One of my brides recently asked if having a wedding favour is necessary. As I drafted my response to her e-mail, I realized this is a question I’ve answered time and time again. In fact, some of the most frequently asked questions received by GL surround the topic of wedding favours (i.e. what to give, how much to spend, are they even necessary, etc.)
Whether on the fence about the need for favours or overwhelmed by the seemingly limitless options available, these little tokens are clearly the cause of BIG headaches for many couples; so we thought we’d shed some light on the topic.
Two Schools of Thought – A Nice Thank You vs. a Wasteful Expense
Couples and experts are torn on the subject of whether or not favours are necessary. For some, favours are an essential part of wedding etiquette and tradition; a non-negotiable, must-have to show guests appreciation for their attendance and to add that perfect finishing touch to the wedding reception décor.
For others, favours are considered a complete waste of time and money, period. The idea of fretting over the selection of one gift that will be appreciated equally by 100+ guests is ridiculous and the budget for these small trinkets would be better spent in other areas also enjoyed by guests such as food, bar service and entertainment. Some also argue that most guests wouldn’t even notice if there was no favour.
So, where do we at GL stand on the issue? Well, both schools of thought have merit. While we do appreciate the etiquette of thanking guests with a little token, and we know how absolutely amazing a favour can be as a finishing touch on a table setting, the reality is that the emotional and financial stress on some couples to select the right favour can outweigh the benefits.
The Island of Misfit Favours
Finding a favour that will appeal equally to all your wedding guests is a tall order. We’ve seen it done, but more often than not, at the end of the night, we’re scooping up dozens of unclaimed shot glasses, butter spreaders, beer coozies, and key chains. If an island of misfit favours existed, we’d have it filled by now. Not to mention, what are the bride and groom to do with all these leftovers? In most cases, these items are personalized. That’s right – no way of reselling these babies. So, an unpopular favour can be a costly mistake that lives in your storage room until the sting of throwing them away wears off.
Making a Decision – Yay or Nay to a Favour
So, how do you decide if having a wedding favour is right for you? We believe that ultimately the decision is yours to make. Though tradition and etiquette are important, today, couples are encouraged to express their individuality and do what is right for them; especially because many couples are now financing their own weddings. If a wedding favour doesn’t fit the budget or ranks low on the priority list, that’s OK! Don’t let anyone shame you into doing something you don’t feel comfortable doing. The day is ultimately a celebration in your honour and should be fun, not stressful.
If you’d like to give a favour, but you’re unsure where to start, we have a few suggestions to help guide you on your path to selecting a favour that won’t break the bank or leave you stranded with a box of leftovers.
If you’re looking for a safe bet, consider edible favours. Baked goods and delicate confections always do well, and in most cases, are consumed before the reception is even over!
Personalized M&M’s in your wedding colours are fun and yummy!
Beautifully decorated cake pops, cookies or cupcakes are delicious take-aways that also make a statement on your table settings.
Who can resist a gourmet chocolate truffle?!
Other tasty treats such as bottles of specialty vinegar and oils, organic honey, locally cultivated maple syrup and homemade preserves, jams and jellies are also items that are sure to go. If any happen to be left behind, you can bet other family members will be keeping an eye out to scoop them up on their way out.
Miniature bottles of your favourite olive oil and vinegar combinations show your personal style and tastes.
Homemade jams, jellies and preserves in cute jars with nicely designed labels are sure to please and impress!
If edible treats are not your thing, try items like little succulents/plants, coffee beans, loose-leaf teas, and mini hangover kits. If you choose to give stemware, or dinnerware of any kind, consider attaching a tag to the item as opposed to personalizing the item itself.
Rich coffee beans from a local roaster will have mouths watering and will add a rich aroma to your reception.
Little plants, succulents or seeds are considered the gifts that keep on giving. As they grow, your guests will think of you!
Expecting your guests to have a great time? These little hangover helper kits are clever and fun.
Looking for something a little different? Some great alternatives to the traditional favour includes giving a donation to your favourite charity in honour of your guests, reserving a photo booth with photo strip keepsakes, or unveiling a spectacular treat table of candies, gourmet popcorn, or other goodies with take-away bags.
A donation in honour of your guests is a thoughtful and commendable gift.
What better way to thank your guests than to give them a fun activity?!
A gourmet dessert or treat table is a spectacular showpiece and a sweet way to thank guests.