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Table of Contents
A Sweet Beginning…………………………………………….3
In Favor of Favors……………………………………………..4
Ten Questions Every Bride Should Ask………………….4
Consider the Four C’s…………………………………………5
The Finances of Favors……………………………………..14
How to Save Money on Favors
Do It Yourself Favor Ideas and Instructions
The Handy Candy Calculator
Wedding Favors for Kids……………………………………23
Favor-Shopping Timeline…………………………………...23
Seven Top Mistakes to Avoid……………………………..25
Tips and Advice………………………………………………26
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A Bride’s Guide to Finding the Favor of Her Dreams
By: Karen Sullen
When did choosing the right wedding
favor get so hard? I remember attending
weddings when I was much younger, and it seems
that all the bride had to do was to coordinate the
souvenir matchbook to the color of the wedding.
Other than picking the foil design that was going to
be on the cover, it was a no brainer—unless, of
course, you couldn’t decide between that and the
paper bookmark with the tassel on it or the
imprinted cocktail napkin. Ah, yes, those were the
Now, with the vast selection of unique wedding
favors available, the task of choosing which favor will
best fit your style and budget and express your
appreciation can easily become a big wedding-day
worry for the bride and groom. Becoming more and
more elaborate and essential to the wedding
planning, wedding favors are no longer an
afterthought but an integral part of the celebration
that goes a long way to make the guests feel
welcome and appreciated.
A sweet beginning
Matchbooks, bookmarks and napkins once ruled the modern-day wedding scene, but before
that, brides had some very different choices. Many might be amazed to discover that it all
began with a sugar cube! Yes, sugar cubes are thought to be the very first wedding favors given
during medieval times—a gift shared among nobility. At the time, sugar was a rare commodity.
So to present guests with this token of appreciation in a crystal bowl or ornate box was a sign of
wealth and privilege.
Later, almonds were used in place of the sugar as a symbol of the well wishes for the bride and
groom’s new life. Around the 13th century, sugar-coated almonds were introduced combining
the two traditions of almonds and sugar into a single gift. The symbolism of this particular
combination became associated with the bitter sweetness often found in marriage. These
sugared almonds (also known as confetti, Jordan almonds and dragees) are usually presented in
wedding favor boxes or fabric in sets of five to represent the five aspects of marriage that are
wished for every couple:
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It was not until much later that the custom of giving wedding favors was adopted by the masses,
affording everyone the opportunity to give a small token, and it took even longer for it to
become the tradition that we know today. Today, wedding favors come in all shapes, sizes, and
materials, but they are still just as sweet as that very first sugar cube!
In Favor of Favors
In recent years, some well-meaning brides have opted to skip the favors altogether (gasp!) due
to budget constraints or the idea that they’re just not necessary. Well, I’d like to make my case
in favor of favors. The choice whether or not to have wedding favors simply boils down to a
matter of etiquette. It’s one of those little courtesies that make life a little nicer. Would you
enter a room where someone else is sitting and not speak? Would you see a person entering
the building behind you and not hold the door? Would you receive a birthday gift from Uncle
Joe and not say thank you? Well, you might, but it certainly wouldn’t be nice.
Given the fact that favors are a couple’s way of saying “thank you” for sharing in their day, it
would almost seem impolite not to have them—and that really has nothing to do with money
because even a simple poem or scroll that says thanks is still a nice touch. Since many of your
guests have provided a much larger gift for you, traveled from great distances to be there for
your special day, encouraged you, helped you, given advice and a host of other things for your
wedding and for your life in general, giving a wedding favor is a kind, heartfelt gesture that
expresses those two simple words as eloquently, classically, whimsically, creatively or however
else you choose to say “Thank You!“
10 Questions Every Bride Should Ask
Finding that perfect little something wonderful to give at the end of the wedding isn’t always
easy. There are so many choices, styles, colors and trends; it could make your head spin. So,
before you rush to the wedding favor store, there are a few questions you should ask yourself
right up front. It will help you narrow your search and be smart about your options.
What is my budget for favors?
Do I have a wedding theme? If so, would I like the favors to match?
What is the mood of the celebration—formal, casual, fun, etc.?
What are the demographics of my guests (age, male/female ratio, etc.)?
Do I want one favor for all or a different favor for women/men, adults/children, etc.?
Do children need favors?
What’s my personal style—romantic, traditional, quixotic, cutting-edge trendy?
Would I prefer an "at the table" or "on the way out" location for my favors?
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9. Edible, keepsake, useful, practical, whimsical or classic—what kind of favor would I
10. Do I have the time, creativity and/or energy to make the favors myself?
The answers to these important questions will help make sure that you have some kind of idea
of what you would like before you get started, which will save you time and money. However, if
you find that your favor selections aren’t quite hitting the mark, take a moment to look at your
true personality. Many of us may think we’re one way, when actually we’re another. If you’re
early in the process, it might be helpful to take one of those personality quizzes to find out what
kind of bride you really are. Armed with that information, you’ll have better success at finding
the right favor and planning the wedding of your dreams.
