Guest favors - I DO or NOT

October 7, 2017


Let me start by saying I’m not a big fan of guest favors.   Let’s face it – when was the last time you went to a wedding and said “Oh gosh, I’m so glad I got this …..”?  and yet the bride and groom likely spent hundreds of dollars and countless hours planning this trinket for you.  Did it make you feel more welcome?  Did it make you enjoy the wedding more? 


If you are going to give guest favors you should think carefully about the details.


Budget – Decide how much you want to spend and stick with it!   Like everything else you will be selecting, these too can easily run over.   Consider costs associated with shipping, customizing and set up where applicable.


Time – With the myriad of options you can quickly get caught up and spend hours shopping or DYIing.  If you are not a natural DYIer, do a trial run.   See if the time invested *  # guests is realistic for you and if you are happy with the outcome.  No one wants to spend the day before their wedding putting together trinkets or have hundreds of “pinterest fails” to hand out on their wedding day.   If you aren’t a natural DYIer you might enlist a friend who is – they might do this as a gift to you.


Distribution – I’ve been to two weddings recently where lovely favors were not distributed to the guests, the guests needed to self-serve and pick them up as they left.  At both events, most of the favors sat wasted on a table and never made it to the guests.   Be thoughtful about how you will give the favors to the guests – make it easy, make it obvious.  If guests are seated for dinner it usually makes sense to place the favors at the tables or incorporate them into the escort/place cards.


Unique – Many couples like to choose a flavor that fits with their theme or venue.  The idea which I liked the most was goat milk soap for a couple who was getting married on a farm that raised goats.    Some couples select something that is temporary to remind guests of the event for a short while, others feel a momento that is everlasting is better.  Bear in mind, not many guests will be excited to have a treasure to keep that incorporates your names and wedding date in their home décor – steer clear of thinking they will and then being disappointed when you don’t see your special tchotchke in their home.

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Joan Hannan, the wedding planner

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