What you should know before doling out money for trinkets.
Credit: John Blaise

A monogrammed key chain. A tiny ceramic statue of a bird. A felt bookmark in red, white, and blue. A CD of wedding songs. A pair of personalized golf balls. What's the link here? They're all favors from weddings past-good-intentioned tokens of appreciation but, for the most part, not that appealing. Wedding favors used to be a mandatory thing, but now they've become optional. Brides are realizing that after a night of eating, drinking, and dancing, guests aren't thinking about knickknacks, which means you'll have to figure out what to do with the 77 bottle openers that no one took home.

If you do want to give guests a token of your appreciation at the end of the evening, make sure you're putting that time and money towards a gift guests will remember. Here are some tips to ensure that no one leaves your wedding favor behind.

Make them edible.

Event planners say that the most sought-after favor is something that's edible. And it's even better when there's a meaningful connection to the couple: a jar of homemade jam with peaches from the family farm or macarons in honor of the bride and groom's engagement in Paris. Guests have also been known to devour jelly beans, miniature boxes of chocolates, caramel apples, regional goodies (think: salt-water taffy from New Jersey, hot sauce from Texas), herb-infused sea salt, and candy bars with personalized wrapping.

If it's not edible, make it useful.

Are your guests traveling for your destination wedding? Then send them home with a new luggage tag. Is the city you're hosting your wedding in known for incredible candles? Ask a local proprietor to make mini versions for each guest to enjoy long after the wedding is over. As long as your favor serves a purpose, your friends and family will be more likely to take it home.

Skip the personalization.

Don't put your initials or names on it if they can't be removed. While everyone loves something with their own name or monogram on a tote bag or koozie, odds are your guests will toss a gift with your name on it into the trash. The same should go for your wedding date. Leave it off so guests can enjoy your generosity for years to come.

Dress up the packaging.

A surefire way to get your guests to grab your favors is to wrap them up in pretty packaging. You want your favors to look irresistible to departing guests, so think about choosing an eye-catching bag or box, a colorful label, or a fun ribbon.


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