Consider the Four C’s
When purchasing diamonds, jewelers explain that the 4 C’s (cut, color, clarity, and carat) are
important. But, when it comes to wedding favors, there are four slightly different C’s that you
should consider:
Container (Packaging)
Concept (Theme)
Like the cherry on top of a delicious sundae, a well-matched wedding favor can be the perfect
finishing touch. Enhancing the theme down to the very last detail (literally, since it’s the last
impression they’ll get of your special day), it’s easy to complement your wedding theme with
favors. Here are some examples:
Wine Wedding: Whether you’re getting married at a charming vineyard or just have a love for
wine, complement the theme with wine favors, like decorative bottle stoppers and pourers,
corkscrews, personalized stemless wine glasses, cork and goblet place card holders, and
anything with grapes!
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Beach Wedding: When it comes to your wedding locale, sunny dispositions often lead to
tropical destinations. That’s why beach wedding favors are so popular, even if you’re not
getting married with the sand between your toes. It’s a beautiful accent for nautical weddings
and those held in an aquarium. Consider shell soaps, lantern tea light holders, bottle openers,
drink mixes, starfish bookmarks and bottle stoppers, mini Adirondack chairs, candles, coasters,
luggage tags and personalized bottles of water all with a beach theme.
Fairy Tale Wedding: It’s your special day, and because your dreams are coming true, a fairy tale
wedding might provide the happy ending (to the courtship) and beginning (the marriage) you’ve
been looking for. If so, adding whimsical fairy tale favors, like carriage favor boxes, enchanted
place card holders and Cinderella slippers, will help capture the magical mood.
Cultural Wedding: Celebrating your ethnicity is a wonderful theme for a wedding. From Asian,
and Italian to Irish and African, there are plenty of culturally complementary favors to choose
from. Red and gold are popular for Asian weddings, as well as those with the double happiness
symbol. However, fans can be used for both Asian and Hispanic weddings. The same is true for
elephants, which can be incorporated into both Indian and African weddings.
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Seasonal Wedding: Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, no matter which time of year you choose,
there’s a favor to match them all! Capturing the beauty of the season, favors that burst with
flowers are perfect for spring and summer, while snowflakes and fall leaves are excellent
choices for autumn and winter. These elements can be found on a variety of items, including
bookmarks, ornaments, bottle stoppers, coasters, place card holders, picture frames, soaps,
candles and unique favor boxes.
Eco-friendly Wedding: Your concern for Mother Earth shouldn’t end with the ceremony. Let it
continue to bloom at the reception. Looking for every possible way to conserve and protect,
choosing biodegradable, eco-friendly wedding favors, like seeded paper note cards, reusable
shopping bags, seed packs and bamboo coasters, can make a world of difference in our world.
In addition to choosing a theme that is based on your wedding, you can also select a theme
based on its symbolism. Exploring the deep meaning behind some of the more popular wedding
elements and themes, you’ll discover a lot more than what meets the eye.
Concept (Symbolism)
We’ve discussed the profound symbolism of the Jordan almonds, but there are quite a few
other wedding favors that hold special meaning, too. Understanding and incorporating the
symbolism of these items may help you choose a wedding favor that’s more meaningful.
Elephants: Whether you use a picture, a wood carving
or some other type of image, elephants, generally with
a raised trunk, are a symbol of good luck and are often
used, although not exclusively, as Indian, African and
Asian wedding favors. A Thai legend has it that a
marriage is like an elephant-- the husband is the front
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legs, that choose the direction, and the wife the back legs, providing the power as they work
toward a common goal! A symbol of power and strength, long life, patience, wisdom and good
fortune, the elephant brings good luck to both you and your wedding guests.
Fleur-de-Lis: French for the “flower of the lily,” this
elegant flower brings much more than just its beauty
to your wedding. Lilies are associated with the Virgin
Mary, and as a result the fleur-de-lis is closely
associated with Mary and her virtues. Suggestive of
the Holy Trinity, the three spikes have come to
represent a common trio of Christian values: faith,
wisdom, and chastity. A symbol of purity and Christian
faith, it also represents royalty. Around the 1200s, the
fleur-de-lis was adopted as a symbol by French
nobility, enforcing the idea that the French royalty
embodied the virtues suggested by the fleur-de-lis and that they were empowered by God. The
symbol also appears on crests from many other nations, including England and Scotland.
Hearts: When it comes to longstanding symbols of love,
romance and affection, the heart reigns supreme and is
the most common symbol used in weddings. Often
referring to the very core of humankind, the heart
continues to be used poetically to refer to the soul, and
stylized depictions of hearts are extremely prevalent
Braided Knot (We Tied the
Knot): It isn't clear whether this expression derives from an actual
knot used in marriage ceremonies or whether the knot is merely
symbolic of a lasting unity, but the braided knot usually symbolizes
unbreakable pledges and dates back to the 13th century. Steadfast in
your love and commitment to each other, the knot has been used in
many marriage ceremonies, including the tradition of tying the wrists
of the bride and groom with twine or placing sashes over the couple's
Calla Lily: The calla lily is symbolic of marriage and purity because of its white color and its
trumpet-like shape, which is said to be similar to a woman's shape (go figure!) It is also the
symbol of rebirth and resurrection—appropriate since, in marriage, your individual lives fade
away as you begin your new life as one.
