Modern Wedding Favor Ideas

by Erin Elizabeth Waters

In this fragile economy, grooms and brides-to-be are searching for alternative ways to maximize their dollar value when planning for their wedding day. Wedding favors are no exception to this phenomenon, and depending on the size of your guest list, they can be a major added expense to your budget.  But don’t worry—there are many ways you can assure your family, friends, and relatives are satisfied at the end of night by providing a beautifully decorated reception while killing two birds (not lovebirds!) with one stone. Here are some simply chic wedding favor ideas that are elegant, inexpensive, and versatile.

 Be Resourceful

Photo courtesy Carla Ten Eyck

Believe it or not, there are myriad ways to be resourceful when planning your wedding, and it starts with your décor. For instance, there is nothing more romantic or elegant than a candlelit dinner on your wedding night. And why not get full use out of the candles you use to decorate your reception? By using small, inexpensive votive candles as part of your table displays, you are sure to get the romance flowing, while simultaneously transforming the fire into favors for your friends and family to take home with them. Worried the candles will fizzle out before the night is over? Use simple and chic glass votive candleholders as added mementos that are sure to last.

Another way to utilize your décor as a wedding favor resource is via your floral and foliage centerpieces. We love the idea of arranging a variety of miniature succulent plants or decorative cacti as part of the greater whole of your table displays. Each mini succulent is long-lasting and easy to maintain, and can be found at local nurseries at a very low cost—between one and five dollars per succulent. At the end of the night, each guest can take home a mini plant as a parting gift!

 Cater to Favor

With all the time and money that goes into planning your catering services, finding the additional time and budget space to come up with wedding favors could seem all the more daunting. That is why we suggest you use the food and dessert options you have provided for your guests to your advantage, by offering unique treats that can be eaten in-house or taken home. One way to do this is by offering chocolate-covered spoons among your dessert selection, or as added surprises at your gourmet coffee bar. Whether guests would like to melt their chocolate utensils in their gourmet cappuccinos or save them for later, this is a useful and elegant way to say “thank you” while also offering a complimentary dessert option. Another way to “cater to favor” and save a few bucks in the process is by implementing candy or cake pop trees at your reception, which can serve as both decorative touches and delightful treats.

You can also use your catering tools as favors in additional ways, such as serving wine or water in personalized glasses when offering beverages. While inexpensive wine glasses can be used for more formal or traditional weddings, we also love the idea of using small, decorative mason jars for more rustic or country-style weddings. Not only will guests go home with a stylish memento from your special event, but it will also subtract one more item on the table cleanup to-do list.

 It’s in the Writing

If you are not a fan of food favors or double-use decor, consider an even more utilitarian approach. Guest books are a great way to commemorate each friend or relative’s presence at your wedding, and many people look forward to leaving a message for the newlyweds to look back and read years later on. Offering each guest a personalized writing utensil to sign your guestbook with is one way to say ‘thank-you’ in pen, without writing a fat check that you will regret later on.

If you are looking for something even a bit more creative, you may also consider turning your table place cardholders into wedding favors. While there are many creative ways to accomplish this, one of our favorite trends is using fortune cookie cardholders that indicate the name of each guest as the “fortune”. While you can offer the actual cookies as edible treats for your guests, you may alternatively purchase artificial fortune cookies made from resin or metallic online for as low as three or four dollars apiece—that way, your guests will have a token to remember you by for years to come.

Photos Courtesy Carla Ten Eyck