You don’t need to be the disgruntled couple who spend their hard earned cash on wedding favours, only for them to be left behind. Read our guide to choosing wedding favours your guests will love (and actually want to take home).
A Guide to Choosing Wedding Favours
The key to wedding favours that will be favoured, and not forgotten, is choosing well. There’s no one size fits all approach here. A lot will depend on your wishes, your guests, and your budget for these traditional gifts.
Here are four steps to help you choose your wedding favours and have them savoured.
Think About the Type of Wedding Favours you Want
Traditions have their place, but the custom of gifting sugared almonds to your guests is one you can take or leave. To begin choosing what you will give, think about what you want your favour to do.
Do you want it to go with your meal, choosing jars of jam, chutney or an after dinner sweet jar, perhaps? Or maybe you want it to provide entertainment, in which case a quiz or game for the whole table might be better. Then there are those that can be taken away as mementos of your day.
How to Present Your Wedding Favours
Once you’ve narrowed down what type of wedding favour to choose, you need to decide how to present them. For foodie wedding favours, they’ll likely be packaged in a jar or bottle, but for others you’ll have more flexibility. Think pretty birdcage boxes, cute pegged gift bags or boxes tied with ‘just married’ ribbon.
If you’ll be making DIY wedding favours, take into account the time you’ll need if you’ll also be making the packaging yourself. It will be much more fun to do if you get your bridal team together, relax and do it ahead of time.
Pick Substance Over Style
Of course you’ll want your wedding favours to co-ordinate with your theme and look pretty, but if you want them to be taken away at the end of the day, they need to do more than just that.
Favours people can use are much more likely to be wanted than those that are purely decorative. Try foodie treats, lavender bags for wardrobes, or your own unique favour ideas. Lottery tickets also go down a treat (just imagine if you bought somewhere their lucky ticket!).
We’ve also seen couples create one luxury hamper as their wedding favour, hosting a raffle after the speeches for one lucky guest to win! Likewise, a basket of flip flops or blankets might be more gratefully received by your guests by the end of the night.
Know your budget
At the end of the day, you probably don’t want to spend a fortune on your wedding favours. You’ve got bigger things to budget for, like your flowers, your wedding venue and of course your dress, so always bear costs in mind.
While £4 per favour might sound relatively little, when you scale it up to 150 guests, you end up forking out a lot of money for something relatively small. Some couples skip gifting favours altogether, so before you choose your wedding favours, be sure it will be money well spent.
And while the DIY approach to wedding favours can be cheaper, it isn’t always. You may not be able to source the resources as cost effectively, and a pre-made favour could actually work out cheaper.
Types of Wedding Favours (and the Best to Buy Right Now)
20 Wedding Favours for Every Budget
Whether you want to splash out on mini booze bottles for your guests, or prefer something with a personalised touch. We round up all the best wedding favours your guests will actually want to take home. Check them out here.
DIY Wedding Favours
You know how the saying goes: if you want something done right, do it yourself. This can definitely be applied to wedding favours (for brides-to-be with some spare time on their hands). Read up on our DIY wedding favour tips.
Alternative Wedding Favours
If you’re a quirky couple, you may want to break away from tradition and want your favours to be as unique as you and your wedding theme. See our top alternative wedding favours here.
Edible Wedding Favours
From sweets in jam jars to personalised iced biscuits and chocolate treats, give your guests something to keep the wolf from the door as settle down for an evening of eating, drinking and dancing.
Everything you Need to Know About Wedding Favours
Now you know how to choose your wedding favours, and have had a little browse of our pick of the best, we thought we’d take you through the history and the tradition surrounding wedding favours.
How did Wedding Favours Start?
Well, a few centuries ago favours were popular among aristocrats in Italy and France and known as bonbonnieres (or bombonnieres if you’re Italian). Unlike today’s celebrations, when you expect to find a favour at your place setting, the favour would have been sent to you before the wedding and would have been parcelled up in a small porcelain, metal, jewelled or crystal box.
Weddings were seen as a blessing and by giving these gifts the couple getting married felt they were wishing good luck to their invited guests as well. Inside the boxes were five sweets or almonds that represented health, long life, fertility, wealth and happiness.
As the years passed, confectioners took their opportunity to get involved and coated the almonds in a sugar paste to make the gift more luxurious and so sugar almonds have become a traditional wedding favour today.
What are Wedding Favours For?
Originally they were to wish your guests health and happiness – but these days wedding favours can be put in place for all sorts of reasons.
A wedding favour can be used as ice breakers when your guests arrive at your wedding reception and take their places. Lottery tickets and scratch cards are popular wedding favours and these are certain to spark off a conversation among unfamiliar guests.
Some brides and grooms use wedding favours as a means of supporting their favourite charities.
Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account to join in the conversation.