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Cherry Blossom: In addition to being a beautiful flower that covers the Asian landscape,
Japanese cherry blossoms also symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse and
are an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life. Forever fleeting, the blossoms come
and go quickly, reminding us to live each moment to the fullest. A beautiful addition to Asian
weddings, they are very popular spring wedding favors because of their simple beauty, which
transcends all cultures.
Butterfly: Overwhelmingly, cultural myth and lore honor the
butterfly as a symbol of transformation because of its impressive
process of metamorphosis. Similar to the calla lily, it can also
represent the rebirth of your union and your new life in marriage,
and makes a lovely spring wedding favor.
Lovebirds/ Turtle Doves: Full of whimsy and romance, lovebirds
are colorful little birds that sit closely together in pairs—as
sweethearts often do. It is commonly believed that these birds
cannot live without their mates. Mimicking the happy couple (or
vice versa), these inseparable doves are wonderful symbols of
fidelity and love because they mate for life.
Bamboo: Representing the spirit of summer and the tropics,
bamboo combines upright integrity with accommodating
flexibility—two things that should be found in any marriage. It has
the perfect balance of grace and strength, bending with the wind
during a storm and still standing strong when the storm ceases. The
ability to cope with adversity and still stand firmly without losing its
original ground is inspirational to many couples.
Bamboo also personifies the life of simplicity, which makes it an
excellent choice for eco-friendly weddings. However, because it
is typically found in tropical climates, it’s also popular as a beach
wedding favor. Surprisingly, there is also a reference to respect
for elders, as the young branches at the top of the bamboo trunk
will not grow at the same angle as the older branches below, in
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order to allow sunlight for their elders, providing wonderful symbolism of the family dynamic.
Beyond simply choosing a favor to match the colors of your wedding, the color you choose can
say a lot about you and your expression of appreciation towards your guests. Using the rose
(which is the second most recognizable symbol of love and romance) as a guide, let’s explore the
meaning of each color.
Red roses are the traditional symbol for love and romance, and a timehonored way to say "I love you." The red rose has long symbolized
beauty and perfection. Red roses are the perfect way to express deep
feelings for someone special.
Read More – Meaning of Red Roses
As a symbol of grace and elegance, the pink rose is often given as an
expression of admiration. Pink roses can also convey appreciation as
well as joyfulness. Pink roses often impart a gentler emotion than their
red counterparts.
Read More – Meaning of Pink Roses
The bright, sunny color of yellow roses evokes a feeling of warmth and
happiness. The warm feelings associated with the yellow rose are often
akin to those shared with a true friend. As such, the yellow rose is an
ideal symbol for joy and friendship.
Read More – Meaning of Yellow Roses
White roses represent innocence and purity and are traditionally
associated with marriages and new beginnings. The white rose is also a
symbol of honor and reverence, and white rose arrangements are often
used as an expression of remembrance.
Read More – Meaning of White Roses
With their blazing energy, orange roses are the embodiment of desire
and enthusiasm. Orange roses often symbolize passion and excitement
and are an expression of fervent romance.
Read More – Meaning of Orange Roses
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The unique beauty of the lavender rose has captured many hearts and
imaginations. With their fantastical appearance, lavender roses are a
perfect symbol of enchantment. The lavender rose is also traditionally
used to express feelings of love at first sight.
Read More – Meaning of Lavender Roses
Beyond the symbolism of the color, if you’ve chosen a dominant hue for your wedding, the
reception is an excellent time to focus on the accent colors. However, it’s best to stick to colors
of the same intensity, such as lavender and baby blue rather than royal blue with light brown.
When choosing your wedding favors, think about the feeling that is conveyed from each color
and match it to the mood of your reception. For example, an elegant dinner reception at a fivestar hotel or country club would warrant stately pairings such as burgundy and gold or black and
white instead of an overly happy color combination like lime and turquoise. The same is true
with your wedding favors. Although favors may be a small touch on the table, it can make a big
impact in the aligning the color with the mood of the affair.
Container (Packaging)
People say that it’s not what’s on the outside that counts but what’s on the inside. Normally, I
would agree. But, when it comes to unique wedding favors, the outside is just as important as
the inside. Presenting your thoughts and wishes wrapped up in one little package, there are
literally hundreds of designs to consider. From do-it-yourself favor boxes to brilliant
embellishments, the flexibility to create exactly the look you desire is at your fingertips.
Personalized Wedding Favors: To personalize or not to personalize, that is the question! While
many people feel that having a personalized glass engraved with their names and wedding date
is an excellent memento for their special day, there are some who question whether a guest
would want an item with someone else’s name and wedding date on it, likening it to a
promotional item you’d get at a trade show.
