or both! When you follow the tips in this guide, you will surely give favors your guests will be delighted to receive.
About the Author
Alice Yap recommends http://www.cherishedweddingfavors.com for unique wedding favors.