December 10th, 2013 | Julia Braime
As it’s the season for giving, our regular guest blogger Rachel is back to talk wedding favours.
An age-old wedding tradition, favours originated in Italy in the form of five sugar almonds which were given to guests as a thank you for attending the wedding and as a symbol of good luck. Each sweet almond was said to represent a different quality that the couple would hopefully experience as husband and wife – health, wealth, happiness, fertility and longevity.
But just like many other wedding traditions, the favour has evolved over the years with many of today’s couples ditching dated sugar almonds in place of creative and individual gifts for their guests. Rachel makes the case for tradition.
She says: Just this week a friend of mine was telling me how a male colleague, who is due to get married next year, was having a moan about wedding favours. His outburst went a little something like this: “Now she’s talking about what favours we should get the guests – I tell you what favour I’m getting them, a three course meal, wine and evening buffet – what more do they want?”
He makes a point I suppose, but done right carefully chosen favours can add an extra element of enjoyment and/or serve as a wonderful reminder of the big day.
The budget will obviously need to be taken into consideration when selecting favours and couples will have to decide if they want to buy, make and/or personalize their gifts. Whether couples choose to blow the budget on special keepsakes, or take the cheaper novelty route, there are plenty of options to choose from (without an almond in sight):
Something to Eat
Perfect for food lovers this is a simple idea that can be as thrifty or indulgent as couples like. A tasty treat is always greatly received by guests and can be easily personalized to fit in with the chosen colour scheme or theme.
Popular choices include handmade chocolates, cake pops, macaroons and Pic-A-Mix style bags of sweets.
Another foodie option is for couples to make and jar their own preserves such as jam, marmalade, chutney or honey, which can be individually decorated and stamped with the wedding date.
Mints served in personalised tins puts an individual twist on a classic idea while movie lovers can opt for popcorn served in bespoke containers.
(For those really wanting to impress their guests, I recently came across a company that will decorate gingerbread men to look like your guests, or alternatively you can order a DIY kit to give it a go yourself. While this involves a fair amount of organization the reaction from your guests will be well worth it.)
Something to Drink
This can be a way of buying your guests a drink without having to offer a free bar. Brides pick miniature bottles of their favourite drinks to give to the ladies while grooms choose their top tipple to give to the men. Popular choices include mini bottles of wine, spirits or champagne. Miniature bottles of alcohol can also double up as name places by tying a simple name tag around the bottle neck with decorative ribbon. For those who would prefer a non-alcoholic option, fruit teas fit in well with organic and country style weddings while specialty coffee will be greatly appreciated by guests the morning after the wedding. Those with a sweet tooth may prefer to give cocoa or hot chocolate mix.
Something to Grow
An ideal option for eco-friendly brides and grooms who want to give their guests a lasting reminder of their big day. Top choices include pretty packets of wildflower seeds or tree saplings for guests to take away and plant in their gardens. An alternative for foodies is to give locally grown herbs planted in recyclable glass jars dressed up with a ribbon.
Something to Break the Ice
Some couples like to mix up their guests on different tables encouraging them to get to know one another, in which case icebreaker favours are perfect. This type of favour is also ideal for couples who don’t take life too seriously and want to inject some humour into their special day. Options include old-school origami fortune tellers, table trivia and quirky wedding badges with statements such as ‘I love the groom’, ‘I’m next’ and ‘The bouquet is mine’. Couples choosing to have a fun photo booth at their wedding may want to give favours in the form of masks or fancy dress items which double up as great props for the booth.
Something for the Little Ones
A couple’s choice of favour might not suit all ages so separate gifts for younger guests may be required. While sweet treats generally always go down well with children it’s a good idea to give a favour that will keep little ones entertained during less active parts of the day such as the meal and the speeches. A goody bag including a small present, puzzles and colouring pencils is a great solution.
Something to Keep
For some couples the whole idea of a wedding favour is to give a gift that will act as a lasting reminder of the big day. Popular options include personalised tea towels, coasters, mugs and pens featuring the couples name and wedding date.
A mixed CD made up of songs played during the wedding day is perhaps one of the best keepsake favours that will instantly evoke memories of the wedding.
For something a little different, couples tying the knot during the festive period could give a personalised Christmas tree decoration that will provide a reminder of the special day year after year.
So what do you think? Will you be doing favours for your guests, and if so what?
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Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…