However, unlike those advertising chotskis, which are a dime a dozen, an elegant glass or tin of
candies is priceless because it carries much more meaning. Filled with wonderful wedding-day
memories, there’s a definite connection that makes a personalized favor more of a keepsake
than a castaway, which is why personalized wedding favors are still the #1 choice for brides.
They inevitably evoke fond memories each time the gift is seen or used by the guest.
Because of their universal appeal, the most popular personalized favors are:
Mint tins
Bottled Water
Lip Balm
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Glasses and jars
Chocolates and candies
Fillable favor boxes
Ink pens
Unique Containers: Moving well beyond the once-popular matchbooks and napkins, wedding
favor designers of today have given these mementos plenty of personality. From die-cut boxes
to whimsical themes and elegant packaging, there seems to be no limit to all the extra touches
that turn a simple package into the perfect present! Saving you the time and money of gift
wrapping or additional packaging, these unique wedding favors are wrapped and ready to go.
There’s no need to cover up the cuteness of these creative gifts. Here are some examples of
fabulous favor packaging:
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Be on the lookout for special details like die-cut designs, see-through packaging that enhances
the product inside, clever containers and other embellishments that make your favor stand out.
However, if favors are large or colorful, placing them on the reception tables can take up
precious table space or be distracting during the meal. Instead, you may opt to place large trays
(or a table) of favors in a hall or foyer where guests will exit. A tasteful sign -- "Please take one
favor per guest with our compliments and thanks!" -- will let reluctant guests know that it's okay
to pick up the gifts.
Do It Yourself Favors: The two main attractions for do-it-yourself containers are cost and
creativity. They give you the best of both worlds. From a creative standpoint, there are
hundreds of options that can be customized or matched to your wedding colors, theme, and
even your personality. You can choose something as simple as tulle or an elegant box with a
bow to a favor bags that resemble lace lingerie. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find
favor packaging to match it.
On the other hand, when demand is high, but the dollars are low, DIY favors are the “go to gift”
for brides on a budget. Exchanging time for money, they allow couples to save by purchasing
the elements individually and handing the assembly themselves. We’ll discuss more about the
cost-saving elements of do-it-yourself favor packaging a little later, but for now, here are a few
examples to whet your appetite.
For ease of assembly and flawless presentation, some of the most popular favors you can create
yourself include:
Favor Cakes
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Now, let’s look at the finances of favors, since that’s probably a big concern for many of you as
you go down the list of wedding wishes doing your best to stay on task and within budget.
Barring any special sales, quantity discounts and eBay discoveries, you can generally expect to
spend anywhere from $1.00 to $5.00 for your wedding favors. That’s a wide range, I know, but
the pricing will vary depending on the style, quality, uniqueness, personalization and whether
you’d prefer a premade or do-it-yourself gift.
The best advice is to set a budget for favors and do your best to stick to it, taking into account all
those little “extras” like shipping, personalization, ribbon, etc. In this next section, we’ll look at
ways to save and how to get the most for your money.
The Finances of Favors
Admittedly, in the big scheme of things, favors are
probably the last thing to check off the list, as some
brides leave the purchasing decision to the end to see
what funds are left at that point. But, whether you’re
at the end of your planning or the beginning, you’ll be
glad to know that there are plenty of affordable favors,
do-it-yourself wedding favors and other inexpensive
tokens that can be given to your guests that cost next
to nothing. There are some great tips on “How to save
money on wedding favors” later in the book. But this
quick list of budget-saving ideas is a great place to start
when looking for affordable favors:
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Votive candles wrapped in tulle
Candy you can package in boxes or bags
Picture frames
Homemade goodies
Picture of the bride and groom
Scroll with poem or special message
Wedding bubbles
Flower seeds
Decorative soaps
Personalized CD’s of the couple’s favorite songs
Place card holders that also serve as wedding favors
A single rose or flower for each family
Of course, if you’re having a large wedding with at least 100 guests or more, you can save by
taking advantage of quantity discounts offered by many companies.
How to save money on wedding favors
Let’s face it, times are tough! But that doesn’t
mean that you have to go without wedding favors.
With these practical money-saving tips, you’ll have
plenty of cash leftover for other things (or at least
enough to keep you within your budget.)
Tip #1: Skip the wrapping. A wedding favor is a
gift, but there is no rule that says it has to be in a
box all wrapped up and topped with a ribbon and a
gift tag. You can save so much time and energy by
presenting your gift unwrapped. Extra packaging
and enhancements can contribute heavily to your
budget. When you add in the cost of all of those
embellishments, it can instantly double the cost.
Reducing the amount of packaging you use also has
an environmental impact—less waste!
Wedding favors that can be presented unwrapped:
A single rose at each place setting or given
as the guests leave
A picture frame place card holder
A candy or cookie buffet (simply provide
bags for them to package their own after the wedding.)
A digital photograph of each guest at the wedding as a souvenir (hire a photographer
that can print them on the spot at the reception.)
