Weddings are expensive enough as it is. You’re laying on a fantastic ceremony, you’re feeding, watering and entertaining your guests. So why do you need to spend more to show appreciation for them?
Of the million and one things you have to prepare for on your wedding day, favours may not be up there at the top. However they are one of those tiny details that really matter. Forget them and people will notice. Go over the top and people will notice.
While there are hundreds of wedding favours in all shapes and sizes, you don’t have to spend a fortune on them. It is entirely possible that with a little thought and imagination, you can come up with a wedding favour that reflects your wedding day perfectly. If you can’t, we have ten great ideas for you!
The tradition of the wedding favour is an old one. It began in Europe and was originally called a bonbonniere. It was a porcelain box decorated with semi-precious stones that contains sweets or sugar cubes to demonstrate the wedding couple’s, or their family’s, wealth.
As society changed, wedding favours changed too. Sugar was replaced with almonds, then by trinkets or small gifts. Favours were no longer the preserve of weddings and spread to any party or celebration.
Now though, party favours are popular but wedding favours are almost mandatory. They have the strongest presence and are definitely the one place where you show appreciated to your guests.
Ten affordable wedding favours
Wedding favours can come in all shapes and sizes. If you come up with a novel idea, it doesn’t matter how much they cost as it’s the thought that counts. Here are ten good ideas that don’t cost very much at all.
1. Lottery ticket or scratch card
Giving a lottery ticket or scratch card as a wedding favour is obviously a fairly new thing to do. While the ticket or card itself is only £1-2, the excitement and potential of that gift is potentially worth a lot more.
They are also easy to buy and easy to manage. Perfect for what will be a busy day anyway!
2. Sugared almonds
Some weddings we have held have stayed with tradition and offered a small bag of sugared almonds as a favour. These often come with a little note explaining the history of the favour and how almonds were an original feature in the bonbonniere.
Not everyone likes almonds, but they offer a traditional gift that goes down well.
3. Bonbonniere tins
Little favour tins are also a popular one with many couples. Again looking back at the original wedding favour tradition and modernising it for the 21st century. Small tins like these can contain sweets or little mints.
The tins cost very little each and can be reused once the sweets have been consumed. These go down well, especially with girls as they always have something to put into a tin.
4. Charity pin or donation
Another fairly recent wedding favour has been the donation to charity. Rather than spending money on a favour that will often be put in a cupboard or immediately consumed, a charitable donation is made.
This often goes down well as it is seen that the money is put to much better use helping people less fortunate than ourselves on a wedding day.
5. Fortune cookies
Fortune cookies are also becoming quite popular as a wedding favour. While they don’t resonate quite as strongly at a western wedding as they would an Asian one, the thought is there. Fortune cookies are also cheap.
The main downside with fortune cookies is that they are extremely brittle. They have to be handled with care to get them there in one piece.
6. Disposable cameras
Some weddings have these as an extra on each table, some use them as wedding favours. Either way, disposable cameras are an excellent way of capturing your special day in ways your official photographer could only dream of.
Don’t forget to collect them at the end of the day and have them processed. You can copy the best ones and give the originals to the respective guests afterwards.
Three or four thin candles wrapped in a small bundle is a popular wedding favour for adults. They are cheap, easy to prepare and offer a little utility to proceedings. Get candles coloured to match your wedding theme for that little extra wow factor.
Plan on a secondary wedding favour for the children though.
Strictly for adults only, mini bottles of spirits make great party favours for younger weddings or families for whom the majority likes a tipple or two. They are cheap, varied and guests can swap them around so everyone gets what they want.
Care will have to be taken to get the seating plan right if you’re offering alcohol!
9. Advice cards
Another new innovation that costs very little but gets guests engaged is the wedding advice card. These simple cards either come blank with a few lines for the guest to offer their advice, or pose a series of questions for them to answer.
These are great, they get guests thinking, talking and discussing. They are also very cheap!
10. Sweet boxes
Sweets are a firm favourite as they come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes and packaging. And who doesn’t like sweets? Go for chocolates, Lovehearts, retro tuck shop sweets or something completely different.
Don’t necessarily buy ready-made favour boxes. Make your own and get much more value for money.