Tip #2: Shop out of season. To find the best prices, everyone knows where to shop—the
internet—they just miss out on the when to shop. Just like with other items, there are certain
products that may be heavily discounted as they go out of season. If you’re planning a year in
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advance, you can take advantage of favors that are at the end of the season now but will be
back in season by your wedding. Sure, you’ll have to hold on to the products for a few months,
but they’ll be perfect for:
Beach weddings
Seasonal weddings (winter, spring, summer and fall)
Garden weddings
Valentine weddings
New Year’s Eve/Day weddings
Tip #3: Buy group gifts. Who says that each person has to have a gift? Whether you have an
extremely large guest list or just short on funds, placing a group gift on the table for guests to
share can help cut the costs when compared to traditional favors. Consider a bowl of candy,
teas, cookies or other treats on the table as a centerpiece that they can enjoy during the
Tip #4: Look for double-duty items. There’s nothing wrong with requiring your centerpieces,
favors, place card holders or other wedding items to serving more than one purpose. With a
little creativity, you can combine several elements and save. Here are a few examples from
wedding expert, Janet Verra:
One great suggestion is to use wine bottles with a personalized message on the label, in
either small or full sizes. Although their main purpose is to serve as wedding favors for
the guests to take home, grouping them together creates an instant centerpiece. They
can also be used as table numbers during in the reception by replacing the labels with
table numbers or even printed menu choices. (Note: the same can be done with a
grouping of pillar candles.)
Mini pots can also serve as wonderful centerpieces of your reception tables. From afar,
they look like solid box of flowers but if you will look at it up close, you will see that the
container actually holds flowered mini pots that your guests can take home as souvenir
of your wedding.
Votive candles in a glass holder are a very versatile
item that can serve as escort cards with the table
assignments, place card holders with the guest’s
names and, of course, wedding favors by simply
adding an elegant gift tag.
Tip #5: Save the tax by shopping out of state. We all know the benefits of shopping online, like
free shipping and online-only deals that sometimes make it cheaper than purchasing items in
the actual store. But you might not have thought about targeting stores in other states to save.
If you do, you can avoid the sales tax because interstate commerce across state lines is tax
exempt in most states. If you live in a state that tacks on 7%, spending $1,000 would save you
$70. It’s a win-win!
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Do-It-Yourself Favors
When it comes to saving money on wedding favors (and bridal shower favors, too for that
matter), the number one way to save is to make them yourself. Whether you choose to create
them from scratch or use a semi-DIY, assemble-and-fill kit, you can take advantage of the
savings. And if you’re a shrewd shopper, you can save even more by taking capitalizing on sales,
closeouts and discounts. In addition, there are some other advantages to DIY favors:
Bonding Activity: One of the hidden advantages of homemade wedding party favors
that often goes unnoticed is the process of preparation. Whether you’ve recruited your
family, bridesmaids or fiancé to help with the task, the time spent making or assembling
the favors creates an opportunity for you to bond with those closest to you. Make it a
fun time, and the memories will be priceless.
Personalized Gift: When you make the favors yourself, it’s almost like giving your guests
a part of you! Even if you don’t include your name and wedding date on the gift, it’s a
very personal and special memento that shows your personality and creativity. Go
ahead—bake something, write something, create something. Either way, you’ll be
adding a personal touch to a present that is truly unique.
Flexible Budget: Because you’re making the gifts yourself, you dictate how much you
want to spend, giving you the power and the opportunity to unleash your creativity.
Only have a dollar or even .50 cents to spend per favor? I’ll bet you can come up with
something fabulous in whatever price range you’re working within. From the simple to
the sensational, you’re in control.
Favor Kits Do You A Favor!
From cooking and crafts to photography and poetry, if you’re creative, you can turn just about
anything into a fab favor. But for those of you who need some inspiration or are all thumbs
when it comes to creating a gift, a wedding favor kit can be very helpful.
Designed to enhance a variety of themes, these semi-homemade sets typically include the
packaging, pre-measured ribbons and embellishments and may even offer an opportunity for
personalization. With a price tag that starts at a little less than a dollar, all you’ll need to do is
decide on the candy or filler. From a simple box to a myriad of unique containers, they take the
guesswork out of making favors. Stylish, elegant and fun, let these examples of favor kits inspire
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Easy DIY Ideas & Instructions
Although favor kits can make creating favors a lot easier, there are a lot of creative gifts you can
quickly make “from scratch.” Adding a personal touch to your wedding is easy with these do-ityourself favor projects. Assembling in a jiffy, using easy-to-find items, these inexpensive
wedding favor ideas from Pallavi B. Mahanta allow you to save money and time—and you don’t
have to be a creative genius to do it.
Wedding Favors # 1: Rose Petals in Organza Sachet
Dried Rose Petals Potpourri
Organza Bags
Instructions: Freeze-dried rose petals make the perfect
wedding favors. Fill each organza bag with dried rose petals.
As a special accent, tie it off with ribbon that is personalized
with the name and wedding date of the couple (which can be
purchased at many wedding and craft stores). Or, you can
write the name and date on some ribbon in gold or silver and
place the ribbons inside the sachets. Guests can place this useful favor in a drawer or in the car
and enjoy the aroma all year long.
Wedding Favor # 2: Glass Votive Holder
Satin ribbons 1/4" wide
Pearl bead picks or sprays
Tulle circle
Silk flowers (optional)
Favor fillers
2-1/2" Votive candle holder
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Instructions: Fill the votive holder with candies, a votive candle, bath salts or other treat. Place
the holder in the center of the tulle, gather the edges of the tulle and twist it directly over the
holder. Secure the tulle with a clothespin. Take the satin ribbon and tie it around the holder, just
below the clothespin. Remove the pin and make a shoelace bow
with the ribbon. For the finishing touch, place a pearl bead pick or
silk flower in the center of the design to flare from the top. You
can also create a tag with the couple's name and date of the
wedding on a piece of paper. Use ribbons to tie the tag to the
(Note: For a candle alternative, wrap two taper candles in tulle
with satin ribbon bow and place several pairs in a tall decorative vase as a centerpiece that
guests can help themselves to after the wedding.)
Wedding Favors # 3: Wine Glass Favor
Small plastic wine glasses
Satin ribbons 1/2" wide
Favor filler (i.e. Mints, Jordan almonds, candies,
Instructions: Fill the glasses with your favorite treat.
Place the glass in the center of the tulle. Gather the edges and twist the tulle directly over the
glass. Secure the tulle by making a bow with the satin ribbon. Add a custom hang tip for a
personalized favor. (Note: Champagne glasses can also be used.)
Wedding Favors # 4: Hot Chocolate Mix
Glass bottle with cork top
Ribbons and tags
Hot chocolate mix
Instructions: For this fall wedding favor idea, you can either make
your own chocolate mix or you can buy pre-mixed cocoa powder
from the market. Pour the cocoa mix in the bottle by using a
funnel. Now dress up the hot chocolate! Use a striped ribbon and tie a 'scarf' round the bottle.
Add a nametag or a simple message like "Jason & Ashley's Hot Cocoa" or "Something sweet for
all our sweet friends."
(Note: Use this idea to package anything from cookie mix to steak rubs for a unique wedding
favor for your guests.)
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Wedding Favors # 5: Fragrant Bath Scrub
4 cups Epsom salt (or coarse sea salt)
1 cup olive oil or almond oil
Essential oils (grapefruit or lemon)
Glass container
Instructions: Measure the salt and pour it in a large
pot. Pour the almond oil into the salt, stirring
constantly. Add the essential oils and stir well to combine. You can mix and match the essential
oils to create a unique and refreshing scent. Add two drops of food coloring to the mixture. You
can use clear glass containers for your body scrub. Write the names of the couple and the date
on a tag. You can also list the ingredients of the body scrub. Attach the tags to the jars with
bright colored ribbons.
Wedding Favors # 6: Eco-friendly Note
Pads from Paper Towel Rolls
from Do It Yourself Weddings
Paper towel rolls
Scrap paper
Tacky Glue
Decorative Stamp
Instructions for the eco-friendly mininotebook favors:
For each paper towel roll, you'll get three, 3" wide mini-notebook favor covers. Flatten the rolls,
measure and cut. Then cut along the fold line on one side.
Measure your scrap paper to be about 3" by 2" to fit inside the covers. (Tip: Collect
scrap paper throughout the year and cut it using a rotary paper cutter.)
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Put several sheets of the paper inside under the tiny flap and staple in place. To keep
the staples from showing on the outside of your wedding favor, staple the inside bundle
of paper and then glue it inside the paper towel roll holder.
The construction is done! Now time to decorate and personalize your eco-friendly
wedding favors!
Stamps are just about the easiest way to decorate these and if you select non-toxic inks
it will still have a very low footprint. A variety of letters and themed stamps can be
found at just about any craft store.
Guests—and Mother Nature—will appreciate this unique, eco-friendly favor. They’ll keep it
handy in the car, at home or on the go for quick notes.
One final note: In addition to making the gifts yourself, you can also have your guests “do it
themselves” with Make and Take Favors. Whether you’re short on time or want guests to pick
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exactly what they want, having a candy bar or buffet is a great way that your guests can make
their own wedding favors to take with them. You’ll save money on individual gifts…and you’ll
love eating the leftovers!
Candy Calculator: Estimating the Edibles
Now that you’ve decided to make your own wedding favors,
there’s one more thing to consider—how much candy will fit
in that tiny box? It’s a question that has perplexed brides
over the years causing them to end up with way too much or
not enough. As frustrating as it may be, it doesn’t have to be.
Calculating the amount of candy it takes to fill those 2” x 2”
boxes varies, largely depending on the type of treat.
Wouldn’t it be helpful if there was a little favor guide to help
you with the calculations? Well, here it is—a Goodie Guide
for the do-it-yourself bride!
Not only is it helpful, but using a candy calculator can save you money! You don’t have to waste
money buying extra candy “just in case” that you might not be able to return, and you can keep
things consistent, so that every guest has the same amount in their box.
You’ll need to know how many candies to put in the box, but also how many candies are
typically in a pound (so you’ll know how much to buy). Based on the most popular wedding
chocolates and candies and a standard 2” x 2” box, here’s a guide to make sure you have an
ample amount for your guests:
Dutch Mints:
Jordan Almonds:
Hershey Kisses:
Melty Mints:
Conversation Hearts:
Butter Mints:
Jelly Beans:
Amount/Full Box
36 delightfully minty pieces
15 sweet crunchy almonds
11 silver bells
12 smooth mints
30 sweet-talking hearts
90 chocolaty pieces
62 after-dinner mints
75 bouncing beans
Avg. Quantity/lb.
Two things to keep in mind:
1. These amounts completely fill the boxes to the rim, which you don’t have to do.
Dividing the amounts in halves or even thirds to partially fill the box is perfectly fine (and
more economical). In fact, most brides only use five Jordan almonds in their boxes.
2. Favor packaging comes in bags, envelopes, pouches and all sorts of shapes, which can
make getting the right amount a little challenging. Be sure to make a sample before you
purchase the items in bulk.
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Wedding Favors for Kids
While wedding favors for children might seem like a luxury, they’re actually a necessity when it
comes to appreciating the youngest wedding participants or just keeping them from getting
bored at the day-long affair. With plenty of fun items providing the necessary distraction, they
are less likely to get restless and cranky, which can potentially disturb the wedding ceremony
and other guests.
Designed with the child in mind, here are a few ideas that they’ll surely appreciate:
The best wedding favor for children would be something that could keep them engaged
during the wedding and the subsequent reception. You can give them tote bags filled
with activity and coloring books, crayons, stickers, a bottle of bubbles for the reception,
building sets, key chains, etc.
Although wedding favor boxes typically hold sweet treats, they can also be customized
for kids. Fill the boxes with gender-specific items and color code them so you can
differentiate them. For instance, you can have boxes filled with little dolls, stuffed
animals, chains and bracelets made of beads, etc. for girls, and for boys you can have
small cars, action figures, whistles, yo-yos, etc. If you know they’ll have the Nintendo DS
or other handheld game, you can also include a new video game for them to try.
For older children and tweens, keeping them preoccupied is not as important, so you
can provide other items, like banks, wedding Frisbees, colorful highlighters or markers,
lip balm, key chains, wedding bubbles or mini notebooks.
One point of advice when choosing wedding favor for children, try to avoid sugary treats as they
tend to make the little ones hyperactive.
Favor Shopping Timeline
Some days it may seem like your calendar is on
fire! With so many details to take care of, it
can be hard to keep up with everything.
Although the favors won’t typically be
purchased until you’re closer to the wedding
date, there are months of research that will
precede that decision. To make sure that your
plans don’t go awry, this favor-shopping
timeline is a good guide for keeping things on
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6 months to 1 year
Do preliminary research.
Don’t purchase anything, just keep a list of what you like or
bookmark sites online (unless, of course, you spot a tremendous
(Tip: It’s important to note the size of the favors, as they may
appear bigger or smaller because of graphics. Be sure to read
the specific product details, and don’t hesitate to take
advantage of the customer service offered on the website.)
4-6 months
Order samples.
Check for quality, color, consistency, size, etc. Arrange them on
the table the way guests would see them and consider the
visual impact of each.
(Note: Where you buy your wedding favors is as important as
what you buy. When shopping online, sometimes it's not easy
to see the quality of the merchandise or colors. Online retailers
that specialize in weddings will be very clear about showing you
exactly what to expect. Not only should there be thumbnails of
the favors but an enlarged photo with specific details should be
available, as well.)
2 – 4 months
Order favors.
Buying them too far in advance can cause you to have too many
or too few because you really don’t have an accurate guest
count until shortly before the wedding. For most brides, 60-90
days is a comfortable window in which to purchase favors to
allow for any out-of-stock or discontinued products or shipping
delays. If it’s something that’s truly unique that you can’t get
anything similar by a long shot, 3-4 months might be necessary.
Delivery Details
Allow enough time for delivery. All too often, frazzled and hurried brides and grooms don’t
allow adequate time for delivery of their favors. Be sure to plan ahead and try to incorporate a
bit more time than you think you’ll need, just in case. Order as soon as you've made the decision
and don't put that decision off. Keep in mind that personalized items may take a longer delivery
time –up to six weeks depending on the manufacturer.
Buy more than you think you’ll need. You don't have to go overboard, but guest lists do have a
tendency to increase as the wedding day approaches. You’ll also be covered in case there’s an
inevitable mishap to occur during shipping, assembly or even on the way to the reception. It's
less costly to order a few extra that to pay overnight shipping at the last minute.
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The Top 7 Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Admittedly, every wedding and every bride is different. But, there are certain lessons learned in
the process of getting married that will benefit anyone. When it comes to purchasing wedding
favors, we can learn a lot from Linda Kling, as she shares the top seven wedding favor mistakes
and tips to avoid them.
Mistake # 1 - Waiting too long to order.
You‘re not a procrastinator, it‘s just that you‘re not sure how many wedding favors to order
because you‘re waiting for the RSVP‘s to come in to give you a better idea of how many guests
will be attending. But if you wait that long, you‘ll have less options available. Custom,
personalized wedding favors can take longer to create. If you postpone ordering until almost
the last minute, you may not have enough time to get just want you want. You might have to
settle for something else.
Mistake # 2 - Not getting the right amount.
So, how do you plan in advance and get the right number of wedding favors? First, decide
whether you want to give one favor to each of your guests, or one to each couple. You‘re
probably safe in assuming that at least 80% of those on your guest list will be able to attend.
Then, make sure you have extras.
What happens if you have too many favors? Well, that‘s better than not having enough. If you
have favors left over after the wedding, you can always give them out or mail them to those
who couldn‘t attend.
Mistake # 3 – Spending too much money.
Wedding favors are tokens of appreciation to your guests for sharing your special day. They are
not meant to be costly gifts. You shouldn‘t have to spend more than a few dollars for this
Mistake # 4 – Buying favors that are not useful or functional.
There is such a wide variety of wedding favors on the market today, so you‘re no longer limited
to tulle-covered dust collectors. Send your guest home with something they can use, such as
personalized candles, bottle stoppers, chocolate bars, frames, coasters, bookmarks, packets of
seeds or heart-shaped cookie cutters, to name just a few. Otherwise, you might end up with a
lot of gifts that were left behind, and that would really be costly.
Mistake # 5 – Selecting favors that don‘t reflect your personality.
Your favors don‘t have to be bland and generic. If you‘re shopping on the internet, there is an
endless array of unique wedding favors available. Why not choose something that highlights
your hobbies, interests, or passions?
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Mistake # 6 – Waiting too late to be creative.
Making your own favors is always a great idea—that is, until you wait until the last minute.
Then the best-laid plans can easily fall apart. Sitting there two weeks before the wedding gluing
a ribbon on the 83rd favor, you’ll be thinking of all the other millions of things you have to do to
get ready for your wedding. The same goes for food favors or other perishable items that
require special handling or can only be made a day or two before the wedding. The money you
thought you saved by doing it yourself will be easily eaten up in frustration and aggravation. If
you’re down to the wire, it might be worth the extra money to purchase professionally made
favors. Just think of all the time you‘ll have on your hands.
Mistake # 7 – Not giving out favors at all.
No, it‘s not absolutely necessary to have wedding favors. But they are such a nice way to say a
little “thank you” to your guests for sharing their love, support and friendship. They are not only
a thoughtful addition to your reception, but will remind everyone of your wonderful wedding.
Tips & Advice:
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into the decision of what favors to have at your wedding.
From A-Z, we’ve tried to cover it all. But, there are a few pieces of advice I think you’ll find
helpful when it comes to your wedding favors and with your wedding planning, in general.
1. You can’t please everyone, but you can please yourself! Sacrificing your wishes while
trying to please other people isn’t a good idea for any phase of your wedding planning,
so don’t start now. Keep your goals, budget and desires in mind and stick to it. After all,
it’s your wedding!
2. Check your wedding timeline frequently and be sure that you have enough time to get
everything done. Be flexible and have a back-up plan—you’ll likely need it.
3. Make sure your favors make sense. Don’t have your guests scratching their heads
wondering what you were thinking when you chose the gift. Pick a gift that flows with
the occasion. You wouldn’t give seed packets at an urban city wedding—where would
the guests plant them? Nor would you give bottle stoppers or wine-themed gifts to
family and friends who really don’t drink.
4. Pictures can be deceiving. Know exactly what you're getting. Sometimes more than one
favor is shown together online. Or the favor is shown in packaging that's extra or the
packaging doesn't include the candy that it's shown with. Remember, favors are usually
shown completely assembled but aren't delivered that way. It takes extra time to fold
boxes, open bags, or place the favor in the packaging, so be sure to consider those “little
extras” in your planning.
5. Keep the location of the reception in mind when ordering favors. Outside weddings can
mean there could be rain, which may ruin paper favors or cause streaking or running
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colors. Delicate favors can blow away, and chocolate can melt. Heavy favors won't blow
away, but the weight can increase the shipping cost, especially if there are several
hundred favors that have to be transported and set out.
Hopefully, keeping these tips and information in mind will help you in your search for the
perfect token the expresses your sincere appreciation and personality. Best wishes on your
wedding and much success on finding the favor of your dreams!
Editor’s Note: All pictures have been gathered from various sources around the internet.
Some were submitted by their original photographers. If any of the images are
copyrighted, and you are the owner of these pictures, please do not hesitate to contact
me. They will be removed or credited, if you so desire.
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